Key Practices of the Christian Life — Practice #2 — Bible Intake

8 Sep

Bible Intake – Grasping God’s Word

Bible study, meditation and reading are crucial elements of Christian growth. If we do not regularly feed on the Word of God, we are likely to become spiritually malnourished and thus spiritually unhealthy. We will be more likely to become spiritually sick from false teaching and more likely to become discouraged through a lack of solid food.

As with our physical bodies, it is important to have a balanced diet from God’s Word. For maximum spiritual growth, we should be reading through the Bible, studying through a book of the Bible in depth and memorizing key Scriptures. All of this can be done with the investment of about forty minutes per day. The daily practice of Bible Intake in your life could look like this . . .

Morning —           Bible Study (20 minutes)

Method: 1. Pray for understanding and application of what you are about to read.  2. Read carefully the selected chapter for the day. 3. Answer questions about the chapter in a notebook or journal. Good questions to ask include, “What does this passage teach about God? About Jesus? About the Holy Spirit? About what people are like? About what people need? About what God tells us to do? Following a basic outline of God, Man, Christ, Response is a great way to study the Bible. 4. Read over the notes for your chapter in a good study Bible (like the MacArthur Study Bible or ESV Study Bible or NIV Study Bible). 5. Think about and pray about the things you have read (this can lead right into your time of personal prayer, the next Christian practice we will discuss).

Lunch —               Bible Meditation (5 minutes)

Method: After lunch or on a break at work, memorize two to three verses per week. Using index cards, print out your verses with reference and date on one side and on the other side put the first letter of each word in the verse. Over the first two days of the week, read over the verses several times and commit them to memory, using the letter side if necessary. On the third day, try to say the verses from memory without using the card. On the fourth and fifth days, try to remember the verses without looking at the cards and meditate over the meaning of the verse you have committed to memory. On the weekends, take time to review verses you have learned previously. You can use the Bible Meditation Guide at the end of this booklet for a schedule of three years of verses whereby you can learn many of the great passages in the Bible by heart.

Evening —            Bible Reading (15 minutes)

Method: Read through the Bible each year, starting in Genesis straight through Revelation. To accomplish this goal, use one of the excellent Bible reading calendars found online or just divide the number of pages in your Bible by 365 and read that number of pages each day.

The bottom line: Have a Plan and Don’t Stop

I have given you a method for Bible reading above that, if implemented, God can greatly use in your life. But I also know that not everyone will be able to carry out this plan. You may fall behind in your reading or you may run into an especially busy season where you can’t give as much time to Bible intake. Let me encourage you in those times to remember that these ideas are intended to be a blessing, not a burden. So if you fall behind, don’t give up. Keep reading. Go from where you are and stick to a plan. Missing the target is better than not shooting at all.

 

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