Start The New Year Off Right
As the New Year begins it’s the perfect time to create some “new habits” when it comes to studying the Word. Many people will say they’ve tried to read the Bible and it just doesn’t “open up” for them or they just don’t know where to start. Maybe you’ve experienced this too or tried to do a devotional book but the commitment fades every year. I’ve always said that most of the passages in My Utmost for His Highest sound familiar to me until about February 8th or so.
Like everything else, though, anything worth doing takes time, discipline, and a personal commitment. Just because you’ve tried and failed, that doesn’t mean that starting new commitments is useless or not worth the effort. Think about an area in your life where you have had some success. Are you a hiker or mountain biker? Do you go to the gym or are you in a Crossfit class? None of those are easy but many people succeed in staying focused and committed. Isn’t it sad that some people can do burpees until they are ready to throw up but couldn’t begin to read their Bible on a daily basis?
Paul reminds us in 1 Cor. 9:25-27 “All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.” (NLT)
So, without further ado, here are some suggestions that might help you stay focused and on track this year—the prize is well worth the effort.
1. Buy a journal. Write stuff down. Write your questions; your prayers; your hopes and dreams. Write what’s in your heart.
2. Use an inductive Bible study approach with your Bible reading by asking these three questions and writing down the answers:
a. Observe. What does this verse say? (copy the verse)
b. Interpret. What does it mean?
c. Application. What does it mean for my life? It also helps to use a different Bible translation to “hear the verse” from another angle.
3. Listen to a podcast. There are literally hundreds of options for your smartphone on being a better Christian, husband, father—you name it.
Turn off your playlist and tune in to something worthwhile.