Continually cultivating a love for the Word

In our MULTIPLY groups this week we have looked at “Why study the Scriptures?” In our discussion last night, I shared how learning a variety of approaches to studying the Bible keeps things fresh.

As I was talking about some of the methods, I realized there are two “fail safes” in my practice I try to keep active. When I am studying and using different methods, there are times when things may “dry up.” The longer I have walked with the Lord, the quicker I can recognize in my spirit when passion for the Word is drying up a bit.

If I am in a particular mode of study and things seem to grind to a halt, there are two places I go to keep the discipline going and use those methods to pray the Scripture.

One is an old practice of the Church. It’s the Daily Office. I don’t know a lot about it (being Pentecostal) but I do know the routine is life-giving to me. Plus… there is a site for that where I can follow morning and evening readings and prayers. It is so helpful to keep me on track.

The other place I go is what I call “ancient wells.” These are familiar Scriptures to me and I will pray my way through the list. By the time I reach the end, my spirit is refreshed and I am ready for the next action in my study.

My “ancient wells”:

Romans 12:1-21

I Cor. 13
2 Cor. 3:12-7:1
Gal. 5:22-6:10
Eph. 4:20-6:20
Phil. 2:3-16
Phil. 4:4-9
Col. 3:1-4:6
I Pet. 2:1-3:16
2 Pet. 1:2-10
I Jn. 4:7-21
Micah 6:8
Deut. 10:12-21
Matt. 5-7
Rom. 8
Psalm 23
These are familiar portions to me. You can add and subtract your favorites.

Find ways to keep the Word active in your life! 

Learning to chew on the Word

It’s that evil word so many evangelical/fundamentalists don’t like: meditation. 

Simon Chan in his book, Spiritual Theology, reflects deeply on the need for scripture meditation. We are given too quickly to analysis in our Western mindset. We see a text and think one of two things: “I need to do a word study and historical background and cultural background and literary analysis on this,” or, “I have no idea what this is saying and I’m not a theologian.”

We’ve lost the art of spiritual reading. We want to be faithful to the study of the Word. Yet, we also need the Word to penetrate our hearts and examine us. We need to quit looking at Scripture as simply a handbook or answer book. We need to take smaller bites and chew more.