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Do You Read The Bible Enough?

bible-and-coffee

If you are like many Christians, you don’t feel like you read the Bible enough. At first glance, it may seem comforting that you are not alone in your struggle. In a very small sense, it is–58% of Americans wish they read the Bible more. However, if you feel like you are not reading your Bible enough, you probably are not.

The reality is that IF people are reading the Bible (and half of Americans say they are ‘Bible readers’- that is, they read the Bible at least three to four times a year), the stats say that about one in eight Americans read the Bible daily (13%), 14% read several times a week; 8% do so once a week, 7% read monthly, and 8% read three or four times a year.

What is fascinating is the research on how much time is spent reading the Bible for those who are reading. The typical Bible reader spends about 30 minutes reading at each sitting. One in four reads between 15 and 29 minutes (26%), and a slightly higher proportion spend between 30 and 44 minutes reading (30%). An additional 27% spend an hour or more at a time reading Scripture, but about one in eight read less than 15 minutes per sitting (13%). [1]

Where do you fall in the data?

George Muller, an avid Bible reader, wrote this when he was 71 years old:

“For the first four years after my conversion [at age 20], I made no progress, because I neglected the Bible. But when I regularly read on through the whole [Bible] with reference to my own heart and soul, I directly made progress. Then my peace and joy continued more and more. Now I have been doing this for 47 years. I have read through the whole Bible about 100 times and I always find it fresh when I begin again. Thus, my peace and joy have increased more and more.”

He lived 21 more years. A.T. Pierson, who wrote his biography, said that when he died he had read the Bible through 200 times! He really picked up his pace—5 times a year!!!

How much time are you spending in God’s word? How often do you read through it? The more time someone spends with God the greater their love and obedience will be. Let me end this post with an encouragement to read God’s word. Start today! In fact, stop reading this and go read the BIBLE!!!

 

[1] All Bible reading data was ascertained from the American Bible Society’s “State of the Bible” Report in 2016. The data was produced by Barna Group and can be accessed at http://www.americanbible.org/uploads/content/State_of_the_Bible_2016.pdf

Wisdom From My Mother

cropped-ambassadors

When I was growing up I remember something that my mom used to tell me all the time. Now I find myself saying it to the students I teach. Whenever we would get our of the car she used to say,

Remember who you are, and who you represent.

Or something to that effect.

It was a reminder to me that she expected me to behave a certain way. When I was younger, I thought it meant that she would be embarrassed by my behavior if I was unruly. As I aged, I realized that that was only part of the equation.

The reality was that I belonged to Jesus. Since, as Paul puts it, I am his ambassador, I represent Christ everywhere I go. This means that people will get an idea of what Jesus is like by the way I act toward them. This realization brought a whole new side to what my mom used to say to me.

Sure, she didn’t want me to behave in an embarrassing way, but more importantly, she didn’t want me to be a bad representative of Jesus.

I will simply remind you today if you are a Christian: REMEMBER WHO YOU ARE, AND WHO YOU REPRESENT.

How to Prepare Your Heart For Worship Tomorrow

The Power of Love Valentine's Day Sermon PowerPoint.006Each Sunday before I arrive at Church I spend 5 minutes preparing myself for how God wants me to serve Him. I do this because my natural inclination as a human is to see Church with a “what’s in it for me” mentality.

The church isn’t there for me, it’s there to lift up the Greatness of God. We go to church to make God famous in our community and great in our lives. When our focus is on God and not ourselves then we do ‘get’ something–but it is the natural outflow of what a right perspective on God gives. [We also go to church to minister to one another: encourage, lift up, and share what God is doing in our lives.]

So, every week I spend 5 minutes preparing my heart for this important spiritual community activity.

What do I do?

  1. I spend 1 minute in prayer. I ask God to quiet my soul from the chaos of the week.
  2. I listen to a song.
  3. I pray again, turning the song into a prayer.

It is that simple, and that easy.

Here is a song to get you going today.

Don’t Waste Your Time Waiting

We spend a lot of our lives waiting on stuff. For instance, recently I was waiting at the dentist office. Often this is wasted time. We look around the waiting room awkwardly trying not to seem like a weirdo (I don’t think I’m fooling anyone!), or we try and pretend we are reading whatever 2012 magazine is on the side table. What can we do to make this time productive?

1. Write

Writing anything will be helpful. In fact, I am writing most of this blog as I wait! If you have a journal, write in it. If you don’t, why not?!? Journals are a fantastic way to keep your thoughts and ideas–your prayers and answers. It is a great way to see how God is working in your life and how you grow over the years.

2. Pray

Everyone always complains that they don’t have enough time to pray. Really! How much time do you waste waiting every day? I’m sure that it’s more than enough to spend some time praying. So, next time you are waiting–try praying.

3. Read

There is always a book, blog, or article that you can read to help you grow or learn something new. Use this waiting time to catch up on those things you’ve always wanted to read.

4. Call Someone

We all have that one person that we have been meaning to call but haven’t. Use the 10-15 minutes of wait time to call them. You will feel better about having that task out of the way and even better about not wasting time!

5. Update Your Calendar or Agenda

If you are like me there are things that always need to be added or changed. I have things I need to follow up on and others that I need to check off. The time you spend waiting is a great time to get your calendar up to date.

6. Make a new friend

There are people around you–waiting for the same thing you are waiting for. Start a conversation with one of them. You never know, it could be a great new friend!

7. Share the gospel

Everyone that is waiting is not going anywhere. You might as well take that captive audience opportunity and share your 3-minute testimony. If you don’t know how to, try this. (1) Share what your life was like before you met Christ, (2) Share the circumstances that lead you to trust in Christ, (3) Share how Christ has made a difference in your life since then. Make sure that you spend the most time on what Christ has done and not on glorifying how “great” you were at sinning.

 

So, the next time you are waiting try one of these 7 activities.

Do You Treasure God?

Brother Lawrence

Jesus said, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21).

Brother Lawerence helps us to put this challenge to the test in our lives. Where is our heart? It is with our treasure. How do we know what we treasure?

Q: Where is our heart?
A: It is with our treasure. How do we know what we treasure?

Q: How do we know what we treasure?
A: By evaluating what occupies most of our thoughts.

Brother Lawerence’s measurement for finding out where our love, heart, and our treasure are is to taking note of how we spend our thought life. It is easy for us to say that we treasure something or someone. The proof comes in our actual everyday actions.

Does your life show that you treasure God?

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