bible reading - devotional tips | The Practical Disciple

My Big Bible Reading Blunder

I try to enter every day with what I call my ‘Big Five’ list.  I use to sit down and write out a bottomless list of meetings, commitments, tasks, and sundry chores that needed attention.  The list was never realistic.  So, it was demoralizing when I never finished.  Far too many items got carried over than I care to admit.  One day, I realized that what I was doing was idiotic.  I decided to limit my list to five things.  I called it, ‘My Big Five.’  I would only work on those five things until they were done and then I would move onto a new big five list.  It was very liberating and helped me focus and kept first things first.
Some days I would write on my big five list, ‘Bible reading and TRAF.’  TRAF stands for toss, refer, act and file.  It’s something I picked up out of a productivity newsletter years ago.  The idea was that I would get my Bible reading done near the front of the day when I was fresh and I would take ten minutes to purge miscellaneous crud out of my office.  It’s a great practice.  One day though as I finished my Bible reading, I closed my bible, set it to the side and leaned over to check it off of my list.  As I checked it off, I realized  I had not taken any time to reflect on what I read.  I hadn’t really paid attention as I was reading either.  I had just crammed through reading four chapters so it could get checked off my list.  My Bible reading had just been relegated to nothing more than a chore to be done like feeding the dog or watering the plants.  What was I thinking?  I wasn’t.
I turned back to my Bible and re-opened it.  I skimmed back over the passage.  I gravitated to a few verses and allowed my attention to tarry there.  I thought about what God might be saying to me as I went into the day.  I wrote some thoughts in my journal.  The Word wove its way into my thoughts and actions.  It influenced a devotional I offered the next morning.  This is the way it ought to be.
If you are trying to get in a habit of daily bible reading, putting it on your list or in your day timer can be a great strategy.  Just make sure that you are giving God the attention God deserves when you do it.  I find I don’t  have that attention when I get so busy that I become a human doing and stop being a human being.  Slow down and tarry with the Word.  Try not to treat your reading as a chore that you are getting out of the way.  Bible reading is an opportunity to: commune with God, bathe in His mercy and His presence, encounter His Son, be guided by his Holy Spirit, be fed and nurtured, encounter the truth and a host of other grand holy adventures.  I hope you never loose sight as I did.  May God bless your reading.
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