Pay attention to the tension in your body. Let go of it and any expectations to do anything other than God’s will today. Prepare yourself to hear God’s word.
Deuteronomy 11:18-21 (NRSV)
You shall put these words of mine in your heart and soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and fix them as an emblem on your forehead. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, so that your days and the days of your children may be multiplied in the land that the LORD swore to your ancestors to give them, as long as the heavens are above the earth.
Beginning January 1st of this year, I started a program of reading the Bible cover to cover. I’ve had “The One Year Bible” for some time, but had never been committed enough to follow through. I love the way the program is set up. Each day is divided between an Old Testament reading, a New Testament reading, a psalm, and a selection from Proverbs. It is a very balanced approach to reading the Bible. It also allows the reader the opportunity to see the contrasts between the Old and New Testaments, but I think the most useful aspect of this program is that you immerse yourself in God’s Word.
This scripture selection from Deuteronomy is actually one of the more “readable” parts of the five Books of Moses. I have to admit that slogging through all the minute Judaic laws and census facts included in these books can be daunting for a modern reader. However, these verses, along with the Ten Commandments section in Exodus, stand the test of time for all readers. This selection makes it perfectly clear: “You shall put these words of mine in your heart….”
The only way to do that is to engage with the Bible. I believe that most regular church-goers have a minimal grasp of God’s Word. When quizzed on specifics of biblical stories or teachings, there can be an appalling lack of knowledge and understanding. Again, the only way to rectify that is to read the Bible. In this modern, digital age, it is very easy to find concordances, Bible dictionaries, and commentaries to aid you in your understanding. In fact, on my phone right now I have not one, but five different “Bible” apps, with each one having unique characteristics. They do me no good unless I open them and use them.
According to Deuteronomy, we are to teach these words to our children, talk about them when you are at home, talk about them while you’re away, when you lie down, and when you rise. In other words, the word of God is a 24-hour-a-day requirement. This is a tall order to fulfill. My goal is to complete my One Year Bible readings. The thought being, by ingesting the entirety of the word, I should be prepared for most events that happen in my life. The Bible is a wonderful guidebook for living. It is unchanging in a very changeable world.
Personal note—I’ve faithfully read each day, so far, for almost 4 months. Only 8 months to go! Baby steps.
Dear Lord, your word is life. Your word is our path through this difficult world. Give us the strength to read and follow your wisdom every day. Amen.
Go with God.