I was comically reminded by someone today that several months ago I posted “I’m Back” on this blog and haven’t posted a single thing since. Well, here I am. I confess I’m a fast reader but a slow writer, which makes it hard to crank out a blog quickly. I have always physically written very neatly but slowly and don’t type much faster. Probably a bigger factor is that I’m a perfectionist and I want everything to sound and read just so, resulting in too many re-reads and re-edits. I confess too that I’m somewhat intimidated after reading many well-written blogs.
I want to talk about how we approach Bible reading. There are any number of terms you can use to identify this discipline. Call it what you want, the questions are whether you are you doing it and if so, why?
First, are you reading the Bible? “I don’t have as much time as I’d like to do that” would probably be the overwhelming response to that question. I would ask you for one month to keep up with how you really use your time throughout the day. Paul tells us in Ephesians 5:15-16 “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but was wise, making best use of the time, because the days are evil”. How much time to you spend on Twitter, Facebook, etc? Television, Netflix, or the theater? Recreation, shopping, traveling? The list could go on. We make time for the things we really want to do. Admit it. Find the time, take the time to read the Scriptures. Start with 5 minutes if that is all you can find today, but read them. If you wait until you feel like you have an hour it will never happen.
Secondly, why do you read the Bible? The Scriptures are our spiritual food, the only words that will sustain and satisfy our souls. It is different from any other book you will ever read. Hebrews 4:11-12 tells us that “the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says “All Scripture is breathed out by God, and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.” Ephesians 6:17 speaks of “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God”. The Scriptures are given to us by God as a tool for the Holy Spirit to use to change us from the inside out.
I love to read. I read many things. I range from online sports reports to theology with a wide variety in between. I read different things for different reasons. I find myself at times neglecting the Word of God. If I got out of bed tomorrow morning and skipped breakfast I would be hungry by mid-morning and if I passed on lunch I would be miserable by afternoon. How long will I go at times without the nourishment of the Word? How often do I try to satisfy my hunger with all the junk food that is quick and easy, forgoing the meditation and reflection on the truths that will feed me? Psalm 119:103 says “How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” Psalm 19:7-10 says “The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb.” It is not amazing to think that the God who created the universe has spoken to us? Is that not worthy of at least a few minutes of our time today?