Bible reading is supposed to be enjoyable! But sadly, not every Christian think likewise.
Many of us Christians find daily reading of the Word of God a boring exercise and feel kind of lethargic whenever we approach the Bible to read the passages for the day.
Why are so many of us not spending time reading the Bible? And if we do read, why are we not enjoying it at all?
Surely, we need to settle this in our mind and heart so that we can live the Christian life the way God meant for us to live.
We have Daily Bread, and other daily reading programs. These surely help for the Quiet Time or as a devotional. But if we just read that one or two scriptures, that is not bible reading. It is indicated in each day that we should also read the passage where the verse was taken from.
Daily reading of the Bible is a spiritual discipline and as it is a discipline, we need to make time for this exercise.
When we refer to daily reading of the Word as a spiritual discipline, we are saying that it is a training; a training to read the Bible daily and systematically with the end result that we make it a habit for life.
Most of us don't like to live within a box whether physically, emotionally, spiritually or intellectually. We want to be free to live life our way. We do not want to live within an environment where we are told we have to do this or that.
So if a discipline that is implemented and controlled by someone else; for example an authoritative figure, even an imaginary one, we will tend to fight against it.
Likewise for the Word, even though it might not be preached strongly behind the pulpit, we still receive that strong impression that if you don't read the bible everyday, something is wrong with you so you better read it whether you like it or not. We perceive this as a 'have-to/must-do' in our mind and when something comes across as I have to, we get that "I wish I don't have to' feeling.
But what if we implement it ourselves? We know why it is important for us and know that practicing it will reap benefits for ourselves and set to discipline ourselves to do it well, won't we approach it more willingly? At least, the ball is in our court. The whole scenario changes. It becomes a self-given, self-implemented and self-motivated spiritual discipline.
We know that reading God's word is good for us. The Bible is one book that promises nourishment for the soul, guidance and direction for life, empowerment for service, and much more.
"I will delight myself in Your word;" Psalm 119:16a
This is an eye-opener for me. I don't come to the Word because as a Christian I'm supposed to read the Bible everyday.
I come to the Word to enjoy myself.
It's an attitude I decide to take and truly, when we come to God's word with such an attitude, He rewards us accordingly.
Choosing a set time each day for Bible reading is wise. If we don't do so, we would be zooming through each day telling ourselves, I need to stop and spend time in the Bible and not doing it at all.
I love to do my Bible reading early in the morning after washing up and with a mug of steaming hot coffee, a note-book and a pen beside me. I find that sitting at the same table makes it easier for me to settle down into God's Word.
For some, lunch time is best and for others, evening time might be better.
Most important, is to make time for it. Set a time and make it an appointment that you would not want to miss.
A bible reading plan of the Old and New Testament might be helpful. I used one which I printed out on a sticker paper and pasted on a nice pattern backing paper. When I completed a chapter, I coloured the tiny square. (see the top image on this page) That is helpful to me for I love colours and I also am able to see where I am in my bible reading journey.
Yes! Read and enjoy... No rush. You don't have to rush through each chapter. Linger a while on a verse or a few verses. Dig deep into it.
The Bible is all about Jesus - about the heart of God - His love for us, His creation. We are made in His image to enjoy Him. About a God who yearns for the fellowship of His people; who gave His all to bring us into His fellowship. A God who saves. It's all about Jesus. In the Bible, we see Jesus; His types, His person, His works - the redemption story from Genesis to Revelation.
Delight yourself in the word of God; the word of Jesus - His love letters to us. See Him, hear Him, and feel His heartbeats. Let Him draw us into the word. Just come... and sit at His feet.
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