Non-Negotiable #2: Time in the Word
Welcome to our continuing discussion of the The Non-Negotiables – those things in our lives which must be given the place of first priority and be closely guarded. These are the things which we must plan for, make time to do, and guard against interruption and skipping. In previous installments, we have Introduced the idea of Non-Negotiables and examined the importance of Prayer. Today, we will be discussing the next Non-Negotiable which is near and dear to my heart, and that is the Bible. I love my Bible. Ever since I became a Christian and read it for the very first time, I’ve been hooked. I’ve written about 100 phrases which describe God’s Word…. I’ve written about Psalm 119 – The Word of God, and I started a series featuring 25 Reasons I Believe the Bible. I’ve written about 10 Way to Get Kids Excited About the Bible and cited hundreds, if not thousands, of Bible verses in my articles. And, I’ve done it all because I love my Bible. I do not worship my Bible, but I worship the one my Bible tells me about.
All that to say – I love my Bible. Even so, there are times when I struggle to make sure that I read it every day. There are times when several days slip away, and I realize that I haven’t read my Bible at all. It’s like Paul writes in Romans 8:
For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. [Romans 8:15]
I do not read my Bible because I have to. I read it because I want to. Despite that desire though, there are times which go by where I just don’t make the time and guard the time to read my Bible. During those times, I can feel my relationship with my Heavenly Father growing more distant. The fact of the matter is, reading your Bible is something that is very easy to let slip in the race to find enough time in the day to get things done. It’s easy to convince ourselves that “I’ll just read more tomorrow.” The Bible itself tells us though that we need it as much as we need food for sustenance.
So, how do you make sure that you are spending time in your Bible daily? First, have a plan. Don’t just go about it willy-nilly. Find a reading plan or make up one of your own. If you read three chapters a day (about five to ten minutes), you will easily make it through the Bible in a year. Second, read through the Bible with someone else. This level of accountability will help to keep you on track. Third, always pray before you read. Ask God to show you the portions of scripture that he want you to learn from each day. Finally, keep a journal. Take notes about how God is speaking to you. It is also important that each time you read God’s Word that you pray that God would give you wisdom and open your eyes and ears to the passages that he wants you to focus on. The more you read through your Bible, the more you will learn about the nature and character of God, and the deeper your relationship with him will grow.