“You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me! Yet you refuse to come to me to receive this life. John 5:39-40 NLT.
Many of you have embarked on the task of reading the whole Bible during the next year. Some have chosen smaller reading plans to develop the habit of daily reading the Bible. Perhaps you have already missed a reading or fallen behind. The mercies of the Lord are new everyday. Don’t go back yet, start with today’s readings and find a time to go back and catch up. Don’t lose sight of the main goal…find Jesus in your readings. He breathes life over the scriptures that you are reading for the renewing of your mind and spirit.
Some small actions to interact with Jesus as you read the Bible
- Always invite the Holy Spirit to illuminate the reading of the Bible before you start. This is not a mindless exercise of routine. Jesus said the Holy Spirit was given to each believer to lead and guide them into all truth. Submit your activity of reading to the Holy Spirit. Anticipate that He will engage your mind and spirit to the words that bring forth life for you.
- Savor the Flavor – Madame Guyon (1648 -1717), a French aristocrat who fell in love with the poor. captured this idea in helping people to learn to pray. She proposed a contemplative method of reading that helps engage the abiding presence of God leading to prayer. When your mind is pricked by a thought from the scriptures…pause to take a moment to “savor the flavor”. This practice, once learned, gives time for prayer with the Holy Spirit to engage with you as you are reading the Bible. The “smell” of a verse may capture your attention. Pausing a little longer to reflect on the scope of verse, it’s meaning and application is “taking the bite.” Engaging your emotional response to what you have just read is to “savor the flavor” of God’s truth to bring forth the renewing of your mind and spirit. These responses can include giving of thanks to God, a repentant heart and attitude, or an awareness of belonging that is captured by noticing how others have struggled with life as you have. Your emotional response brings your whole being into the reading activity and marks the moment to remembrance
- Your daily reading is your spiritual life source. Peter declared to Jesus, “where else can we go? You,alone, have the words of life.” In video games the characters have life energy monitors to display their remaining strength from the wounds of their battles. The game places life source pieces for players to connect and receive renewed energy to continue the game. You lose quickly if you don’t find a way to connect to these pieces. Sorry adults, I know this illustration connects with the younger generation quite well. The reality of this illustration is still true. The engagement of finding Jesus words of life for our lives through the reading of the Bible is the primary source of renewed strength for us personally. No Bible integration, little to no transformation. ( I understand that those who can not read can still grow deeper in their relationship with Jesus, this is primary formula that God gives to babies in Christ to grow up…it’s in the word.) Find a way to connect to God, every time you read it. Your spirit will come to life and grow into the image of Jesus.
May you be blessed with a contagious excitement over God speaking directly to you through your reading of the Bible that makes you want to share with others what God is saying.
Blessings Love y’all