The NBA playoffs are one of my favorite sporting events to follow. Unfortunately for me most of the teams I follow are from the west coast and therefore play much later at night. This means that I’m either very tired each morning for nearly two months, or (as is almost always the case) I go to bed before the games even start and wake up wondering what happened. I sometimes find myself anticipating checking the scores, wondering what it will feel like to see the outcome in my favor or against.
A question struck me this morning, “Why don’t I have the same excitement for reading God’s word?” If I really believe that this book I carry around is full of God’s promises and his answers for my problems, why and I not as excited to check that every day?
In many ways I’m hesitant to share that I often don’t get excited about reading my Bible. I’m a missionary and hope to be ordained by the end of 2017 after all, I’m sure there is some rule against sharing this weakness. But, I’m also sure I’m not the only one who struggles with this and if we can start a conversation maybe we can learn to grow together. For me it starts with asking the question, “What do you want me to learn today?”. After all we are supposed to be God’s disciples and disciple means “learner”. Can you imagine that God wants to teach you something? The God who created the Stars, the Earth and all that lives on it, thinks you are special enough to want to teach you something. That’s an exciting thought!
My friend Jim is a youth pastor, and an excellent one at that. His wife taught him a tool that he is now teaching his youth, allowing them to be more engaged with their Bible reading. The tool is called “Lucky Charms”. It’s simple and yet very effective at personalizing your Bible reading time. Have you ever been reading and you see a verse that makes you pause? You know there is something deeper there, it feels like the verse(s) is speaking to your heart? Maybe there is something more to this and you suddenly have the urge to stay there and not move on yet? That’s a “Heart” verse. Jim would tell you to draw a heart near it (I suggest red pen for all of these so it stands out) that way it’s easy to come back to and spend more time on it. You may also want to memorize your heart verses. As you continue to read any time you find something that makes you say, “Aha” or “I get it now”, those are “Star” verses, draw a star next to these verses. Finally when you read something and it’s giving you direction draw an “Arrow” near the verse (I also suggest telling someone and asking them the keep you accountable).
Even if you don’t use this tool in your Bible reading, having the thought that God wants you to be daily learning from Him should be exciting. It’s something I want to grow in and I hope God continues to develop it in me.
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