Friday, March 5, 2010

Ten Ways: Stay in One Book

You want to see the glory of God? You want to see God at work and know Him better? Do you want to be changed by beholding His glory?

An eighth way to see God's glory is to spend significant time in one book of the Bible. Pick a book and read through it (or part of it) every day.

While it is beneficial to read through any part of the Bible, there is real profit in spending time in one book. God commands His people to meditate on His Word. Meditation involves thinking about what one has read: what it means, how it fits with the rest of the Scripture, and how it applies to your life. Without meditation, God's Word often seems boring, irrelevant, or ineffective.

Meditation deepens our walk with God. God's Word is no longer just another line on our daily checklist, it involves the whole of our being. We think about it when we are in the car, we see its meaning in our relationships with others, and we have it in our minds when temptation comes.

Some people get only a little out of their time in the Bible because they fail to meditate on what God's Word says. They bounce around God's Word, getting bits and pieces of it, while failing to dwell on what they have read.

By spending time in one book--and really soaking in God's Word--meditation on God's Word is more natural. If you spend a month (or more) reading the same book, you'll better see how powerful and meaningful God's Word is.

I spent time in 2009 trying this. Every day in my time with God from March through August I spent time in 1 Peter. Some days I would read through the whole book, some days I would read through just a paragraph. It changed my life. Really.

The first week was great. I was seeing new things, having verses pop out at me, and enjoying the freshness of the book.

The next week was a little harder. Some days I would read 1 Peter and say, "I just read this yesterday. I don't know if I learned anything new."

Then, slowly, the book really came to life. I started seeing the flow of what Peter was talking about. I saw little connections between some of the verses. Parts were becoming familiar. I was unintentionally beginning to memorize what I was reading.

It just kept getting deeper. Sundays were deeper: I'd hear sermons from other parts of the Bible and see the relation to 1 Peter. Worship was deeper: Themes like salvation and forgiveness in 1 Peter meant more as I sang or praised God. Fellowship was deeper: Talking with friends about what God was teaching them from 1 Peter and being blown away at how rich God's Word is. Prayer was deeper: I knew how to pray for people--I'd pray verses for them right from 1 Peter.

Soaking in God's Word had such a powerful effect on me last year, I'm doing it again this year. I'm reading through the Gospel of John. Its harder to read through all in one sitting, but reading about Jesus is fantastic.

So, if you want to see God's glory, soak in His Word.

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