Over the past six weeks, I’ve had plenty of time to reflect. Being on a Sabbatical has allowed me not just time to be away from work, but to reflect on the condition of my heart. As I did, I was a little surprised by what I found.
Like many of you, my life can be busy. It is filled with the normal day-to-day routines. My wife and I do – after all – have five kids under the age of six. I can get up, and stay occupied for pretty much the rest of the day. What I am doing isn’t bad. In fact, most often it would be described as very good.
I want to know God. I want to become more familiar with him each day. I’ve had this desire in me for over 20 years now. Some seasons I acted more on it, and others I didn’t. As I sat and reflected over my time off, I had a big realization.
My heart has been starved for more of his Word.
God wants to be known by us. Not only is his creation a sermon in and of itself – revealing the majesty of God – but also his Word is alive and active, unfolding the mysteries of God to us.
Sadly, many of us never get past our initial intimidation of the Bible. Like my son pointed out to me this morning, my Bible is 1,007 pages long. Where do you start?
I’ve just started a new Bible reading system. It is not a plan that walks you through the Bible in a year. I’ve done that before and written about it here. This is merely a system for reading it. I’ve avoided this system, as I knew it would require much of me.
It is Professor Grant Horner’s Bible Reading System.
Each day I read a chapter out of ten different sections of scripture. At first glance, this is really intimidating. I balked at the idea for a couple of years now, because I wanted to have time to reflect and pray once I read the scriptures. What I’ve found is just the opposite. In reading so much, it has caused more reflection and then more prayer.
When I read, my mind skips easily. So for me, when I read a chapter and then turn to another chapter, my mind stays engaged. If I miss a day, I’m not requiring myself to read 20 chapters the next day. This system serves me. I don’t serve the system.
Life is difficult. Each day brings many new blessings, but quite often, much pain as well. We give and teach and encourage and discipline and help until we have nothing left to give. This is where I realized my heart was. Tired. Spent. Worn-out. And worst of all, cold.
Out of the overflow of our hearts, our mouths speak, says Jesus. So as leaders, we have all the more reason to be cognizant of the condition of our hearts.
This system isn’t magical, but it is a system. If you are aimlessly flipping about your Bible each day waiting for divine revelation, let me challenge you to do something different. Read the Bible systematically. The system will help give you direction on the days you need it most.
Years ago, I read the book, Experiencing the Depths of Jesus Christ. In the book, Jeanne Guyonne recommended slowing down and reading scripture deeply. You might try that as well. Either way, a system can be super helpful in the process.
Maybe unbeknownst to you, your heart is craving more of God’s Word as well. I’d encourage you to try this system for a month. You might be surprised at how much you get out of it.
Do you use this system, or a different one for reading the Bible?