Tuesday, August 27, 2013

From Pastor Jason: Six Ways to Start Reading the Bible... Better

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I’ve always lacked a clear process or plan when it has come to my personal Scripture reading. Actually I’ve prided myself in this practice (or lack thereof). It seemed really spiritual to just pick up my Bible and read; wherever the Spirit might lead. However, deep down I always looked at diligent and organized Bible readers as incredibly amazing. And so I’ve craved more discipline, but haven’t found my niche within the Bible reading plan world. Until now.
Just a couple of weeks ago I discovered the app “Bible Box.” After I got over its strange title, I found the iPhone application extremely helpful. It not only charts reading plans for users to follow and syncs with the YouVersion Bible application, but it allows readers to check boxes as we go–hence the name. And it also makes automatic adjustments if you miss a day … and yes, I’ve already missed a few days. I’m currently reading through the Bible chronologically and actually keeping somewhat on pace. And in the spirit of this new found, albeit it short-term success, I’d like to offer six ways to help you start reading your bible, better.
1.) Set a time. Like anything else, if you don’t know when you’re going to read and how often, you probably won’t. I like reading early in the morning, because that’s when Jesus read his Bible (just kidding). It’s different for everyone. Find a time that works best for you.
2.) Start small. Don’t get crazy. If you’ve never consistently kept a reading schedule don’t set out to read the whole Bible twice by the end of the year. I found great success a few years back by simply starting to read one chapter every weekday.
3.) Pick a location. This may seem silly, but similar to setting a time, picking a location helps prepare you for the routine and discipline of reading. I set my Bible and journal right behind my chair at the kitchen table. That’s my favorite spot to read. Where’s yours?
4.) Choose a method. The Bible Box isn’t for everyone, I understand that. Try another app. Or find a good book that walks you through Scripture (if you don’t know one shoot Pastor Chris a text and he’ll suggest three before you know it). Or follow along in whatever book through which we’re currently preaching. Or just start reading from Matthew 1:1. Or google “Bible Reading Plan.” The possibilities are endless, but you just need one.
5.) Tell someone what you’re up to. Accountability and encouragement are key ingredients to success.
6.) Pray for persistence and a knowledge of God’s grace. One day you will forget to read. In a couple months you’ll wake up and realize you haven’t read for a week … or two. Get back in the rhythm by remembering God’s gracious nature. The whole reason we read is to know God more richly and his grace more intimately. So let’s not allow the process of reading to become a religion unto itself. Let’s not miss God and his immeasurable grace in the process of reading his Word.
Pastor Jason
Whether you’re married or not, want to learn more about the crazy mysterious thing called “marriage?” Mark your calendars for a FREE (yep, free) Married for Life conference at East Valley Church, coming up September 6-8! Click here for more information!

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