Before we begin this week, I would like to reflect upon the events of last week.
The Capitol's tragic events last week showed a dark side of our nation and a reason we need a Savior. Each day more and more people are losing their battles with COVID. Jesus came to heal those who were sick, both physically and spiritually.
Let’s take a moment to pray.
Lord, we lift our nation and our leaders to you. We ask for wisdom, healing, and a peaceful transition of the White House. Regardless of where we stand politically, we ask you would bring comfort to the families who lost loved ones last week during the attack on the U.S. Capitol.
We ask you to comfort, heal, and strengthen our nation. We also ask you to bring physical healing to our nation. Please remove this virus from our land, and heal those who have the virus. We ask for strength for our healthcare workers and first responders – please protect them as they do work to help those who have fallen ill.
We ask this in your precious name – Amen!
Last week, we explored why we need a Sabbath rest and how it can help us refresh and recharge. This week, we explore why reading God’s Word is important for our spiritual growth.
God’s Word, the Bible, is without error and was collected by men inspired by God.
Recently, my cousin gifted me with my grandfather’s Bible. This particular version was printed in 1950. My grandfather was a pastor and used it to teach his congregation and shepherd them.
During my grandfather’s seminary education, he worked as an elevator operator. In our current automation days, we made the elevator operator obsolete, but back then, it was a nice little job.
My mom shared that he would tape passages of scripture in his elevator and memorize them when he wasn’t taking passengers to their respective floors.
Each day he hid God’s Word in his heart. It says in Psalm 119:11,
“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.”
The Bible guides life’s triumphs and trials. When we hide God’s Word in our hearts, we allow the Spirit of God to help us recall his promises when we need it most or when we need to deliver an encouraging word to someone.
When I was coaching high school cross country, one of my athletes went down and needed medical attention. As she was awaiting medical attention, she was reciting scripture that was living in her heart.
Scripture is not just words on a page, but a basic instruction before leaving earth (B.I.B.L.E) as some have affectionately referred to it.
The words on the pages of the Bible have the power to bring comfort to hurting and troubled souls, as well as guide them to a life-saving message of hope.
It says in 2 Timothy 3:16-17,
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
The good book, as Eric Liddell referred to it, is a guide for our lives. But how do we get it from our head to our heart?
Practically speaking, you can begin at the beginning (Genesis) and finish with Revelation; however, if you are new to developing a Bible reading habit, I suggest finding one to guide you.
Some of the Old Testament can be a bit dry, so I would start with the book of John or one of the other Gospels.
It retraces the narrative of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection – that’s a perfect place to begin.
Another great spot to start is with the book of Psalms. You can read a Psalm a day, and it will take you about six months.
We are not only to be hearers or readers of the words but also doers. We should seek to live out the words of Scripture. Sometimes we need to ask forgiveness or provide an encouraging word.
For me, each year, my goal is to read through the entire Bible. In the past, I have followed many different One-Year plans.
Listed in the resources section at https://rockingchairdevotions.com/010, you can find a simple starter plan to help you read through the entire Bible in a Year. If you want to take it on the road, you can also listen to it.
That’s how I begin my workday – whether driving to the office or working at home. I begin by listening to the Scriptures that help me read through the Bible in a year.
Developing your Bible reading habit is good for new believers as well as seasoned believers. I have spoken with many seasoned believers who have not read through the entire Bible.
This year is just starting; why don’t you commit today to read (or listen) to the entire Bible in 2021.
Lord, thank you for your Word. Please help us to develop the discipline of digging into your Word daily. Please help us hide it in our hearts to grow in our knowledge of You while using it to encourage others. Amen!