Andy Stanley’s series on the five things that grow your faith is awesome! You can find it at http://fivethingsgoduses.com The five things he mentions are:
- Practical Teaching
- Providential Relationships
- Personal Ministry
- Pivotal Circumstances
- Private Disciplines
Sunday, September 10, our focus was on one of the Private Disciplines; a consistent diet of Scripture. For years I’ve used acronyms to help me remember and teach certain truths. A very simple acronym is GROWTH.
- Go to God in Prayer
- Read The Bible
- Obey What You Read
- Worship Regularly
- Tell Others What God Has Done For You
- Hang With People Who Will Help You Grow
I want to encourage you to make it a regular habit to read a portion of Scripture every day! By the way, the Bible is God’s LOVE LETTER to you; it’s not junk mail.
Our primary passage this past Sunday was 1 Peter 2:1-2 NIrV which says: “So get rid of every kind of evil, and stop telling lies. Don’t pretend to be something you are not. Stop wanting what others have, and don’t speak against one another. 2 Like newborn babies, you should long for the pure milk of God’s word. It will help you grow up as believers.”
I recommend you go to http://www.bible.com where you can find many easy translations of the Bible to read and understand, and a variety of Reading Plans that will guide you in your reading. (note: it’s always best to use a Reading Plan) You can also go to http://www.gf.church/media-resources/readingplans/ and find a couple of great reading plans for reading through the Bible.
If you’d like to start today and read the entire New Testament by Easter (April 1, 2018), here are two simple plans. a) read 2 chapters a day 5 days a week and you’ll finish in March. b) read 1 chapter a day 6 days a week and 3 chapters a day on the 7th day of the week.
If you’re just getting started, I’d recommend a translation like the New Living Translation (NLT), and START in the Book of John in the New Testament; followed by Matthew, Mark and Luke. Read a little at a time and ask God to help you understand it. If you need wisdom, read Proverbs; there are 31 chapters, so read the chapter that corresponds to the date and you’ll always know which Proverb to read.
One thing that will really help you GROW is to journal about what you read and think about a passage! It’s also a great idea to write down questions you have and ask your Life Group, Ministry Leader or a Pastor about them.
When I read a passage, I usually ask these questions to help me understand and find something specific I need to do. I don’t look for an answer to all of these; I just ask the questions and look for an answer to one of them. Sometimes, nothing grabs me and I thank God for my time in the Scripture and move on.
- Is there an example in this passage I should follow?
- Is there a new thought about God, Jesus or the Holy Spirit for me to consider?
- Is there a sin I need to confess?
- Is there a promise in this passage I can claim?
- Is there an error I should avoid?
- Is there a command for me to obey?
Don’t give up even if you feel that you don’t understand. As I said, when I was a new believer, I didn’t understand a lot of what I read either and there are still passages and thing I don’t understand. That’s ok; growth is a journey – a process; it takes time and involves all five things Andy talked about in his series.
Added Note: Here are a few passages you might want to read on your own about God’s Word. Hebrews 4:12, 2 Timothy 3:16-17, Psalm 119:105, James 1:21-22, Psalm 119:9-11, Isaiah 40:8, Luke 11:28, Psalm 18:30, Matthew 7:24, Matthew 24:35, Psalm 33:4, John 8:31-32, John 15:7, Psalm 119:160, Proverbs 30:5, Psalm 19:7, Joshua 1:8.