One of the great struggles a lot of Christians have is establishing an effective devotional routine. This week I would like to offer some help for those who are struggling with this important part of the Christian life. I plan to break this down into five days of posts:
Today – What is it? How Often?
Tuesday – When and Where?
Wednesday – What do you Need?
Thursday – Expectations
Friday -How to Endure
What is it?
Let’s start with defining the terms. What do I mean by a devotional time? For years, it was called a “Quiet Time” in the circles in which I ran. Some people call it a personal worship time. Whatever you choose to call it, it is a vital part of Christian growth. But what exactly is it?
The thief on the cross repented at the very last, but as a wise Puritan put it, God gave us one last minute conversion in Scripture so that no one would despair, but only one so that no one would presume.”
A relationship with God simply cannot grow when money, sins, activities, favorite sports teams, addictions, or commitments are piled on top of it. Most of us have too much in our lives…A lot of things are good by themselves, but all of it together keeps us from living healthy, fruitful lives for God.” – from Crazy Love, p. 67
Yesterday I posted the first half of an interview with two of my friends who are currently using the rather intense Bible reading system developed by Professor Grant Horner of The Master’s College. By posting this interview I am not suggesting that every Christian must read at least 10 chapters of the Bible every day. The issue is not exactly how much you read, but how much you live out. As I heard Chip Ingram recently say, “God is more pleased with you reading one verse and acting on that verse than reading the whole Bible that day.” Yet if you are going to know how to live out the Bible, you need to have a full knowledge of it. This system is one of many that can help you with that goal.
Here is the the second half of the interview:
PB: When do you do your prayer time? Before or after your Bible reading time? How has the Bible reading plan impacted your prayer life?
A couple of days I ago I posted about the increasingly popular Bible-reading system pioneered by Professor Grant Horner of The Master’s College. Today I want to post the results of an interview with two of my friends who are currently using this system to guide them through the daily Bible reading.
Tom Shelton is a friend of mine from Tennessee. He and his wife, Angela, have three kids. In addition to being a diligent reader of God’s Word, he is an active participant in a theological reading group. Rick Doctor, also a friend, is a student at the University of North Florida and attends Harvest Bible Chapel of Jacksonville, where I pastor. Rick was saved a few years ago after hearing open-air preaching on the college campus. He is recently engaged to Daizzee and they plan to marry in early 2010. Of course, I am Pastor Brett (PB).
PB: How did you find out about Professor Horner’s Bible reading plan?
Only God can really put a love for Himself and His Word in a child’s heart, but that does not resolve the parent from a responsibility to seek to make God’s Word attractive to the young ones.
I want to instill in my children a love for God’s Word. I want them to bleed Bible. I take seriously the command of God as given through Moses:
6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. – Deuteronomy 6.6-9, ESV.
What are some practical ways of doing this in today’s home?
Need a real challenge for your Bible reading? How about 10 chapters a day from 10 different sections of Scripture? Sound crazy? Not to those, like me, who have had their spiritual walk transformed by the increased intake of God’s Word made possible by following Professor Horner’s system.
After less than a month on the plan, my wife said that I was a different man! This should not be surprising, after all, the first half of Psalm 1 says:
1:1 Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
2 but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
3 He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.
The devotional life of many Christians today consists of reading a few Bible verses, followed by a devotional reading related to the truth of what they just read. Some read through the Bible in a year (which requires reading 3-4 chapters per day). But Professor Horner’s plan is the best resource I have ever come across for literally saturating yourself in God’s Word. The beauty of this plan is that it is doable and flexible. In fact, I have slightly adapted the plan in order to take in Romans monthly.
In the past year, I have introduced this plan to many Christians and have received a tremendous amount of positive feedback regarding the plan. I have a couple of church members who have been so impacted by the plan that they have doubled the plan (20 chapters daily). I would love to hear your thoughts on the system. Are you using it? Are you on a different plan? What do you think about this plan?
Grant Horner is a professor at the Master’s College in Southern Califonia. Click HERE to read an interview with him to learn a little bit about the man behind the plan. Regarding his plan, check out what the good Doc himself has to say about it:
Because the only good King James Version Bible I owned was the Pilgrim Study Bible that was a gift from my wife’s Grandfather, and because I want to keep that Bible in good shape, I knew it was time to get a new King James Version Bible. Thanks to J. Mark Bertrand’s helpful blog I had no doubt as to which Bible I should purchase: a Windsor Text with Metrical Psalms from the Trinitarian Bible Society in London.
If there is a better deal out there on any kind of Bible, I would sure like to know about it. Sure, there are less expensive Bibles out there. But they are not made of calfskin leather with sewn binding. Sure, there are better high quality Bibles out there. But they are not priced anywhere in the same stratosphere as this Bible. At $32 + shipping, this Bible is a steal.
Today is my final installment in this series of posts about study Bibles.
The final questions are: What to purchase? Where to purchase?
When it comes to where, you basically have a couple of options here. You can go to a store and purchase a study Bible or you can go online and order one. I purchased most of the Bibles in my collection in a store.