broken but not crushed

Helping each other live successfully and abundantly in the face of brokenness.

Location: Columbus, Central Ohio, United States

Friday, October 06, 2006

A list on the list in the list - huh?

Dear Fellow Travelers,
It would appear that I struck a nerve with yesterday’s blog. Lot’s of folks have written or called to tell me that this “simple yet profound” list was actually a bunch of lists inside a bigger list. They are right. Tell you what – let’s take a closer look at the lists inside the list before I throw another big list at you. We’ll start today - OK?

The first of those disciplines was “Get into God’s Word - read it, study it, memorize it, think about it (meditate), share it.”

Read it. The obvious place to begin. Most people have their big difficulty starting the habit of just reading it on a regular basis. Once the habit is established it is much easier to move onto the next parts of the list. And there are lots of different ways to read the Bible, too. Wow, a list inside the first list that was in the list. Pretty cool! Here are a few ideas you might like to try.

1. Pick a book of the Bible – not the whole thing, just one book – and read it like a novel: that is, read it for ‘fun’. You will find some really good, enjoyable, engaging stories this way. Old Testament history books like Samuel or Nehemiah, or love stories in Esther and Ruth are likely ‘true novels’.

2. Read a shorter book all the way through to get the big picture. Ephesians or Philippians can actually be read in less than 15 minutes and the benefits are immeasurable.

3. In the back of most Bibles you’ll find a thing called a concordance. Pick a word and just find out what the Bible has to say about that one word. As a cabinetmaker I love searching for tree species to find out who used them and what they were used for.

4. The old fashioned “chapter a day keeps the devil away”. Be careful – you can get pretty legalistic about this and end up reading but not retaining the information.

5. Take your Bible outside and read a Psalm out loud. Um, not at your neighbor’s window – you won’t likely win them to Jesus and you might lose a friend! But out in the woods, by a stream or a pond, reading to the squirrels and rabbits – an unbelievable experience! David was an outdoorsman and reading his Psalms outside and out loud makes them come alive.

6. Jot one verse on a note card in your own handwriting and put it in your pocket and every time you run into it through the day just read it one more time. Don’t be hard on yourself – some days you’ll read a verse 20 times and others you’ll get to it only twice. And as you read, just allow it to talk to you instead of you trying to read something into it. You’ll discover a “living” word from God for you – very powerful!

These are just a few ideas to jump start your reading of God’s Word. Just remember that God desperately wants a relationship with you and this is one special way he talks to us.

Enjoy a ‘good book’ today.


Anonymous Terry said...

What a great post my friend. Reading Scripture should never be mundane or seem like a chore, but truth is even for seasoned Bible readers it can become that way. I rely on God so much every day to provide guidance, insight, strength, and wisdom whether at work or in study. Yet, the process of maintaining a close relationship can become "routine." It can happen between spouses as easily as it does with God. Yet these relationships are too valuable to allow to become mundane. You have given some good ideas for believers to "spice" up their devotions in order to keep God's Word a joy and a privilege, not a chore. Blessings Brother!

Blogger hennhouse said...

Thanks again, Dad. I always seem to start strong each January with the goal to read the whole Bible. Then I make it to Leviticus. Then I get behind. Then I get discouraged. I keep telling myself that this year is going to be it. I do appreciate the step-by-step list to getting into the word. Maybe this year will be the year!


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