I check my Facebook page every day and I am inspired by the quotes and beautiful photographs with Bible verses. I am interested to see which of my friends are posting these wonderful reminders each day. I also subscribe to the pages of leading Christian writers like Stormie Omartian, Kay Arthur and Anne Graham Lotz. Their daily contributions are encouraging and motivating. Sadly, I think Facebook is the only place many Christians are getting their daily dose of scripture. While I don’t denigrate the wonderful words offered, I do believe we need to spend more time daily personally studying the Bible.
Daily Bible study is the key to developing a deeper personal relationship with God. When I was younger, I didn’t see the necessity of studying the Bible when I heard it on Sunday mornings, Sunday evenings and Wednesday nights. The pastor was the expert in presenting God’s word and I believed his preaching would carry me through the week. As I grew older, however, I began to sense a void in my spiritual life. The sermons didn’t always apply to the circumstances of my life and I felt God’s word was irrelevant in my situation. It wasn’t until I began to study the Bible, on my own, that I discovered how very relevant it was.
Facebook Theology is convenient and quick and we access it when we’re online catching up with friends and events. It doesn’t entail a lot of personal reflection or effort. You read the quote, appreciate the gorgeous picture accompanying it and move on. Daily Bible study requires a little more time and energy. If you want to cultivate a more intimate relationship with God, here are a few ideas to help you break away from the trap of easy internet spiritual encounters.
First, schedule a time in your day when you can devote at least 15 minutes, or longer, to reading the Bible. Lives are hectic and busy but spending time with God will energize and uplift you. I generally schedule my daily Bible reading first thing in the morning when I get up. I find reading God’s word gives me the strength to face the day and I find myself relating what I’ve read to events throughout my day. Maybe you find quiet time in the evenings after children are put to bed or you’re unwinding from the day. You can always find time in your day to spend a few moments with God. God says we are blessed if spend time with him. Psalm 1:1-2 says, “Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night.”
Secondly, find a devotional book which will help guide you through the process. I personally use a book which is a devotional to use each day of the year. There are suggested scriptures to read and a reflection on the verses. If you choose not to use a devotional guide, begin reading the Bible from Genesis and work your way through. You will be amazed how contemporary the lives of Noah and Abraham and David are. The struggles faced by individuals in the Old Testament are the same struggles we face today. As Ecclesiastes 1:9 says, “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” (NIV)
Thirdly, keep a journal of insights and observations discovered during your Bible reading. Don’t just read quickly through the verses and put the Bible away. Reflect on what you’re reading and consider how it applies to your life. Write down your thoughts and what you believe God is trying to teach you through his word. Sometimes it may be one sentence or other times it might be paragraphs. Writing your insights on paper creates a record of your communication with God. As you look back at what you’ve written, you will see how your spiritual life is growing and how God has worked in your life.
Lastly, be still and meditate on what you’ve read. Psalm 46:10 tells us, “Be still and know that I am God.” (NIV) Sit silently, reflect on what you’ve read and let God speak to you. Shut out all the noise, worries and concerns of the day and allow God’s word to seep into your heart. Silence is a conduit for God to enlighten us to the lessons he wants us to learn. Joshua 1:8 says meditating on God’s word will help us to live our lives successfully. “Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”
Facebook Theology is convenient, easy and requires little personal involvement with God. Digging into the Bible, studying what God has to say to us and applying what we’ve learned is essential to living a successful life. A personal relationship with God is invaluable and more important than a mouse click on an internet site. Making time each day for Bible study will improve every area of your life and will be worth the effort you make.