18 October 2008

Cafe Chat Week of October 18

Kim asked another great question this week at Café Chat:

What is something in your life that was a “good” thing, but as in the verse in 1 Corinthians states was something that although good, was not beneficial or constructive for you?

"Everything is permissible"—but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible"—but not everything is constructive.” 1 Corinthians 10:23 (NIV)

As Christians we cherish the Word of God. The Bible is indeed our centre, our manual for life, the answer to our questions and the greatest love story we could ever read. I would never have thought that reading His Word could be anything but beneficial. If some is good, more is better, right? My husband and I choose a reading plan to work through the entire Bible for each new year as it begins. Each year has a different style, a different structure and we usually pick a different version each year as well. We have grown used to this discipline, perhaps, I am sad to say, even taking great pride in our reading.

I believe that the Lord is trying to teach me that more is not always better, for in one of my “Naturally Supernatural” course assignments I completed the following journaling session:

"Lord, talk to me about what true Bible study is to be like. Is it what I have been doing? Are there any ways You want my process of Bible study to deepen? If so, how? Thank You, Lord, for what you say.

I Am My Word and when you step into the Word, you step into Me and allow Me to penetrate your heart and spirit. To simply read the Word is touching Me with your mind only. My desire is total communion. We have talked much lately of abiding and this is another door into Me. I long to reveal truth to you in new ways, and all you need do is ask and listen. You do this, but often you are too impatient, child.

In some ways, you take bites of My Word that are too big for one swallow, even too big to chew. Let’s think about smaller pieces at one time. I know you are hungry, but more will always be there. Instead of stuffing yourself in one big meal, think of grazing throughout the day. This is the way to more complete digestion and will give us time to discover new truths together.

Thank You, Lord. I confess that I have been very rigid, even legalistic about the discipline of Bible reading, following a reading plan and listening to the plan instead of Your Spirit. Help me to stay more in tune with where You choose to lead me."

I would never disagree with Paul as he taught the following to Timothy:

“Every Scripture is God-breathed (given by His inspiration) and profitable for instruction, for reproof and conviction of sin, for correction of error and discipline in obedience, [and] for training in righteousness (in holy living, in conformity to God's will in thought, purpose, and action), So that the man of God may be complete and proficient, well fitted and thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17 Amplified

It is not the Word itself that is not beneficial for me, it was my approach to reading it that was getting out of hand. This year, as my Lord suggested, I will be taking smaller bites, chewing on them longer and instead of following my own plans I choose to ask His Holy Spirit to guide me.

Join us at Cafe Chat and add your response to this week's question.


Peggy said...

Thank you Firefly...for putting Light on His Word & how we should be reading & slowly taking in each portion. I, too, had been guilty of reading through the Bible on a plan and quickly discovered I was not really abiding in Him & He in me.
I so appreciate that you chose to share this lesson in response to Cafe Chat. It definitely benefited me. I love the way Daily Manna from IBS gives you a portion or Bible Gateway and you can take that in & let it work or expand to catch the entire context or chapter or wherever His Spirit leads because with the beautiful response you shared...it's clear that you hear Him. May you take the time to cherish HIS WORD & the way HE guides you to fill you as He changes you & your approach, may you bountifully be blessed! I'm sure you are disciplined by now!
So just RELISH & CHERISH in Christ & in HIS WORD!

Anonymous said...

Wow, that was an ambitious plan. I, too, have found that less can be more, sometimes thinking about a single verse for several days before even attempting to read more. It's tempting to bit off too much and your post is an excellent reminder to all of us of the value of small bits, thorough contemplation, and true relationship. Thanks!

Esthermay Bentley-Goossen said...

I've been here too. Sometimes we overlook GOD for His Word and then overlook GOD's WORD for the "routine."

Your post is an excellent reminder to me to use my time in the WORD to allow God to actually SPEAK to me and then USE me.

Your discipline and the way you shared it in this post was very beneficial indeed. THANK YOU!

sailorcross said...

Thanks for this post, Firefly!!

When I first re-turned to Christ, I thought to myself--"Now, I must read the Bible in its entirety to understand all of this." So, I, too, followed a reading plan.

I am sad to say that I didn't understand most of what I was reading and that was because I was reading the Bible just for the sake of reading it, and yes--being able to say, "I've read the entire Bible!" How prideful and wrong of me!!

And I didn't ask God to use His Holy Spirit to open my eyes, my heart, my mind to what He was saying to me!

I'm starting to read the Bible now in a new way--reading a small portion--just a few verses--and then asking (and yes journaling!) one key thought in the verses I have read--is there:

A truth to believe?
A promise to claim?
A perspective to embrace?
An attitude I need to adjust?
A priority I need to change?
A lesson to learn?
An offense to forgive?
A sin to confess?
An action I need to take?

You get the picture, I'm sure!!

And then after this contemplation and identifying the one key thought that God wants me to understand for that day, I can carry that throughout my day, recall it and turn my mind back to God--very much needed as this time.

Did you give any prayer and thought to what I asked you in my e-mail?

Have a wonderful day, and may OUR God use you today to point another to HIM!!