October 2012

“Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” Joshua 1:8.

Sometimes Bible reading can seem like an obligation that comes to you from all sides: at church or at youth group meetings you may often hear about how important it is to read your Bible regularly, or you may hear your Christian friends and acquaintances talk about what they read the other day when they were reading their Bible. This verse certainly expresses a strong exhortation to read your Bible regularly; and not only that: When you’re not reading it, you should be meditating on it. Therein lies the key to prosperity and success. Ok, let’s start with the first part: “Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it.” I guess we can all agree that in order to do God’s will, we have to know God’s will, and not just with our brains but with our hearts. We have to read the Bible to know God’s will with our brains, and we have to meditate on what we read to know it in our hearts, so that we act on it. If you want to read your Bible daily, it’s a good idea to follow a plan. Then you can decide if you want to read the Bible in one year, or in two years, or more, whatever pace suits you best. Then follow the plan rather slavishly until you get into the routine and it seems like something’s missing if you haven’t read the day’s passage. There are different methods to meditate on God’s word. One can be to read it really slowly to let the message sink in, or pick a key verse from the passage and repeat it to yourself so that it moves from your brain to your heart. A method I enjoyed very much for a period of time was memorizing longer passages, especially psalms, and then repeating them to myself when I couldn’t fall asleep, when I was cooking or doing the dishes, in the shower, waiting in line or taking a walk. It’s like having a treasure chest of Scripture that you carry with you always for encouragement and strength. A word of encouragement: I find that the more I read the Bible, the more I want to read it and even want to continue beyond the passage of the day. But it goes up and down; so don’t be discouraged if you find your interest waning. Keep going; one day the enthusiasm will come back. Now for the second part of the verse, “Then you will be prosperous and successful.” Your motivation for reading the Bible regularly should not be to get rich! It probably isn’t, but if it were, you would most likely be disappointed. We know that God’s measure is very different from that of the world: Our Savior King was born in a manger, for example! God has many wonderful blessings in store for you through his Word; blessings more wonderful than any amount of riches or fame that this world can give. Start reading and find out!

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