A few weeks ago Pastor Mike put out a strong call to the church, asking, “Are you reading the Bible? Are you allowing it to read you?” Again the plea to feed on the Word of GOD — look at it, think on it, prayerfully apply it. It is called the “Living Word” for a reason.
For those of you who are, who are cultivating this practice, there comes a time when the bond between you and the Word of GOD becomes inseparable; you are so led by it, so washed in it, so comforted, so fed, so dependant on what the Spirit is doing in your life through it. You will LOVE the Word of GOD. You will treasure it!
Friends, the month is turning over and the August guide is out (posted here online and at the Connect Centre). Today I want to take a moment to explain it once again.
The reading guide is a guide — a tool. We do this every single month so that we aren’t random with our reading. From beginning to end, we are invited to sit with these many Biblical mentors — Old and New Testament. The beauty of doing this as a community is we have a shared experience we can talk about.
You don’t have to conquer the guide — there is usually an Old Testament Reference, a New Testament Reference and a Psalm or Proverb. You can read everything, or you can just track with one or two of those readings. You don’t have to conquer it all. For myself, I have been following the New Testament Readings and sometimes the Psalm. Sometimes I save a Psalm for Saturday/Sunday (since the guide is for 5 days of the week). Don’t get “rule bound” with it…just enjoy the journey.
You can’t get everything out of it if you don’t reflect on it in writing — you can try to convince yourself otherwise but, as John Piper says, “pens and pencils have eyes.” Don’t give yourself an excuse to bypass this…write in a journal in your own awkward way. This isn’t an exercise to impress anyone — it is an exercise of honesty, it is a decision to command your heart to be examined, to slow yourself down to hear, to more deeply see and apply what the Spirit is showing you. This takes practice and as a church we say: “Yes Lord, we are willing to do this small thing!” Psalm 85:8 says, “Let me hear what God the LORD will speak…”
If you enter into this sincerely and don’t give up SEEKING the Lord (think on this word, it is a word used throughout Scripture…the Lord wants us to SEEK Him) — this beautiful gift of GOD’s Word and your conversation with the Spirit as you soak in it is going to become the story of your life.
Today, I give you my extremely messy printing as an example of my Ds in Psalm 84 this past week…it was such a shot of adrenaline!