“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
(II Timothy 2:15)
“But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
(II Timothy 3:14-17)
Thoughts… Congratulations! If you are reading this blog, you have taken the time to absorb God’s Word today. If you have been diligent to study the Bible this past year, whether through this ministry or by some other means, well done!
I know of no greater spiritual discipline than Bible study—reading, meditating, journaling, praying the Scriptures—that will contribute to your health and growth as a believer. It’s as simple as that. If you want to mature in your faith, morph into greater Christlikeness, deepen your knowledge of God, insulate your life from sin, enlarge your Kingdom effectiveness, increase your spiritual power, develop life skills for the daily challenges you face, and in general, live in the blessing zone of God’s favor, you’ve got to be in God’s Holy Word on a regular, if not daily, basis.
I like what Samuel Chadwick, the nineteenth century writer, said, “No man is uneducated who knows the Bible, and no one is wise who is ignorant of its teachings.” Bible reading is that critical to your very life!
I hope and pray that you will now join me in the daily reading of God’s Word from cover to cover in 2009. I have provided two creative reading options for you that you can access on the upper right hand panel of this page by clicking on the 2009 BIBLE READING PLAN button.
Check them out—I think they are pretty cool. Personally, I am choosing Option 2. And just a note about the content of this blog over the next 12 months: The devotional postings will be based on my study of the Psalms and Proverbs. Hopefully, as we access these two books, we will tap into the intimacy of the Psalms and the practical wisdom of Proverbs in way that will contribute to the spiritual transformation of our lives this next year.
Of course, you can choose your own Bible reading plan, but no matter what you do, choose to read God’s Word in 2009. By the way, there is no greater act of faith, obedience and yes, even worship, than to devote yourself to “rightly dividing the Word of truth.” Take a moment to meditate on what Dr. John D. Garr wrote in, “Study: The Highest Form of Worship.”
When Christians think of worship, images of the Sunday morning worship service come to view, with singing, praying, giving, preaching, and sharing the sacrament. Study is perhaps something that is done in preparation for worship, but could Christians ever conceive of study, itself, as an act of worship, even the highest form of worship? When we analyze this concept, however, we begin to understand that intensive study of the Word of God is the most reliable way in which God can speak to us and cause us to understand His will and His ways … Study of the Word of God, then, with a view toward doing the Word, is an act of submission to the divine will, the essence of true worship … The decision to study God’s Word in order to do His Word is a meaningful act of submission and reverence–in short, it is worship … Abraham Joshua Heschel [observed] that the Greeks study in order to understand while the Hebrews study in order to revere … Study of God’s Word in order to mold one’s lifestyle to that Word is … worship in the truest sense of the English word worship, which means to “ascribe worth to.” When we fully submit our lives to God’s Word, when we study what he has said with complete devotion and intensity, we do, indeed, ascribe worth to him: we worship him.
Best to you as you read God’s Word in 2009! May you come to know him more intimately than ever before this year.
Prayer… Heavenly Father, thank you for your Holy Word. Give me deeper passion and daily strength to consume it this coming year. And Father, may your Word consume me!
One More Thing… “The Word of God well understood and religiously obeyed is the shortest route to spiritual perfection. And we must not select a few favorite passages to the exclusion of others. Nothing less than a whole Bible can make a whole Christian.” —A.W. Tozer