We’ve all heard the term, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink it.”
This saying can be applied to our current situation in our house. I can tell someone to tell a person to get tested for Covid based on their symptoms until I am blue in the face, but it’s only after it’s too late, and exposure has taken place that they realize the peril they put others in.
Both of these situations have consequences. Without water, the horse will die. Without getting a Covid test and avoiding people, two out of the three of us are now in quarantine until Saturday. I am not one of those two.
For the past two weeks, I have blogged about the importance of staying in the Word and have offered some tips for you. I can write endless tips on how to stay in the Word, it’s ultimately up to you – and me – to actively engage in the Word.
You can lead a Christian woman to the Bible, but you can’t make her read it.
“Have you not read?”
In author, on page 27 of Donald S. Whitney’s book Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, he writes that in a survey by the Barna Research Group, “among those claiming to be ‘born again Christians’ disclosed these disheartening numbers: Only 18 percent – less than two of every ten– read the Bible every day. Worst of all, 23 percent –almost one in four professing Christians –say they never read the Word of God.”
I post this statement not to bring judgment or make you feel guilty because there are days when I am not part of that 18 percent. In all honesty, my biggest struggle is opening the Word on my own without the aid of a Bible study.
My excuse? Lack of time.
And that’s a lousy excuse because if I can be on social media, I can read my Bible.
Whitney continues on that Jesus would ask this simple question to people, “Have you not read?” As Whitney states, “He assumed that those claiming to be the people of God would have read the Word of God.” page 27
We are the people of God.
Friends, we live in a country where we are free, but we don’t worship the Lord as we should. Underdeveloped countries crave the Word, yearning to learn more about Jesus, while so many Americans are missing out on this precious relationship because of what? Overcommitments? Lack of margin? Self-centeredness? Or do we not care? I am ashamed to say that, at times, I have felt each one of those words that I just listed.
Four More Ways to Study the Word
In last week’s blog post, I wrote about three ways to study the Word.
2. Write out the chapter
3. Outline it.
You can read more about them by clicking here.
Here are an additional four that I have implemented over the years.
Listen to It
When your schedule is jammed and packed, and you don’t have the time to read your Bible, grab your phone and download a Bible app. Many of them have the capability to read the text to you. You can listen to it on the way to work or to the many school activities and sports that your children are in. The bonus is that if your children are in the car with you, they will be enriched by hearing the Bible also.
If you want to dive deeper into your Bible, you can do a topical study. A topical study is simple: you choose a topic to study. For example, you want to know what the Bible says about love. Using your concordance in the back of your Bible, you can see how many times the word love is used and specific scripture references you can look up. This isn’t a comprehensive list, though. If you are eager to get a complete list, you can invest in a Bible concordance such as Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. While using this study method gets you into scripture, be sure to read the verses before and after the one you are studying. This will give you a better understanding of the context and meaning.
If you would like to dig deeper—and I mean deeper—you can use the inductive study method. This method involves marking and underlining key phrases and words that appear throughout the text. Using different ink pens or pencils, you can create your own system of highlighting and markups to remember what you are reading.
I first heard of this spiritual discipline practice at my first silence and solitude retreat. This retreat is just like it sounds. Participants practice silence and solitude for the weekend. Lectio Divina means “divine reading.” Ruth Haley Barton writes in her book Sacred Rhythms that this spiritual practice is “an approach to the Scriptures that sets us up to listen for the word of God to us is in the present moment” (page 54). Being silent before diving into the word will clear our minds and help us to listen to what the Lord is saying through His word. With Lectio Divina, you only want to concentrate on a few verses at a time. This is a somewhat time consuming but rewarding way of spiritual practice. This also takes a great deal of practice. You need to completely shut your mind down and focus solely on God in the quietness that surrounds you.
As you begin reading the verses, you will want to pay attention to any words you feel stirring in your mind or a word that the Lord is laying on your heart. After reading the verse, relax your mind in the quietness that surrounds you. Repeat this step a few more times and write down what the Lord reveals to you.
This post concludes my three-week series on reading the Word. I pray that the Lord places a stirring in your heart to find time to open your Bibles and read the Word. The stirring in me has certainly brought some conviction, but I have also felt the Holy Spirit letting me know it’s never too late to start digging into the Word again!
Resources to Download
Verses to Pray: 31 Days of Prayer for Students, Parents, Teachers, and Staff at Our Schools
Now more than ever, our schools need our prayers! I’ve created this guide for you to pray daily for our students, parent, teachers, and staff. Please click here to download this free resource.
My Identity: A Five-Day Devotional to Remind You of Who You Are in Christ.
In the rush of life, we often forget our true identities, our identity in Christ. In this devotional, you will be reminded that you are forgiven, free, loved, redeemed, and seated. Click here to download.
My name is Missy, and I love Jesus!
I am a Christ-follower, wife, mom, author, and speaker. I am dedicated to empowering women to live audaciously for Jesus. Now is the time, friends, to step out of the shadows and tell everyone about Him!
I am currently writing my second book and, in January 2024, will be launching my podcast.