This week’s devotional is from Pastor Jeff.
(We are doing our Summer in the Scriptures Reading Plan together again. It started on Monday June 17, but you can join in anytime! Let’s do this! Here is the link to the plan in PDF format.)
ENCOUNTER: Read Jesus words in Luke 24:13-32
“They asked each other, ‘Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?’” - v. 32 (NIV)
Here is the truth that I wanted you to hear last Sunday in my sermon: The story of our lives is always to be understood and interpreted in light of and as part of the larger story… The Story of God.
And when we take the time to read, reflect, and meditate on the Scriptures (the Bible), our lives get changed because we are entering into the Story of God and have a frame of reference for all that we are going through.
Simply put: Being people of the Bible equips us with what we need to know about God, about ourselves, about the world, and about how to have an eternal relationship with Him through Jesus. How is that for epic?!?
What do you feel when you think about getting into God’s Word? What has worked and what hasn’t worked for you when it comes to trying to read and study the bible? Are there specific challenges you find that are a hindrance to you? What resources might be available to help you reduce those hindrances? Is there a pathway that would work for you to be consistent to read and reflect on God’s Story daily?
Why not try reading the plan with us? Here are some tips that might help to maximize the experience.
Start with prayer asking the Holy Spirit to help your heart be open to hearing God’s word to you. And ask for the clarity of mind in these few moments to process carefully the information that you are reading.
Try to find a quiet place so that your comprehension is increased. We’ve all had the experience of reading for several sentences before we realize that we were daydreaming and have no idea what we just read! This happens even more when I am on my audio bible app.
Keep a notebook by your side so that you can record “Questions to be answered later.” When you run across something you don’t get, write it down and move on. Then you can come back to it later armed with more resources like google, a study bible, or a spiritually mature friend.
Get a study bible that has introductions to each book and has explanatory comments on each page to help you better understand the context of what you are reading. Here is an amazon link to the one I have been giving away.
During your reading identify and underline at least one thing that you learned. It can be something that you learned about who God is, who you are, or what your relationship with God is about. Or it can be anything, really, about the Story of God.
After you finish your reading, ask yourself and God, “Is there something that I learned today that I can apply in a concrete way?” This is an art and a science that improves with experience!
Find a friend or group that can process together what they are learning in the Bible. We can learn a TON from what other people are getting out of their readings.
Have fun and dig in! Generate lots of observations and questions, and don’t miss the Sunday worship gatherings this summer where the MCC pastors will be preaching on some of the texts in the reading.
If you fall behind, just jump back in on the next day so that you don’t feel overwhelmed with too much reading to catch up on.
May you meet the Lord “on the road” and as he speaks through the scriptures, may your hearts be set ablaze with the glorious and epic truths you learn!
“I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free.”