Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A Little Bible Reading Can Go a Long Way

Don't get discouraged about Bible reading by thinking there's a quota you have to meet. You don't have to get through the whole Bible in a year and you don't have to read from several different sections in the same day. Even a short reading each day can have significant impact. Tom Elliff has a good example of this at his blog. He has made a practice for about 28 years of reading one chapter of Proverbs each day, regardless of whatever else he is reading in the Bible. His post gives some great insights into how putting the words of Proverbs before your mind every day can produce some valuable results. Having started my own daily Bible reading in Proverbs several years ago, I agree heartily with what he has to say about the benefits.

Tom's post identifies one of the key benefits of Bible reading: by spending time each day focusing on what God is teaching, you gradually learn to change your mindset and you begin to recognize bad or self-defeating attitudes in yourself. Reading your Bible is a regular reminder of what healthy thoughts are, and the more you listen to what you read and consciously try to incorporate it into how you think each day and how you make decisions, the more you will benefit from it.

The end goal of Bible reading is not just to learn some things about God. It is also to elevate your own thinking and improve your own choices so that you will be in harmony with God. The more you draw close to God and live and act in harmony with Him, the more you get to enjoy the way God designed you and what He has planned for your joy. God has a beautiful plan for you, but you won't get to appreciate or experience it unless you follow His instructions for it. Make no mistake: learning to listen to God and follow His instructions is a duty we all owe to Him because He is God Almighty and Lord over all. But God has not designed it to be simply a duty or obligation. He has planned it to be the pathway to our deepest satisfaction and joy.

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