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An Illustration: 2 shots of espresso with 2 pumps of vanilla

01/07/2012

Somewhat of a follow-up post to the last.  I’ve been having some good conversations with people about Bible reading and such.  I think this is because it is fresh on everyone’s mind, it being the new year time and all.

One of the most common debates/questions that seems to consistently come up is how to deal with reading the Bible when you really don’t want to or you know your heart isn’t in it.  As much as naturally I jump at even the thought of that as being oh-so-blatantly erroneous (judgmental thought, yes), I’m convinced after a lot of these conversations that there’s a certain sincerity and humility that is rather evident in all of this.  These are good things to be working through.

There are two things, both matters of “perspective,” that come to mind with this issue.  Holding these things forth with humility is the difference between jugdmental thoughts and helpful thoughts.

The first is worship.  To say “the heart isn’t in it” means that the purpose of the whole matter– personal worship to God– is being missed.  Bible reading brings knowledge and understanding, but for that to be the ends of the matter day in and day out would be to fall desperately short of the ultimate cause: life worship (in SO many ways) to God based on what He’s laid out for us.

The second is the issue of dependence.

Packs a punch.

I have to work really early in the morning sometimes.  Like 330AM early.  Luckily enough, I work at a place where getting free coffee isn’t too much of a problem.  To be more specific, 2 shots of espresso with 2 pumps of vanilla is what does the trick.  Within the first five minutes of arriving.  It’s gotten to the point where I need those shots of espresso to really be focused and productive any time I’m at work.  My coworkers can even tell when I didn’t have time to drink my shots yet.  Almost scary.  Apparently I really, really, really need my espresso.

The Bible should be the same way.  We should (and objectively do) really, really really need it to live life as Christians.  If we’re reading and worshiping correctly with our time in the Word (in terms of quality), there should be a noticeable difference between the days when we do and don’t have that time.  Our hearts need to be tuned to the very words of God so that we can be reminded of the truths of the Gospel, be reproved by the Word’s standard, and be refreshed by the peace we have with God through Christ.  Because only time in the Word will do that and so much more, we need to unabashedly depend on the Bible.  Our satisfaction, joy, peace, and other such things are anchored in consistent time with our Bibles.

Personally, this makes it non-negotiable.  This time needs to happen every day.  So, even if my heart is kicking and screaming or I am “busy” or I’m hungry or my dog ate my homework, I need to do what it takes to have that time.  The need (let alone the benefits) far outweighs the costs.  My heart needs that time to stay on track.  My mind needs that time.  My life needs that time.  Non-negotiable status, easily.

Now that gets me thinking all the more so: what things in my life am I more dependent on than my time with my Bible?  There are so many.  Is my joy anchored to money?  Often.  Are my thoughts cluttered with meaningless trivia?  Too much.  Is my peace rooted “me time?”  Selfishly, yes.

#1Worship#2Dependence.

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