Monday, June 30, 2008

bite-sized pieces

This evening, in responding to Andrew's comment here, I was led to think of what I've been doing recently in relation to reading Scripture, which for me so far has proved to be far more satisfying than my recent past practice, or practice before that.

Over the years and certainly so in recent months I would most every day go through relatively large portions of Scripture. It was good, especially early on, as I was hearing God's word read and through parts of it, I believe God was speaking to my heart, while the rest I was getting exposed to. I think whenever we read Scripture we should simply value each reading for the reading itself in relation to the goal of such reading: to hear God and know him and his will for us better.

Lately, as I stated in an earlier post, I had become fatigued over all the Scripture reading both morning and evening, and found myself just wanting to get it done. Not good in really getting the point as to why it is given to us.

I then simply stopped reading pretty much altogether for awhile, just taking in some from The Bible Experience, and a short portion daily from Scripture. After a couple weeks of this I knew I needed to really get back into the word again.

So now I'm taking it in throughout the day in bite-sized pieces. Smaller portions, read with prayer. I'm liking it. I think it's helping prevent me from missing the point of why it's given, something I'm good at doing, I'm afraid.

We're to meditate, and in the words of Scripture, "eat this book" (to Jeremiah, Ezekiel and the Apostle John in the Revelation). This involves the whole thing, not just the parts we like. I really kind of dislike these little promise books that have verses pasted in to help people in this and that trouble. Sometimes such verses are taken out of context, though I wouldn't say they don't do any good at all for people. But we need to learn to take in the whole, all of God's word from Genesis to Revelation.

Yet for me, at least now, I need to do so frequently in bite-sized pieces. Not too much at a time and with prayer. And often every day, being my goal.

We need to be those who are hungry for God's word because we love God and want in Jesus to grow in his will in our character and actions. And simply because we know we need it, even if most of the time we don't really understand what's going on in the process.

How about you? How do you like to take in Scripture? Or any thoughts about this that could help us?

6 comments:

Rachel Mc said...

I'm still struggling to find how to cooordinate my time/day and find quiet time to be alone with God. I have learned to be flexible and to make the most of opportunities that come up. This week my sons are at boy scout camp and will return on Saturday. I exspect to read the bible a lot and journal a lot and just be alone with God. Some days I get down because I don't have a set time or schedule to read everyday but I just remind myself to do my best and God will help with the rest.

NaNcY said...

a bite to chew and eat
one bite at at time

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“The Devil fears the word of God, He can't bite it; it breaks his teeth” Martin Luther quote

“Do not bite at the bait of pleasure, till you know there is no hook beneath it.” Thomas Jefferson

“Truth has rough flavours if we bite it through.” T.S. Eliot

“When eating an elephant take one bite at a time” Creighton Abrams

___________________________________


just a few quotes for fun.

i was thinking that the word of God, the books of the bible, are good jumping off places for conversation with God. the word is also a good way for God to say things to us.

going at it in smaller bites makes it easier to taste and to chew. when we chew our food better it digest easier. no need to super-size-it and gulp it down in huge bites without chewing.

in other words...no need to bite off more than we can chew.

preacherman said...

You said it.
Bite sizes are so important because eating too big of a bite can cause choking which is as bad as not eating at all.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Rachel,
Good thoughts. Yes, I enjoy reading through a book and or a good number of chapters at one sitting if I can stay awake!

And good not to get down on yourself when you miss. Also good to try to have a plan, set times, but I'm still sorting through all of this in the new way I'm taking, as well.

In my case I've been extra tired lately, it seems. I keep so active during the day and off my feet at home, I love to get into the word and a good book as well, but most often seem to be asleep.

Great to hear that your sons are in boycscout camp. That would have done me a world of good, I think, as a boy.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Nancy,
Great comment! And quotes, too.

Yes, I'm a good one, especially so in younger years, to gulp down a super-size portion, hardly chewing it at all.

I still like the idea of getting more into God's word, like reading a book, say Romans, in one sitting. And to keep doing that maybe for a month daily. Things like that.

But it's important that we chew it well, for sure.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Kinney,
I do think superficial readings of Scripture could end up being worse than no readings at all, though I won't go that far. But we need to read it like any other book, since it is as human as any other- yet we need to also read it as the Book from God, since it is from God as well.

Yes, we need to read it slowly, and thoughtfully and let God do his work through it over time. Then we'll grow in our salvation in Jesus.