When I was first saved back in 1976 I had an instant and insatiable hunger for God’s Word. I received a King James Bible from a parishioner’s husband who was a Pentecostal and I purchased a current version of the Bible which, back then, was the Living Bible. I read both and read them a lot. In fact, in the first three months of my walk with Jesus I read the whole Bible cover-to-cover. To this day I continue to read large chunks or portions of the Bible every day and pursue a somewhat vigorous study plan as I dig deep into the treasures and the beauty of His Word.
I don’t do this as a pastor or someone who teaches the Bible on a weekly basis. This is not something I do because I spend time every day writing articles, blogs, and a book… I do this because the Bible states that “man does not live by physical bread alone…” (Matthew 4:4). I do this because the Bible states that we are to “study to show ourselves approved and a good workman of the word” (2 Timothy 2:15). So, as a believer, a disciple of the Lord I try to make time every day (I often miss on Sundays) to read and study the Bible – various versions, different books of the Bible, in-depth on certain passages. I follow a pattern that changes every year as variety does help keep reading and studying fresh and vital to me personally.
It is not always easy to find time – in fact, I never find time; I simply make time. I deliberately set my alarm earlier than I have to; I turn the television off earlier in the evening or simply miss the news altogether so as to make time to be in His Word. If something I was to be at gets cancelled I don’t schedule something or someone else – I read my Bible. I am very focused and determined when it comes to reading and studying God’s Word simply because I am a disciple of the Lord and He often speaks through His written Word and I need to hear Him speak every day. This is one of the main ways that He does that – communicate with His people.
You may think it is easy because I work in the Church and in ministry. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is harder. Because once I have the Word of God in my hand and I am reading my tendency is to flip into teacher mode and be looking for things to teach and share from the various venues where I minister on a regular basis. It is seriously difficult to turn the “teacher mode” off and just be a child of God as I read and study my Father’s Word. But it is always worth the effort.
As we approach the celebration of the birth of “the Word made flesh” – Jesus – let’s remember that He has given us the written Word to help us to walk with and understand the Living Word whose birth we celebrate. This holiday season – think about your Bible reading and Bible study plans for the new year we are fast approaching. And, even make plans not to lose your time in the Word during this especially busy season of extra activities and events that cry out for our attention and attendance.