As you begin a Bible reading plan, one thing you’ll need to decide is the level of involvement you will commit to. Many people forgo a regular reading plan because they don’t feel that they have the time to read chapters each day, pour over commentaries and do word studies. These are all beneficial in helping us understand God’s word, however, regularity and longevity are more effective to your spiritual health than deep dives once in a blue moon.
It’s like working out. If I get to the gym once every three or four weeks, but really push myself with the weights and machines thinking I can make up for my absence, it typically sets me back instead of catching me up. I’m more prone to injury or at the least a very sore next morning. Both scenarios typically mean I won’t go to the gym for a while and I associate working out with all the soreness and none of the results.
And let’s face it, there are certain ages and stages of life where we have more expendable time, and some periods where it seems there’s absolutely no margin. You might be thinking right now, “well, we all have the same 24 hours in a day and it’s up to us to prioritize and use them wisely.” I completely agree, and if you’ve got a lot of control over how you get to spend those hours, take full advantage of this season! But you might be in a situation where a job or two, or a little one…or two have something to say about your schedule as well.
We suggest choosing between 3 different levels of commitment and depth according to what you’re able to maintain:
- Scratch – Read the scripture and the short devotion each day and be a part of a life group each week.
- Dig – Do the elements in “scratch” and add the H and E from the HEAR method. Highlight the words and phrases that jump out to you from the day’s scripture. Then Explain the passage using study helps like a study Bible or online commentaries. (We’ll address different resources in an upcoming post). Answer questions like, “who wrote this, and who is it written to? Why was it written and how would the intended audience have understood it?
- Drill – Follow the ingredients of scratch and dig and add further the last part of HEAR – Apply and Respond. To apply means to answer the question, “how does the truth of God’s word intersect with my life today?” And respond means to act in obedience according to what God is prompting you to do.
Do what you can according to the season you’re in. It is better to do a little each day than to put it off until you can “really commit” when you have less on your plate and more time in your day. And if you’re in a season where you can spend plenty of time mining the treasure of God’s Word, go for it – drill deep and bring someone along.
Today’s post is by Jon Price, Associate Pastor