I’m like a lot of Americans—I need to get in shape. And, ironically, I know exactly what to do to make that happen. In fact, from all the books and articles I’ve read, I’d probably make a decent health-and-wellness counselor. (My most important advice: Do as I say, not as I’ve done!)
It’s strange, but with all that know-how and strategy, I’m not where I want to be health-wise. I need to grow in that area (shrink, actually) if I am to be a faithful steward of the life God gave me. So while I resolve afresh to jump on the treadmill, I hope that I don’t make the same mistake when it comes to the spiritual discipline of Bible intake:
Talking about taking action feels, in itself, like I’m taking action. But I’m not.
Discussing the joys and strategies of spiritual discipline might sooth your conscience and lead you to believe you’re on the right track, but it means nothing it if isn’t followed by concrete action. It would be easy to read every article in Revive—to be moved by Carrie’s story about reading the Word to her kids, to be motivated by Don’s challenge to meditate, to tell your small group about Pastor Tom’s plan for praying the Scriptures—and that would be commendable.
You might even think that you’ve taken a big step forward in your devotional life.
But you haven’t. Not yet. Football teams don’t score any points while they’re in the huddle.
Learning about a disciplined life is not the same as living a disciplined life. The first question I’m concerned with is not, “How will you read the Bible?” or, “What method will you use?” or even, “Will you get the right interpretation?”
My question is, “Will you start right now?” I won’t be offended if you quit reading this immediately and dive into God’s Word. I’d be elated, actually! In our Making It Personal section, we’ve printed a simple, seven-day starter outline for Bible reading. You could jump in with both feet, right now, and expect God to teach you new and thrilling things. You could be challenged to new obedience, revived with new joy, or even sent on a new, divine mission. Not through my words, but through His Word. Not from a Bible-based resource, but from the Bible itself.
You can start a habit in the next ten minutes that will redefine your whole life, enrich your ministry to others, grow your relationship with God, and set a new course for your future. You can join the millions of believers worldwide who have discovered that the Bible’s life-changing power is worth their time, their sacrifice—and, in some dark places, their very lives. You can pray to God along with the psalmist, “I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word” (Psa. 119:16 niv).
You can begin reading your Bible right now.
Copyright © 2009 Revive magazine, Vol. 40, #3 “Bible Boredom,” by Life Action Ministries. Dan Jarvis is the Managing Editor of Revive magazine.