I eat three meals a day...with some snacks in between. I rarely consider skipping a meal. I know that if I don't eat, my body becomes weak and I can't function as I usually do. You've experienced this as well. We must have food in order to thrive or even survive, and we are very regular about making sure we get that needed sustenance. Of course we also often over indulge, but that is a point for another day.
The point I am interested in at the moment regards a different kind of food. We need the food of God's Word to sustain our spiritual lives and well-being. Jesus told Peter, "Feed my sheep." It is the duty of ministers of the gospel (shepherds) to faithfully proclaim the word of God to the people of God. They are to feed the flock of God with the Bread of Life. That is they are to proclaim Jesus Christ as he is revealed in the pages of Holy Scripture. So here at Grace Baptist Fellowship, we seek to provide all who come through our doors with a steady diet of preaching and teaching from God's Word that is focused on the person and work of Jesus Christ.
We also encourage our people to be feeding themselves from the Word of God on a regular basis. In Proverbs 8:34 it is the voice of wisdom that cries out, "Blessed is the one who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting beside my doors." If we are to be spiritually thriving believers, we need a regular diet of Scripture. I'm not talking about loading up once a week on Sunday and hoping that gets us through the week (would you even consider feeding your physical hunger that way?). I'm talking about a daily reading and soaking up of the Bible. Since many Bible reading plans are scheduled to fit with in a year and since the turn of a year is a good time to reflect as well as look forward, here are a few thoughts about and helps toward regular reading of Scripture as we near the start of 2012.
If the goal is to read the Bible daily, it helps to have a plan for doing so. There are A LOT of plans out there. The folks over at Ligonier Ministries have compiled a helpful list of Bible reading plans. If you don't have one, check out some of these. Available on the book table at GBF will be a schedule produced by Heritage Baptist Church of Owensboro, KY. It is easily separated into 4 bookmarks that help you keep your place as you read from 4 different sections of scripture each day. Personally I'm looking forward to following a chronological plan that takes the reader through the entire Bible, seeking to gain a greater appreciation for the historical setting of the books of the Bible. Whatever plan you go with, simply make sure you spend time in God's word!
Let me leave you with a thought from a fellow pastor, Nick Kennicott, from his post on Bible reading plans. He writes, "You are justified by grace, through faith, apart from works of the Law. Jesus doesn't love you more if you read the entire Bible 5 times in 2012, nor does He love you less if you miss a day or two and fall short of your goal at the end of the year. Your standing before God is based upon the righteousness imputed to you through Christ, not upon your ability to maintain a strict schedule of
spiritual disciplines. Of course, these things are important and necessary for our spiritual growth (sanctification), but they are not the means of our salvation. Let us not confuse justification and sanctification."
As you read, may you find Jesus, for the Scriptures speak of him, and may he be your only hope and trust.
When I quote Scripture In this blog, unless otherwise indicated, the quotations are usually from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission.
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