“A righteousness has been made known” ~Romans 3:21
After their weekly Bible Study, Phil and James always took time to share coffee, muffins and their thoughts about the study at The Daily Grind.
“Do you have a Bible reading plan, Phil?”
“I used to, but no matter which system I’ve tried it always ends the same with feelings of disappointment, guilt and frustration that I don’t keep up the pace.
“The last one I began combined the Old and New Testaments with portions of the Psalms and Proverbs.”
“I don’t get it. That sounds like a good idea, Phil. How did it bring about a negative experience?”
“Life! All the requirements in my life got in the way. I found that attempting to add one more obligation was one too many. Instead of looking forward to reading the Bible in a year, it became a weight on my shoulders. Just another “thing” I had to accomplish. After the first month, I found myself significantly behind which brought guilt and disappointment in myself. Instead of basking in reading through God’s Word, I felt like a loser once again. I knew I would never catch up. What was wrong with me? I couldn’t even read the Bible regularly”
James chuckled as his friend poured out his heart. “I’ve been there and done that just like you. And guess what? I had the same results each time. So don’t feel like a loser. You just have to find a system that works. We know the Lord wants us to read the Bible which means I can go to Him for help.”
“Funny,” said Phil. “Going to the Lord asking for help in reading the Bible seems like a no-brainer but I’ve got to admit, I haven’t done it. At least not specifically.”
“What I do is really simple. I choose a section of the Bible to read with no time constraints at all. I may read a chapter at a sitting or I may read one verse. The Holy Spirit guides me with no regard for accomplishing anything. Instead, my goal is to understand what God wants me to understand. The number of verses does not enter into the experience. As you know the Book of James reminds us we can ask God for wisdom but we must believe without doubting. I discovered that asking God for wisdom should always precede our Bible reading and study times. For example, let’s see what God wants to show us in a couple of verses in 1 Corinthians.” They prayed and then opened to that section:
1 Corinthians 2:1-2
“When I first came to you, dear brothers and sisters, I didn’t use lofty words and impressive wisdom to tell you God’s secret plan. For I decided that while I was with you I would forget everything except Jesus Christ, the one who was crucified.”
If you’ve not tried this method, do so now. Ask God to give you His wisdom regarding this section of 1 Corinthians and believe that He will. Then take your time, don’t hurry through thinking it’s important to achieve a reading goal. That’s not important. What is important is what God will reveal to you and how that will change your life in some way.