For the Purpose of Godliness… Bible Intake

So I’m back to start the next chapter: Bible Intake Part 1.

The alternative to discipline is disaster. No spiritual discipline is more important than the intake of God’s word. There is no substitute for it. Lord, I confess that often I honor you with my lips but neglect you in my heart. I am often far from your word. I confess this and repent of it. Lord, I will strive to grow in the disciplines, especially this one of Bible intake. Grant me strength and will. For I can do no good thing apart from your power. Amen

Hearing God’s word is an important aspect of Bible intake. Luke 11:28 and Romans 10:17 both speak favorable of hearing God’s word. A church is a good place to do this. But other means are good too, such as recordings. Consider tape lending services and short wave radio. 1 Timothy 4:13 speaks favorably of corporate Word reading, preaching and teaching. Private “golf course” worship is possible but not a viable replacement. It is important that we prepare our hearts and minds to hear the word of God. This is true in church. We should hold hearing the word with higher reverence than we do. This is a discipline to be cultivated.

Reading God’s Word is also important. Since “all scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,” shouldn’t we read it? This must be a discipline. John Blanchard wrote on how often we should take in God’s Word. How often do we face problems, temptation, or pressure, need instruction, guidance, or encouragement, or need to see God’s face again? Everyday. DL Moody said a man can no more store up grace for the future than he can eat for six months at a time or breathe once for the rest of his life.

Practical suggestions for reading the Word regularly: Find a time. This takes discipline. But it is worthwhile. If it is when you are tired and sleepy, you will retain little. Find a plan, a schedule. Meditate on at least one word or phrase during each reading. This deepens understanding and helps us remember what we have read.

Reading God’s word gives us breadth, but studying gives us depth. Studying is very important. Consider Ezra who disciplined himself to study Gods word, to apply it, and to teach it (Ezra 7:10). Let us not fail to study God’s word. When you read, write things down. Cross reference. Outline, a chapter or paragraph at a time. This will give a strong understanding of the text. Read books by others but do not fail to explore the Bible for yourself.

More application. If your growth in godliness were measured by the quality of your Bible intake, what would be the result? What is one thing you can do to improve your intake of God’s word? The chapter closes with an exhortation from pastor Geoffrey Thomas to read the Word.


One Response

  1. Thanks Nathan! That synopsis was helpful, especially meditating on the one word to retain what you read.
    I’m glad you’re keeping up the blog!

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