For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. Romans 15:4 ESV
My desire for each of us in 2020 is that WE MIGHT HAVE HOPE! Hope is so needed in the times that we are enduring. Untimely death of our youth through accidents, drugs, texting, and suicide are extremely devastating. Cancer and other diseases create fear of death and loss of loved ones. As my children said when they were young, “it’s 6:00 o’clock, is it time to turn on the “bad news”?
Hope that is beyond feeling is found in a relationship with Jesus, but it grows stronger through the reading of the Bible. Paul stated that Scriptures were written to instruct and teach us. The examples of people interacting in their pursuit with God open doors in our hearts to relate to God at a deeper level. Worship connects us to God, the word becomes the solid foundation on which we stand in His presence. Both are needed.
Please make a commitment to read God’s word daily this year. You don’t eat a years worth of physical food in one day, neither do you consume all of God’s Word at one time. It is the daily routine of small bites that gives the strength to endure each day.
Over the next several days, I will expound on several well known verses referencing the Word of God. For now, I want to encourage you to do two things.
- Create a tiny habit for reading the Bible daily. BJ Fogg has written a book called Tiny Habits from his years of research. I have no affiliation with his work, other than implementing his technique that he offers. You can practice his steps at his website of tinyhabits. His premise is simple, new habits are formed by attaching them to existing habits.
- For me, my goal was to drink more water. I accomplished this habit by integrating the action of this simple statement. “When I turn on the light in the kitchen first thing in the morning, I will fill a small glass of water to drink.” I remember this statement every morning I walk into the kitchen and turn on the light. Filling the glass was connected to an action that I was already doing.
- A baby step for starting to read the Bible must be connected to an activity that is already regular and accomplished without thinking if you are going to be successful at creating the habit.
- You know your routine. Find something that you do everyday, that you can connect a few minutes for you to read the Bible. Then write down the statement, When I…..Then I will…. You must write it down. I don’t know all the reasons why, but it locks the commitment into your memory.
- Some examples -”When I finish tying my shoes, I will read 1 chapter.” “When I sit down at the table with my coffee, I will read 1 psalm of the day”, “When I bring the paper inside the house, I will lay it down beside my Bible and not open the paper until I have opened and closed my Bible.” “When I let the dog outside, I will open my Bible to today’s reading”.
- All I can tell you is the system worked for me to remember to fill a glass of water, just by turning on the light. Connect your new habit (a very small new habit) to an activity that you are already doing. You will be surprised at how easy it is to start a Bible Reading habit.
- Dr. Fogg says that once a tiny habit is established, you can add another layer of another small habit to it.
- Determine your plan of daily readings of the Bible.
- Youversion app has multiple reading plans for you to follow.
- Use a devotional booklet like My Daily Bread.
- I am using a plan by Robert M’Cheyenne (1813-1843) in which you read 4 chapters each day. It’s designed to read 2 in the morning and 2 in the evening. You can print the plan or use the app called Reading Plan which will give reminders on your phone. You will read the OT once during the year and the NT and Psalms twice. Here is the calendar link The M’Cheyne Bible Calendar
- No plan, no success. Find a plan that is simple and one that you enjoy.
If you are already faithfully reading your Bible, find someone else who is struggling so that you can encourage them in creating a daily Bible reading habit.
In 2020, may you become immersed in God’s hope that is found in the reading of the Scriptures.
Blessings Love y’all