I am thankful for the resources we have to connect with people during this time of social distancing. I am encouraged to hear personal victories in your life through spiritual growth. I look forward to connect with many from the church family through zoom meetings and phone conversations. I also recognize that this season is teaching me to value the relationships and specifically the regular corporate meetings we often experience at New Life.
I do hope that you are finding great encouragement through morning and evening prayer as well as your time reading the Bible. It is not uncommon to hear people express frustration with the discipline of Bible reading. If you have had difficulty developing a consistent routine of Bible reading here are a few suggestions I think you will find helpful. If you do have a regular discipline I think these practices will be a good reminder that will help keep your Bible plan fresh.
1. Pray before you read the Bible
In Psalm 119:18, the author says, “Open my eyes that I may behold wondrous things out of your law”. The Psalmist is asking God to give him the ability to see truth for his soul. He is praying by God’s grace he would see the beautiful treasures that God has revealed in His word. To behold God’s glory, to see God for who He really is, to learn about His ways, to be instructed by His truth, and to be changed and conformed to His image. Spend time praying like the Psalmist before you read the Bible.
2. Meditate on the scripture that you read
In Psalm 1, the “blessed man is the one whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night” (v.2). It describes him as a “tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season” (v.3). To be nourished by God and grow as a Christian and bear fruit in our lives means we must plant ourselves by the word of God, and meditate on it day and night. To “meditate” on God’s word is to think deeply about it, repeating and rehearsing what you’ve read in your mind and heart as you consider all that it means for you.
3. Focus on the consistent discipline of reading
In Isaiah 50:4, the perfect Servant of God says, “He awakens me morning by morning; he awakens my ear to listen as a disciple”. As disciples of Jesus, we need to imitate this model of early “morning by morning listening” to God by spending time in His word. This is the heart of a disciple.
Take Time to Read your Bible
Having a “quiet time” with God in the morning requires discipline, but is more about the gracious initiative of God, who is willing to meet with us over a cup of coffee at the kitchen table and speak tenderly to our hearts. By humbly praying before you read, deeply meditating on what you read, and consistently practicing this discipline, we can expect God to bear much fruit in our lives. We are moved by his Spirit to learn truth, be convicted of sin, confess struggles, repent, worship, and glorify God.
Our Pastor writes most of the blog posts we publish, however, occasionally some of our other church leadership (some staff, some volunteer) who also contribute to the New Life blog.