The Bible 101 - Part 3
Finding Rhythm by Cole Feix
Oh hey, short on time? No worries! I'd love to join you on your commute or daily walk/run, or shoot, even while you take care of that to-do list. We can't let these things get in the way of this friendship. It's just starting to get good! Click below to listen to the blogcast.
I gathered with a group of friends for dinner not too long ago and somewhere between bites of lasagna and laughs about a bowl of green beans (true story), conversation led to what we were each reading in The Bible. I can't really tell ya how we got there but we did.
Before sharing, one led with the disclaimer, "I'm still learning..."
These three words have stayed with me ever since. I hope and pray this remains true for this friend and for me always. I hope and pray this is true for you, for all of us. May we always come to the Word of God with a humble heart, ready to learn. May there never be a time when pride clouds our vision and we arrogantly think we know all there is to know about God.
If this is ever the case, oh friend, we've limited God. And I don't know about you but I don't want to serve a God I can completely understand. I want to serve a God who is bigger and more powerful than I could ever comprehend.
The coolest thing about The Bible is we could read it a zillion times and always learn something new. Based on our seasons and the time in our lives, different parts of Scripture will stand out to us. New insight builds upon the previous insight and we are engaged and learning and becoming made new.
You see, I love this book so much, because while my soul has been saved by Jesus, my mind is saved by daily reading The Bible. Our minds are so prone to be filled with less worthy things. We need to be renewed daily.
I am stoked to introduce you to my friend, Cole Feix, this week. He is the Senior Pastor at Carlton Landing Community Church in Carlton Landing, OK and the president of So We Speak Media, a media company designed to keep Christians informed about the world without being conformed to it. He writes a weekly newsletter called the Weekly Speak and hosts the So We Speak podcast.
You're gonna want to check out So We Speak - I come to it as a sponge and try to soak in as much as I can. And it's no different for the words he is sharing with us this week...
So there you are. You’re a few weeks into your new 2022 Bible reading plan and you’re starting to lose steam. Thus far, you’ve gotten up early, made coffee, grabbed your Bible, and plowed through a chapter every day of the new year. But life happens and now you’ve missed a day. Or maybe you’re not getting what you hoped out of the text. Better yet, you’re thriving and loving every minute, but you’re wondering how to grow more in the way you apply what you read every morning to your daily life.
Whatever scenario you find yourself in, let’s start with the first thing first - you’ve chosen the single greatest thing you can do in the New Year: spending time with God in his word every day. There’s no resolution, life hack, or goal that will make a bigger impact in your life. Resolve to grow in your relationship with God every day. For one thing, he created you. He knows how you work. In fact, he actually knew what each day of your life would hold before you took your first breath (Ps. 139:13-16). And the best thing is he promises to walk with you through every single one of them. The most common promise in the Bible is, I will be with you.
In addition to all that, God made you for himself. He designed you in such a way that you’re only truly you when you’re in relationship with him. I heard another pastor a couple of months ago talking about the “Rule of 4.” Spending time in God’s Word four times a week is the hinge point for total life change. When you’re in the rhythm of reading the Bible four times a week, your sense of spiritual stagnation is cut in half. Temptation is easier to resist. The chances you share your faith triple. And the likelihood that you’ll find an opportunity to pour into someone else goes up 200%. Time in the word translates into growth. The more time we spend with God the more we look like Christ.
But that doesn’t mean spending time in the Word is always easy. Our motivation in reading the Bible, praying, studying, memorizing, and communing with God each day isn’t transactional, it’s relational. Remind yourself each day that before anything else, you’re here to connect with God.
The key to getting the most out of your time in the Word is to treat it like any other relationship. If you really want to get to know someone you need two things: consistency and variety. Without consistency, you’ll never make any progress. Without variety, you’ll find yourself in a rut. Imagine dating someone who can only talk about one subject, or only likes one kind of food. How hard is it to trust someone when you never know if they’ll come through?
Think about time with God this way; we need to be consistent to grow. Read the Bible every day. That’s God’s Word and it’s his divinely-inspired way of communicating with you. Start your time in prayer, asking God to meet there with you, to show you something new, to change your life to look more like his Son. Mark out time in your schedule to spend with God. If you leave it up to whenever you find time, it will never happen.
Once you’ve got consistency, start to introduce some variety. Change up what you read. If you’ve been doing a yearly plan, spend a whole month in Romans 8, Colossians 1, or 1 Kings 8. Pray a psalm in your own words. Memorize a few of God’s promises to remember when you need them. Find a few worship songs that remind you of what’s true. Read through a book of prayers to kickstart your own prayer time. Call a friend to share what you’ve learned. Whatever you do, add some variety to your consistency and watch your relationship with God grow.
Imagine getting to the end of this year and feeling closer to God than ever before. What could be better? It won’t come through extravagant effort or mountain top moments, but through the plain and plodding consistency of spending time with God daily, opening your heart to him, and through the variety that keeps any relationship going. If you’re feeling stuck, try adding something new. If you’re feeling lost, set a goal to be consistent. In every case, ask God to draw near and meet you in your quiet time. That’s a prayer God always answers!
Sponge! Sponge, I tell ya.
So many things he shared stand out to me.
First being, the "Rule of 4" - that hinge point. I don't know about you but this washes over the perfectionist Enneagram 1 within me a sigh of relief. Sure, I want to be in the Word every day but it's not about being perfect or a to-do list, it's about...well, that's the second point he made...
Our motivation to being in the Word daily - it's not transactional, it's relational. How many times have I made it transactional? A check off the to-do list, a means to an end - maybe wanting a prayer answered. How much more meaningful to come to the Word for the sake of relationship - to know Him more and grow my relationship with Him.
And we help grow our consistency by adding variety. Like we were saying earlier, God is limitless. Growing our relationship with Him can and should take many forms - reading, prayer, devotionals, spiritual conversations with a friend, listening to a worship song on a walk. In all things as Cole said, we "ask God to draw near and meet [us] in [our] quiet time."
May we find strength in the Word of God. May our joy for reading scripture grow as we intentionally choose to set aside time to spend reading it each day. May our peace overflow as the Word of God reads us and changes us from the inside out. Then, we will know rest that this world can't give.
I hope you're reading John with me this month. As John so clearly shared, he wrote it so we would believe. If the Gospel of John was all we had, it would be enough to tell us Jesus is the Savior of the world!
Remember how we said 5 minutes a day can change your day, your life and even your eternity? Well, here's what I'll be reading this week. I really hope you'll join me!
The good life, well it starts with a good day. Then another. Then another. Let's choose to live #TheGoodDay one day at a time.
I love hearing from you, so go ahead. Leave a comment. Be brave. Maybe your comment will speak life into someone else!
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