It's been 4 weeks since that New Year's Resolution of yours to get more out of your time in the Bible. Like most, you've probably already let this promise to yourself, and to God, drop by the wayside. Let me spur you on! You can make more of your time with God. Let His word richly encapsulate your heart and mind. Pick those efforts back up and be self-disciplined (after all, it is a spiritual fruit). That's the difficult part about spiritually based resolutions, often times it is actually 2 resolutions in 1~ whatever it is that you are wanting to develop into your life AND developing the self-discipline to do it. Remember, our strength comes from the Lord. Take heart! Don't quit; don't give in! Be victorious for His glory!
And at the risk of writing something we have all heard 100 times and we already know, spending time in the word of God shouldn't be something we need to psych ourselves up to do. It should just be a given. Yes, we all can do better at it (even you and I). That is where the thrust of my point comes from this morning. Sometimes we set the bar too low. With no real challenge, we grow bored or inconvenienced by the whole thing. When we set an unrealistically easy goal of "Reading the Bible more," we are really only admitting to ourselves that we aren't doing that which we know we need to do, rather than digging in deep for something more. When we expect more from our time with God, the Holy Spirit is able to develop our character much more than we could have ever imagined.
By now you may have hit the "boring parts" of the Old Testament and that's why you gave up on reading through the Bible this year, or your quiet time has dissolved into just praying (if you have a time alone with God at all). But was "finally reading through the Bible" really the reason you set out to read through it in the first place? Wasn't the real impetus more about getting closer with God and having a deeper understanding who He is? Sure, some portion of your desire maybe had something to do with finally cracking the gold leaf edging on some portions of scripture you've never opened before, but hopefully that was merely secondary... an added bonus of time spent with the Lord. Push through! Pick it back up and focus on who He is. Confess the trappings of old that still ensnare your frail humanity today. Figure out the unique connections that point to Jesus throughout all of scripture.
Personally, I am trying harder this year to memorize verses of the Bible. It's been one of those things that I merely dabble in and each year my efforts seem to fall short of my original intentions, which only serves to highlight my own idleness. Hopefully this year, God will grant me the self-discipline to see things through.
May He do the same for you in all the ways that you want to honor Him this year.
Serving through love and laughter is a great way to live.