Arminian Today

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Reading Much Slower These Days

When I was saved, my parents purchased an NIV One Year Bible.  That was all I had for a bit that I could understand (as I had several KJV award Bibles but found them hard to comprehend).  I began my Christian life by reading from the NIV One Year Bible and that habit would continue for about 7 years.  That NIV One Year Bible remains with me though I don’t read from it now and it lies on my bookshelf, worn out, underlined, and notes all over the place.  While I was a youth pastor, I used the NIV One Year Bible to disciple teenagers by us all reading from the same Bible and then I developed Bible studies based off our week’s reading.  It was joyful to read through the Bible and teach from it while doing so.

Over the past few years, I have found my Bible reading has slowed down.  I don’t mean that I don’t read from the Bible.  I do.  I do often.  I do everyday.  The Bible is my food (Matthew 4:4) and its words feed my soul (1 Peter 2:1-3).  As the psalmist wrote, “How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!”  (Psalm 119:103).  The testimonies of God are wonderful, therefore, my soul keeps them (Psalm 119:129).  Jesus taught us in John 8:31-32:

31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

I want to be a disciple who daily abides in the Word of God (Proverbs 8:34).

So I don’t mean by “slowing down on my Bible reading” that I am neglecting God’s Word.  I need His Word.  I can’t spiritual survive without His Word.  His Word gives me hope (Romans 15:4) and gives me life (John 15:1-11).

But what I do mean is that I am slow in reading in that I take my time and spend weeks in one passage.  My habit use to be to read through the Bible (and I suggest that all disciples should read through the entire Bible) but now I am slowing down and smelling the roses.  I am taking my time.  Like the cow, I am chewing and chewing and chewing on the Word of God to take it in.  I want to know Christ and to love Him more than anything and I want to know His Word.  Bible reading helps me grow as a disciple by showing me what I should be doing for the glory of God and it reveals what areas of sin are in my life so that I can become more like Jesus (Hebrews 4:12-13).

Now again, I suggest that you read through the Bible.  No disciple of Jesus should neglect reading the entire Bible.  However, once you read through the Bible (perhaps even several times through), slow down and sit in a text for a while.  For example, if you are reading through the gospel of Matthew, slow down in the sermon on the mount (Matthew 5-7) and allow the words of Jesus to convict, challenge, and change you.  I am currently studying Matthew 6:5-15.  I have been reading and re-reading Matthew 6:5-15 from various translations, reading commentaries, listening to several sermons on the text, and simply hungering for the Holy Spirit to teach me from this vital text on prayer.

My prayer is that 2014 will be a year of the Word in your life.  May the Lord be glorified through our Bible reading and studying and may we live for His glory alone!

Written by The Seeking Disciple

01/02/2014 at 12:46 PM

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