Scripture Intake in 2020
I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my portion of food. (Job 23:12b)
This will be the year that _____
How would you fill that sentence in?
We are at the start of a new year and a new decade. Once again we, as a church, are offering resources to you to encourage the daily intake of Scripture–the word of God. (See the links for the Old Testament and New Testament reading plans at the bottom of this page)
Jesus said: “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
Would you not agree that we need the spiritual nourishment that Scripture provides? Yet I know I am not the only one who has started such a plan with enthusiasm or dedication or both but did not cross the finish line.
The following are four ways to develop a hunger for God and his word:
#1 Curiosity. Curiosity quells the creeping cynicism of life. As we delve into the best selling book of all time, we discover that God understands our world. Rather than being put off by the sin, violence, fear, and anger we see portrayed in the Bible, these failings assure us that God can handle the giants that we are facing as well. “Instead of letting our inhumanity be the final word, God entered the mess in human form through Jesus and conquered hate with love.” [Carey Nieuwhof, “Didn’t See It Coming.”]
#2 Neediness. Hungry people find food. Spiritually hungry people find what they need in the word of God. There are literally hundreds of encouragements in the Scriptures. Just a few:
- If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. James 1:5
- Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Psalm 119:105
- This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Joshua 1:8
God uses our increased sense of neediness to drive us to him and to his word.
#3 Love for the God who wrote it. When we meditate on the love of God, it increases our love for and desire to read and study and obey his word. The season of Christmas may have stoked that love. Think of the love of Jesus who came–and stayed. Jesus did not come on Thursday for a quick meal with some associates, die on Friday, was raised on Sunday and back to heaven on Monday.
He lived among us.
He knows our temptations, our fears, our deepest needs.
The more we meditate on the love of Jesus, the more we will be hungry for his word.
#4 Spiritual Discipline. Maybe we are not particularly curious about how God interacts with others in the Bible, not feeling particularly needy and our love for the Lord has grown cold. What then? Develop the discipline of Scripture reading just as you would eat for nourishment even if you had little appetite. As the word of God unfolds to you, you will desire more.
This will be the year that ____
I hope that for many of you, you filled in that sentence with the words: “that I feed and feast daily on the word of God.”