I am delighted that so many people have been blessed by following our Bible Reading Plan for September. I am really hopeful that by the end of it, there will be many testimonies of what God has been saying, to us as individuals and as a church. I am fully aware that there are some who have been following this kind of plan since Adam was a lad. However, for others, this will be a whole new experience. So, on a very practical level, here are four things which have helped me over the years as I have committed to reading God’s word.
- A conversation
Generally speaking, we read books written by authors we don’t know, nor will ever meet. However, whenever we read God’s word we should remember it is totally inspired by his Holy Spirit. Therefore, as we read, we ought to remember that the author is present with us. I encourage you then, to thank God for his word and ask him to speak to you through it.
- A place
It sounds obvious, but if we are going to seriously engage with God through his word, you need somewhere to do it. In front of the TV with the family is seldom a good idea. I tend to read the Bible in the solitude of my study. Tracey sits and reads in the comfort of our bedroom. Incidentally, if I interrupt her, she reminds me that she is speaking with someone more important!
- A time
However busy our lives are, we always find time for the things that matter. We wouldn’t dream of getting through a week without having time to eat. In the same way, we should never allow our Scripture reading to be squeezed out of our schedule. I now spend time with the Lord in the morning, but when our children were young, I used to plan around lunch-times. One thing though is for certain. If you don’t plan it, you won’t do it!
- A pattern
Over the years I have read the Bible in different ways. I have gone from cover to cover, studied it chronologically and then four times in four years, each year using a different translation. Every now and then I ditch the pattern and go with the flow. However, I often regret it. I am thankful to God for the days of the week, the seasons of the years and the 101 Bible reading plans that provide for me a pattern and a disciplined structure in order that I may savour God’s word.
By way of encouragement. If you haven’t been following the Ridgeway plan for September (attached), we have started the book of Esther today. We would love you to jump in and join with us.