Thursday, January 9, 2014

A Suggestion for Increasing Bible Intake

Like many of you I had some time towards the end of 2013 to think about my current level of daily Scripture intake. Like many of you I was not fully satisfied with where I was and resolved to make some changes for 2014.

I wanted to share one practical change I've made because I think it is an easy concept for anyone to incorporate into their bible intake plans and hopefully you will find it effective in your quest to know God's Word so that you may walk in His truth (Ps. 86:11).

So here it is, nothing revolutionary really...

Each night before we go to bed, my wife and I read 2 chapters from an Epistle. We alternate reading; I read a chapter and then she reads one. Once we make it through we start the same epistle over.

For example: Right now we are doing Ephesians. I'll read a chapter and she'll read a chapter each night, out loud. After 3 nights we complete the entire book. On the 4th night we start back over. At this pace we make it through the entire book twice each week. The goal is to do this repeatedly for 4 months and by the end of April we'll have made it through Ephesians over 32 times. In May we are going start 1 John and in September, 1 Peter.

Why do this?

1.  It helps us know individual books well: We each have separate goals for reading through the bible but this habit helps us to learn some individual books more in depth by just reading them over and over. 

2. Easy goal to keep: We don't do in depth bible study each night. We just read. It takes less than 5 minutes. Sometimes we do/will talk more about what we've read but our goal in this is to just read. If this was all we were doing for Scripture intake I would say it would be insufficient. However we each have other times in our day for meditative reading. The goal for this is just to read. 

3. It ends our day with focus on God's Word: what better way to go to sleep than to reflect on the inerrant, infallible, all sufficient truth of God's Word as you hit the pillow? We believe that the Word of God is transformative. Our hope for becoming more like Christ lies in the power of God to change us and we know that one way God changes us is through the transforming power of His Word.

4. It's another time the bible is read in "community." To read the bible individually is important for spiritual growth but so is reading the bible together with other believers. The Word of God is given for the people of God not just the "persons."

5. Helps focus our marriage on Jesus. We need intentional Christ-centeredness built into our marriages. This is just one of the things we are doing to help our marriage be focused on Him.

Is this plan or a similar one something you can incorporate into your bible intake plan?

I'm writing this post from a hospital room in Little Rock, AR where my wife just gave birth to our fourth child! We are grateful for God's gift of children. Needless to say this has thrown us off a few days on our reading plan but we'll pick back up soon. The goal isn't to "check off" a list anyway. The goal is to have a disciplined approach to reading God's worth in faith that God will shape us into the people He woul have us to be. 

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