“You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures
nor the power of God.”
I had a tough conversation the other day with a longtime friend of mine. She’s going through a difficult time, so we talked about patience and perseverance and trust when things are going badly.
Often, when I’m talking with someone who is asking me for prayer, my main concern is that they’re reading the Bible. Reading the Bible can be hard enough on a good day ~ the language, the cultural or geographical references that don’t come naturally to us… But when things are not going well, it can be even harder. Maybe we just feel like we don’t have the brain energy.
Anyhow, I asked my friend what book of the Bible she was reading in her quiet time, and she said she was reading to currently popular daily devotionals.
Daily devotionals are lovely and wonderful. They can give us a quick boost, or a verse to take with us on our day. They can provide illustrations that can make a passage real to us, or give us another way of looking at a portion of the Bible.
But they aren’t the same as sitting down and reading the Bible. My friend is on a very difficult journey right now, and by her own admission, she’s starving for Him. Desperate for him. And yet all she’s giving herself are small bites. She needs a good hearty meal, and she’s eating granola bars.
Reading the Bible for ourselves gives us more than reading any book about the Bible. You sit down and maybe read a chapter or two, and a verse strikes you. You love the truth of it or the sound of it or the reminder of it. You highlight something, or make a note in the margin or jot something down on an index card to keep in your wallet. Or maybe you email a verse to a friend, or find yourself looking up another verse somewhere else in the Bible, because all of a sudden you found yourself thinking about it.
There’s nothing wrong with daily devotionals. I own several and ~ hey, look! I write one, too. 🙂 But their benefit to our lives is in addition to, not instead of. They should be the appetizer, not the meal.
Thanks for reading. Now go read your Bible, people!