Faith Habits – Read and Ask
What do you see?
Seriously, where do your eyes first go and then dwell? (make the photo as large as you can to do this.)
The enormity of this bulging cloud is hard to miss, but if you gaze at the scene long enough you can see the golden evening sun on the distance mountains and it’s just stunning.
In life, the ominous dark clouds can overtake our view, our perspective and affect our daily choices. If we are patient we will not only see the beauty beyond the current struggle, but much like clouds here in the desert, we will see that the cloud will pass and will often not even produce any lasting effects… not a drop in the desert. It’s important to be aware of potential storm clouds in life, however, worry will not change the weather. Worry can change your choices though.
Are You a Fair Weather Reader?
Switching gears here, this picture also reveals the challenges often found as new or newly returned Jesus followers read the Bible. It’s easy to read about the “love” and the amazing parables, proverbs and psalms, but can be very challenging to read some of the heavier, more difficult books in the Bible like the prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Revelation.
Read And Ask
The Bible truly is the LIVING word. I didn’t read it’s entirety until I was in my 40’s. Every time I read it I feel like more or even different areas of focus come alive to me. However, certain books are REALLY hard to understand sometimes or simply just can seem dark and not represent what we want God to be. Bottom line God is who He is regardless of what we want Him to be.
The Bible can be challenging to read, many people debate what certain parts mean. Even the apostles asked Jesus what some things He said meant. So, here are some habits to consider as you read the Bible.
1) Choose a Devotion/Bible Study: Consider joining a Bible study (online or in person) or following a devotional guide. There are many daily reading guided devotions, be sure to find one that is Christ centered and walks you through context and clarity of what you are reading. (See resources at the FaithHabits.org website)
2) Minimize Distractions: Find a time to read where there are little to no distractions. For instance, set an alarm for 15-30 min before everyone in your house gets up.
3) Ask and Receive: Before you even start to read “Ask” God to open your eyes and heart so you can absorb what He wants you to know.
4) Don’t Skip the Hard Stuff: Yes, there are wars and famine and dark things talked about in the Bible. There are really hard books to understand. It would be nice to simply live in the short, simple, tidy books like Psalms and Proverbs, but the bigger picture is that God has something to teach us in all of it.
5) Simply Start: Open your Bible up and start. Don’t over think the process or wait until you have the perfect game plan or time slot. Not everyone can read the Bible from front to finish. My Granny Pearl always told me to just open and read where I opened. She said “God will speak to you.”… And He did. He will speak to you. Start making it a habit and wisdom will reveal itself through His word.
BibleGateway.com – Look up verses, change translations and languages
YouVersion Devotions – find study topics, join others, create verse/graphics
Verve Catalyst Daily Bible Reading Plan – Say What? So What? Now What? Great simple summary and questions