Thursday, February 5, 2015

Great Blessings

When we think of our daily routine we often-think first of a shower (hopefully), maybe the appointments you have, work issues, food for the day, or the clothes you will wear. But I wonder where Bible reading, meditation and prayer come into the equation? Many times when I think of personal disciplines they feel like something to do in order to accomplish my tasks for the day, almost like they were a part of my job. It seems like that may be the reason why we find reading and prayer drudgery and not a blessing.

So how do we move from boring to blessing, from job to joy? I don’t think it is by someone telling you that they are important for you to do, you already know that. What I do think aids in our practice of discipline is to see them as a time for us to partake in the blessings of God. This is the picture that the scripture sets out for us.
Ps 1:1a, 2 “Blessed is the man…but his delight is in the law of the Lord and on his law he meditates day and night.” Blessing (the life to be envied) is clearly related to meditation on the word of God.

Prov. 1:7–9 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. Hear, my son, your father’s instruction and forsake not your mothers teaching, for they are a graceful garland for your head and pendants for your neck.” The writer of the Proverb is saying that the knowledge that is found in the Godly wisdom of parents is like fine jewelry. Where do parents get this type of wisdom? I can think of no better place than the Word of God.

Isa. 55:2b “Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good and delight yourselves in rich food.” Here Isaiah equates the prophetic word with good and delightful food.

Matt. 4:4 “But he answered, ‘It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God’” Here our Lord (using scripture that he had stored up in his heart) answers the temptation of Satan by saying that we live by the word that comes from the mouth of God.

Rev. 1:3 “Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near.” Now the apostle John points to both the blessing of reading and hearing the word of the Lord.

How is Scripture a Blessing? It is a blessing because it communicates to us God’s grace in many ways. First, God works through his word as it is read and especially as it is preached to build us up and to feed us until we are satisfied. Do you want satisfaction? Sit under the word Preached! Read God’s word! Second, God works through his word to put on display his grace in saving us. Do you find yourself asking if God loves you or cares about you? Read God’s word and see there the written account of his love for you! Third, the Spirit works with the word to make you into the person you were always meant to be. Do you wonder what God has for your life? Do you wonder what your future will hold? Read God’s word and see Jesus!

Reading God’s word is a great blessing because we are blessed as we read it. It is like sitting down to dinner with the most important person in your life and feasting till your heart is content. And when it feels like you are slogging through, know that in those moments Christ still is communicating his grace to you!

Here are the Ligoneer app and the Logos Bible app by Faithlife that both contain helpful Bible reading plans and are easy to use.

iPhone apps

Andriod apps

Joel Fitzpatrick

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