Updated: May 8, 2020
We’re living in a cultural moment none of us expected. Did you ever imagine your days would be filled with at-home workouts, Tik Tok challenges, and staring at memes flooding your feed? I know I didn’t. And in the midst of your new norm, you may be wondering...”Why spend time reading the Bible now?"
The Bible that’s sitting on your shelf or downloaded to your phone, is a small library. Composed of 66 books, over the course of thousands of years, telling one unified story by multiple authors, ultimately leading to one main character: Jesus of Nazareth.
A narrative full of hope is what we crave in chaos.
Jesus, the hero of the story is who we need always.
And there’s arguably no better time to build a foundation on God’s Word than right now.
If we’re honest, opening God’s Word can feel weighty and intimidating at times. I’m with you. Let me reassure you - I’m not asking you to add “become a bible scholar” to the ever increasing list of things you’re wanting to accomplish during self quarantine, right under “rekindle an addiction for Sims 4”. But I do want to encourage you!
Paul, a major writer of the New Testament urges his young apprentice Timothy in why he should study the Bible. He 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 complete, equipped for every good work." (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
Paul wants Timothy to be confident that every word penned on the pages of Scripture is inspired by God. And the design of each word is to mold Timothy into the image of Jesus.
It serves the same role for you and me today, if we’ll let it.
By peeling back the layers of our lives, God’s words will slowly transform us from the inside out. We can find wholeness or “completion” in Jesus. And from that place, we can genuinely desire to do good works set before us. Not out of obligation, but out of love for God.
Following Jesus is a lifelong journey of growth in trust and adoration for Him. What if now is the perfect opportunity for us not to add something to our to do list, rather discover how to build a sturdy foundation on God that lasts.
So how do we begin? Every day, little by little.
Here are 3 different ways to get you started:
1. CHOOSE A BOOK OF THE BIBLE TO READ WITH A FRIEND.
If you’re reading the Bible for the first time, consider one of the four Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John. Each one shares an eyewitness account from the life of Jesus.
Before diving in head first, it’s great to dip your toe in the water by grasping an overview of any book you want to study. When we zoom out, we are able to approach the Bible with the intention of understanding the grander picture. One of my favorite resources is The Bible Project. The creators, Tim Mackie and Jon Collins breakdown complex Biblical themes and outline books of the Bible through videos in a visually dynamic and authentic way. Tim and John, we salute you.
2. ASK THOUGHT PROVOKING QUESTIONS.
As you begin to engage with the text, consider thinking through questions like:
What does the passage reveal about God’s character?
What promises from God can I cling to? Is there an illustration or example to follow (or not follow)? What does this passage say about humanity? How can I apply what I’ve learned to my life today?
3. MEDITATE ON A VERSE.
Meditation is a way to internalize one verse by thinking deeply and letting it be the central focus in your mind. Choose one verse that’s been impactful for you. Write down the verse in your journal and say it out loud to yourself a few times. Put your name in the verse to personalize it. Most importantly, pray the words from the verse into your life, asking God’s power to transform you. When meditating on scripture the focus isn’t to empty your mind, but rather fill it to remember God’s truth.
Throughout the day, try to create tangible opportunities to continue digesting the verse. Here are a few ideas:
Write the verse on a sticky note on your bathroom mirror, in front of the steering wheel, change your screensaver.
Before you watch Netflix, say it out loud.
Whenever you exercise, recall the verse before and as you workout.
Share the verse as encouragement with a friend or family member.
There are countless avenues and methods to build a foundation on God’s Word: choose something that is attainable and consistent. Imagine what life could look like if you spent time connecting with God every day, little by little. What once starts as discipline, will begin to feel like delight. And remember - God gave us the Bible not just to inform us, but to transform our lives to love and trust Him more and more.
Discuss these questions with a friend or spiritual leader to help apply today's reading:
What is one thing you’ve learned from reading God’s word?
Which of the 3 different ways to start reading the bible do you want to try?
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