Friday, May 27, 2011

Bible Reading

A reader asked me a few questions about my Bible reading. So I thought I'd share how I do this and where I am in this. Bible reading is crucial to staying close with the Lord. Do you hear me? Again, you cannot be as close to the Lord as you should be without reading AND comprehending what the scriptures say. There have been times when I didn't read my Bible the way I should. I will not lie. I know that those times were times when I was not drawing near to the Lord as I should have. Praise the Lord, that the more you read, the more you want to read. This is the Lord drawing you near. Fellowship is so sweet!

Practically speaking, this is my opinion. I do not like reading programs AT ALL! I say to burn them. ***This is my opinion*** They set you up to feel like a failure and they can make you fail at what your goal is. So what is your goal? Is it to zoom through your reading as fast as you can to say that you finished the Bible a time or two in a year? And how much can you comprehend during that time? How much did you feast on? What did you learn? That you can read really fast? What is your blessing from this? How are you blessing the Lord from this?

Oh, you ask what I do? I'll tell you a little bit just to give you an idea of what I do. I am not saying this is best, but it works for me...a mom of several children and several distractions. It's what I learned over the years. As, I type this I have the urge to get alone with God. You see, after a last night at church I slept in this morning. I missed my time in with the Lord. I WILL get this in today, though, as I have an extreme hunger for this. Where did the hunger come from? At first you don't always have a hunger. Even if you don't like a medicine, you must take it as it's good for you. After you find that it's does you good, you will come to crave that medicine. This is the Bible for me. So, I missed my dose at 7:00 this morning. I will get in my hour in a bit. You say how? I slept in this morning, folks. I won't need to rest later. The children will have their required quiet time though.

How much do I read? I won't share that with you. I will simply share that you need to choose a book of the Bible and FEAST on it. Read it as slow as you need to, to comprehend it, learn from it, digest it and grow from it. Keep reading until you have had your fill. Until you feel you've grown and have been nourished. You know, sometimes you may read one short chapter and you have to stop and think on what you've read. Sometimes you may have to read three chapters to get what you need. No reading program can possibly dictate what YOU need.

While I do read by chapters sometimes, I read by pages a lot of times. I mark at the corner of the pages of my Bible what I've read. I have simply put check marks at times and then sometimes I put the year (11'). Recently I started writing study notes on sticky pads and I'll put the sticky note on the page I've studied. It's there till I need it. It's there to refer back to later.

I always like to have my time of prayer coupled with my Bible reading/study. I have a sticky page stuck in the back of my Bible with a simple list such as: Husband, children, extended family, church family, hurting people, message board, etc.
As I read down the list I pray for the things on the list. For example, when I read "extended family", I think of what all is going on in the family outside our household and any burdens and concerns with those, I hand over to God. This is works best for me.

Usually an hour is all I get in one sitting. Usually it is in the morning after my husband is sent off to work and before the children demand my attention. There are those days that I sleep in and don't wake up till the children do. Or there are those days when the children get up as early as I. If they do, then I go ahead, feed them and as they eat I then get in my Bible reading. I like it first in the morning but if it doesn't work out, like today, then I will get it in during quiet time. I crave and miss it when I don't get it in. It is not a burden as I am not sticking to any man's plan. It is a blessing because I am tasting God's Word. He is talking to me and I sit, rest in the quiet and meditate. I feel refreshed and at peace and I don't feel tired or stressed. I don't have a feeling of "okay, I've done that. Check!". I have a feeling of thankfulness and a gain of fellowship.

I do try to move forward in the scriptures and read what I feel compelled to read due to current happenings in life or simply because of what I haven't studied as much and should. Sometimes I "chase rabbits" by doing a word study, or a study on someone in the Bible or finding verses to go with what I am reading.

Like I said, I am not perfect. I have fallen off the wagon before in reading before and pray that I don't again. But by the grace of God, there go I! Don't think that I have it together. My flesh is as wretched as the next. It is God that keeps me as I strive to please Him, I do fail and falter. It's like exercise, the more you move- the more you want to move....or eating- the more you eat the more you want to eat...or drinking water- the more you drink, the more you want to drink. Only thing is it's the Word. Labor in the Word-- you'll want more of it. Taste the Word, you'll want more of it. Drink from the Fountain, you'll want more of it.

Happy reading!


Naturally Blessed Mama said...

Thank you for sharing this!! I have been working through the Bible in a year, and because of a few times where I faltered, and skipped my reading, I became horribly behind, and felt my reading time became mearly catching up. I love this idea, I think it would give the Holy Spirit a chance to guide and direct where I need to be instead of following some man's plan. What a blessing! Thanks!


Anonymous said...

This is SO COOL!!!!!!
It is refreshing to get an honest answer but more awesome to know that if I follow the leading of God, I can't go wrong even if it does/doesn't look like what someone else might be doing. Thanks for sharing this Susan, I'm encouraged already! ~Heather~

Winona said...

Great post, Susan! I think I really needed to read this today. I have been trying to follow a plan and have become hopelessly behind. I have found myself reading to catch up and not really taking in what I read. Thank you!