I do not want to retell history, rather, I want to apply it to today, hence the title of this post.
During a conversation recently, a person described their study time/devotions/quiet time/whatever you call it as that of reading helpful books about Christianity. When I asked my usual question: “What does your Bible reading look like?” I got, what seems to be these days, a typical answer. “I don’t read much of the Bible.” This practice is similar to the faithful church goer whose entire Bible intake is what he gets in church – which, in too many cases these days, is precious little. Consider this illustration I heard once:
To rely on the teachings of people about the Bible rather that getting into the Bible and learning how to learn from it is like asking someone else to chew your food for you and spoon it in your mouth. Disgusting, right?
Yes. On both counts.
Consider this challenge from the writer to the Hebrews:
“For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.” Hebrews 5:12-14 ESV http://bible.com/59/heb.5.12-14.esv
Read your Bible. Every day. No. Matter. What.
As you read it, more and more, it will begin to make more and more sense. You can then go to people who know more than you and ask questions based on your reading. They should be able to help you find other Scriptures that explain the answers to those questions. Scripture is it’s own best interpreter.
Don’t know how to begin?
Start a Bible reading plan for daily reading. Here’s what I consider the gold standard: ‘M’Cheyne One Year Reading Plan’. http://bible.com/r/O
It’s ambitious, but worth it. Too much for you? Try these two instead to start.
The Essential Jesus: http://bible.com/v/u
The Essential 100. http://bible.com/r/P
Secondly, be sure you’re in a church that actually preaches and teaches the Bible. Not one where the preacher uses the Bible to promote the latest agenda or program. If they don’t actually preach the Bible, talk to them about it. Ask why. Engage in a conversation about the importance of getting our teaching from the Scripture more that those who talk about it, or worse, from culture.
Finally, do you have anyone in your life asking you about your Bible reading? Do you have any accountability in this area? No? Find some.
Enter into a fellow disciple conversation that is Scripture centered, regular, and honest.