I’m a chocoholic. If a bowl of treats are anywhere in the vicinity I have a hard time saying no. However, as much as I would love to, I can not live on Snickers and Heath Bars alone. We each need a varied diet of protein, carbs, healthy fats, as well as essential vitamins and minerals for our body to function as it should.
This is also true for our spiritual living. We need a stout intake of God’s Word in our lives. There have been times when I walk around starved for Biblical nutrition, and other times where I’m only eating the crumbs off other people’s table, and still other seasons where I was in the Word, yet kept going to the same passages again and again. I love Philippians. Ephesians is awesome, too . . and the Psalms, Proverbs 31, and let's not forget James. But if I remain in the same passages again and again, I am not going to receive all the Bible holds for me.
The Bible is God-breathed, profitable, and brings completeness and training in righteousness. (2 Timothy 3:14-17) It is oh-so-much more than a book on my shelf. It’s my life-support, my guide, my trainer, and God has chosen to bring His work in me to completion in large part through the ingestion and digestion of His holy Word. In turn (just like anything important and investment-worthy) I must choose to fight to make it central to my days.
Here are four practices I’ve found fruitful in my own life as I strive to make a steady, well-rounded diet of the Bible a priority in my life.
1. Read through the Bible regularly.
There are many great reading plans out there. I’ve enjoyed the insight gathered from the NLT Chronological plan, as well as the She Reads Truth #365daysoftruth plan. If you are in a busy season of life, and are finding it difficult to find regular time sitting in front of God's Word, consider listening to it. There are many great free audio versions available online.
2. Choose a variety of passages to study deeper.
It’s really tempting to pick the popular books — those worn-in, comfortable jeans that are easy to get in and out of and feel “just right.” Why not look for a new pair to break in? Doing so will provide varied items for our “Biblical wardrobe” from both the Old and New Testament, type of writing, as well as a variety of authors. Remember that ALL of the Bible has been hand-picked by God's Spirit to be included in the Scriptures. Even Leviticus.
3. Find a church with a pastor who preaches through the Bible.
When a pastor primarily preaches topical sermons, he is bound to miss out on important, needed themes. We all have our favorites, and our preferences . . . and our topics we would rather avoid. Over time, this leads to an unbalanced intake of God's Word. Instead, if we’re learning from a pastor with a systematic approach through the Bible, journeying through both the Old and New Testament, without skipping the difficult passages, we place ourselves under the whole counsel of Scripture, instead of merely the topics that seemed appropriate for the time.
4. Listen to solid podcasts for bonus, on-the-go teaching.
We are truly blessed to live in this age of technology where there are so many resources at our fingertips and accessible 24/7. Lets take advantage of this! I love to listen to podcasts while I’m working out, doing dishes, or running errands. Any time where my hands are busy but my mind is available for input. My recent favorite is Jen Wilkin. I also have a teaching podcast, geared toward receiving the Word in 15 minute chunks. If your church tends toward the topical, consider supplementing with some good teaching podcasts.
Any time spent in the Bible is time well spent. I pray today God opens your eyes to new ways to get in the Word to explore some of the more unfamiliar books and passages. You might be surprised at all He has in store for you!
What would you add to this list of how to have a balanced diet of God’s Word?
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Grace-clinger. Truth-speaker. Pastor's wife. Mommy of 3. As a Bible study writer, retreat speaker, and local women's ministry leader, Katie is passionate about equipping others to walk intimately with God for a lifetime. Katie currently serves as the Social Media Specialist and Community Manager for Flourish.me, a ministry of the North American Mission Board to ministry wives. Learn more about Katie on her website KatieOrr.me.
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