The Discipline of Scripture Reading
It is important to periodically pause to rethink our plans and priorities. To help us settle in on what the Lord desires for each of us, we need to refresh our minds with God’s plan. One key passage is I Timothy 4:7.
Paul says we are to discipline our selves towards godliness. What are the disciplines that encourage a godly life? The first and foremost discipline is the Discipline of the Scriptures.
Time alone with God in His Word, the Scriptures, is the great necessity of our spiritual lives. We need to be alone with God daily! We need to find times to get away alone. E. Stanley Jones once described time in the Scriptures as a “time exposure to God.” He used the analogy of his life being like a photographic plate which, when exposed to God, progressively bore the image of God in keeping with the length of exposure.
Please open with me to the center of your Bibles and find Psalm 16.11. “You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”
The Lord wants you to discipline yourself to get in His Scripture each day (daily bread, not by bread alone) so He can arrange, accompany, and authorize your life. Is your life authorized by God? Do you live under His authority? Is he making the arrangements for you to have the best life there can be here on earth? Does He accompany you through every moment of every day – filling your days and nights with joy? That is what the Lord offers us in the Scriptures.
~If you will listen to the Lord speak to you through the Word you can rest in His arrangements for your life. “You will show me the path of life”
~If you will listen to the Lord speak to you through the Word you can enjoy His companionship through life. “In Your presence is fullness of joy;”
~If you will listen to the Lord speak to you through the Word you can rest in His authority over your life. “At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore”
How can we start cultivating time alone with God? Where do we start?
First, we can get alone with God most readily by reading God's Word! This is the voice of God, we must listen. It is amazing that a Christian can imagine that he or she can live a Christian life without regularly reading the Bible, for that is impossible! Our minds are such that we do not retain what we need to know. They need to be refreshed again and again. Some who have been believers for years have never read the Bible through once. There are truths God has for us that we have not inconvenienced ourselves enough to discover. No wonder we are empty. What a difference reading the Word can make in our lives.
Dr. Harry Ironside, a man of little formal education but great power, read the Bible fourteen times by the age of fourteen. His mark is still on Chicago and indeed the entire world. Five pages a day is a good place to begin. Within a year you will have read the entire Bible. We begin to get alone with God only when we take God's Word seriously as more important than our daily meals.
You must remember this: You can never have a Christian mind without reading the Scriptures regularly because you cannot be deeply influenced by that which you do not know. If you are filled with God's Word, your life can then be informed and directed by God - your domestic relationships, your child-rearing, your career, your ethical decisions, your interior morality. The only way to a Christian mind is through God's Word!
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