In this episode, Chris Rivers, Scott Mozingo, and Matt Williams discuss how to create space for Bible reading and practical strategies for investing in this area of our spiritual growth. They explore the important role of the Scriptures as a long term investment and as a means of feeding our souls.
- Matt begins the podcast by sharing several thoughts behind the importance of studying the Scriptures. On one level, studying the Bible and investing in our spiritual growth is a discipline and a long term investment. As we allow the Scriptures to be a part of our lives and build up in our system, it has benefits for us today and long term blessings for the future. Another key reason we study the Scriptures is to feed the part of us that is starving. We are not sufficient in and of ourselves to care for our own souls, and we need to be fed through God’s Word. Engaging in the Scriptures meets an emotional/spiritual need in our lives.
- While corporate worship and sitting under the teaching of God’s Word has a significant role for believers, there is something valuable about personal time spent in the Word. When we carve out space and time to commune with the Holy Spirit, he is able to reveal things that are unique to our situation. God wants to speak to us and move us in a way that is personal. This can only take place when we spend time with him.
- Matt’s discipleship experience in college helped him recognize areas where he was starving for God’s Word. As he was around other believers who were pouring into his life, he was struck by how they leaned on the Scriptures. They did not simply give their opinions, but would always point to the truth of God’s Word. Furthermore, they acted on what they read. This overlap between knowledge of the Bible and obedience is most important for our growth as believers. When we see something in the Scriptures and we act on it, it puts us in a position to understand and learn new things. It prevents us from becoming stagnant in our faith and allows us the experience of walking with God.
- Incorporating the Scriptures into our daily lives requires discipline. We have to build structure in and create space and time. Furthermore, we have to develop a plan that is sustainable. While this may cause some disruption in our lives, spending time learning who we are with the Creator provides real answers, encouragement, and correction.
Some practical tips:
- Ensure you have a good study Bible.
- Listen to Scripture if you are in the car for more than 30 minutes. Allowing it to flow into our brain reminds us of what God thinks.
- Find a devotion you resonate with and draw insights from it.
- Find the time of day when you can focus. Spend time journaling your thoughts.
- Make a list of people who need prayer. Taking time to lift others up during our time with God reminds us it is not always about us. The Scriptures make a lot more sense when considering others.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION
- What are some short term and long term benefits of personal time spent in God’s Word?
- Can you think of someone in your life who modeled dependence on the Scriptures and who lived out what they read?
- Can you identify areas in your life where you are starving and need to be fed by God’s truth?
- What practical steps can you take or disciplines can you put in place to incorporate Bible reading into your daily life?
For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. Hebrews 4:12
O LORD, God of my salvation, I cry out to you by day. I come to you at night. Now hear my prayer; listen to my cry. For my life is full of troubles, and death draws near. I am as good as dead, like a strong man with no strength left. They have left me among the dead, and I lie like a corpse in a grave. I am forgotten, cut off from your care. You have thrown me into the lowest pit, into the darkest depths. Your anger weighs me down; with wave after wave you have engulfed me. You have driven my friends away by making me repulsive to them. I am in a trap with no way of escape. My eyes are blinded by my tears. Each day I beg for your help, O LORD ; I lift my hands to you for mercy. Are your wonderful deeds of any use to the dead? Do the dead rise up and praise you? Can those in the grave declare your unfailing love? Can they proclaim your faithfulness in the place of destruction? Can the darkness speak of your wonderful deeds? Can anyone in the land of forgetfulness talk about your righteousness? O LORD, I cry out to you. I will keep on pleading day by day. O LORD, why do you reject me? Why do you turn your face from me? I have been sick and close to death since my youth. I stand helpless and desperate before your terrors. Your fierce anger has overwhelmed me. Your terrors have paralyzed me. They swirl around me like floodwaters all day long. They have engulfed me completely. You have taken away my companions and loved ones. Darkness is my closest friend. Psalm 88
If you have questions about this episode or you have an idea for a future episode, please visit the podcast page and click on "Ask Chris and Scott."