Listen to this devotional
Prayer prepares my heart:
Start your morning with a prayer for God to open your mind to understand, believe, and gain insight into his will from your reading of Scripture. Since today is about “Deep Reading” you will need to decide how you will read the Scriptures.
If you have any difficulty reading, (understand that a great many people do) then consider using Audio and DVD Bibles to help you.
Scripture sets my mind:
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.Hebrews 4:12-13 NIV
Read this Scripture once. Read it again, circling the words you have a reaction to, then set your mind to read Psalm 119.
Questions focus my reading:
You will begin by reading Psalm 119. Following this, you will read 1 and 2 Timothy for the next week. In your reading, read each chapter at least one time before moving to the next section.
While reading, seek to answer the following questions:
- What does Psalm 119 teach me about reading the Bible more deeply?
- What does 1 Timothy teach me about knowledge of the Bible and skill in using the Scriptures?
- How much do I use the Bible in my life, conversations, and to help others build faith?
- What does 2 Timothy teach you about the power of God’s word?
Read, annotate, note:
Reading deeply means being emotionally present while you read. Sometimes creating a mind-calming soundtrack to listen to can help you focus.
Most importantly, take notes while you read — write down meaningful words, thoughts that come to mind, and especially emotional reactions to what you read.
Probe, examine, reflect:
Spend time probing your heart for how it really feels about the Bible. Examine your reactions to scripture, to recognize if you focus more on what makes you feel positive, what makes you feel negative, or if you find yourself avoiding any response at all.
Most importantly while reading, reflect on whether you felt like you were having a conversation with God (him speaking, you listening, and you responding silently or even audibly to him), or if you’re simply fulfilling a duty.
Prayer, faith, power:
Pray for God to give you a heart inclined to believe, enjoy, and obey the scriptures. Don’t forget to ask for the power to obey those things in Scripture which feel overwhelming or impossible.
Write down one word or sentence to describe how you want to grow in reading the Scriptures.
Select 1-3 people to share what you learned about your attitude toward the Scriptures, and ask them for help to strengthen your weaknesses. After you have shared and listened, then ask them how they feel about their attitude toward the Bible, and what they think their strengths and weaknesses are in deeply reading the Scriptures.
Make a decision to increase your belief in the Scriptures and obedience to them, along with the quantity of your reading, especially in your use of the Bible to help others build their faith.
Create a Bible study for a friend in need, and give it to them along with a card or present with the goal of increasing their faith in God.