In 1 Timothy 4:7-8 we read that we are to train, that is discipline, ourselves for Godliness. Physical training we are familiar with in our body-image culture, but while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. Furthermore, we are told in Philippians 2:12-13 that we are to work out our own salvation knowing that it is God Who is at work in us for our sanctification and for His will.
Our first area of spiritual discipline is Bible Assimilation. We must spend time reading the Bible; listening to the Bible; studying the Bible; memorizing the Bible; and meditating on the Bible. In today’s lesson we only dealt with our reading of the Bible.
Bible reading is just that – reading. It’s not a time to spend studying or laboring over the text. It’s a time of refreshing reading of God’s story as found in the Bible. The story is all about Jesus and if we will relax and read the Bible thinking about where Jesus fits in, the Biblical narrative becomes a story of the ages – literally.
So reading is an enjoyable activity, but it is also part of the discipline of Bible Assimilation. It is one of the ways that we bring the Bible into our lives. And if it is a discipline, there must be a disciplined approach to reading God’s holy word.
You need to find a time and place to meet with God for your time of reading. It’s a daily appointment that you have to schedule into your life and, like any appointment with a doctor or the boss, you need to keep it. You need a reading plan. We discussed some in this session, but you need to choose a plan that works for you. You need a readable Bible. For some that might mean the King James version and for others The Message or The Living Bible, etc. Remember, you’re reading – not doing deep study.
The main thing is to start reading. It is a dangerous thing to call yourself a Christian without knowing what the Bible says. We hire lawyers to read contracts because we don’t want to sign our name on that contract without knowing what it says. And yet, we declare ourselves to be Christian – bearing the name of Christ – without knowing what the Bible actually says. We need to start reading.
This Bible study was presented to the Agape Life Bible Study Class of the First Baptist Church in Brenham, Texas, on Sunday, May 14, 2023. It is part of a series of Bible study sessions entitled Living the Agape Life – a Bible study curriculum developed by Bob Young with input from the members of the Agape Life Class. Handouts with slide content are included below and can also be requested at: email@example.com .
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