If you have spent any time around New Life, you will recall the statement “I want to get into God’s Word, until God’s Word gets into me.” A major emphasis at New Life this past year has been to encourage our faith community to engage the content in the Bible on a regular basis. If you have started this discipline you recognize the frustration of regularly starting and stopping the process.
As I stay connected with our Dgroup leaders I hear the discouragement that we all feel when we fail to stay faithful to reading God’s Word on a daily basis. Although this has been a major emphasis throughout the church you may still find yourself discouraged because there is no real regularity in your scripture reading. I want to offer some potential reasons for a lack of motivation to stay faithful to regular Bible reading.
You and I both know that when it comes to Bible reading too often “the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.” I know the frustration of desiring a regular fruitful time in the Bible only to experience dull and inconsistent attempts that eventually lead to no Bible reading at all. If you ever find yourself in this position take time to re-examine the true state of your conviction. Meditate on this passage from 2 Timothy 3:16-17:
All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.
Sometimes we are just lazy. We forget to do the things that we know are very important. Sometimes we neglect things to the point where we almost forget that they are important to us and that we once benefit greatly from them. Often times we need to be shaken up a bit and moved out of our comfort zone. An attitude of complacency when it comes to Bible reading is dangerous. The Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary defines “complacency” as “a feeling of calm satisfaction with your own abilities or situation that prevents you from trying harder.” Unfortunately complacency settles in when I become comfortable with the status quo and I have no desire for things to change. Listen to the prophet Amos as he speaks to the complacent heart:
Thus says the LORD the God of hosts: Woe to the complacent in Zion! Lying upon beds of ivory, stretched comfortably on their couches, They eat lambs taken from the flock, and calves from the stall! Improvising to the music of the harp, like David, they devise their own accompaniment. They drink wine from bowls and anoint themselves with the best oils; yet they are not made ill by the collapse of Joseph! Therefore, now they shall be the first to go into exile, and their wanton revelry shall be done away with. (Amos 6:1.4-7).
It is easy to fall into the category where you read something in the Bible that you don’t understand and create your own conclusions about the meaning of a text in the Bible. It is important to remember that Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would give understanding. "When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.” (John 16:13). “There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.” (2 Peter 3:16) Nevertheless it is important to stay committed to the process and use a simple procedure like SOAP to help develop the skill identifying the meaning of a passage. Here are a few additional steps to take if you find your morning routine of Bible reading unprofitable and filled with confusion:
These are just a few examples that can help you preserve through the endless process of confusion. Take time to evaluate your current commitment to Bible reading. I’m praying hard that God would create a faith community at New Life that has a passion for the Word of God. Happy reading...
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.