by Redunda Noble
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (BP) — It is that time of year again — the time when Americans have made New Year’s resolutions. We’ve promised to eat healthier foods, exercise more and lose weight. Most of us, though, have fallen prey to the never-ending cycle of failed resolutions.
We begin the new year promising to make changes, only to fail after a short time. We start with good intentions, but somewhere along the way, we lose motivation and end up making the same resolutions at the beginning of the next year.
Why not get out of the resolution rut and try something entirely different this year? Consider making a commitment that will feed your spirit and bring great blessing to your life. In 2015, let’s resolve to read more of God’s Word.
I know you might be saying, “I’m already at my church three nights a week. I can’t fit in another Bible study.” Before you get overwhelmed, let me explain.
I am not talking about joining another weekly Bible study or small group at your church. I am simply talking about you and God becoming more intimate this year; about you hiding His Word in your heart so that you will not sin against Him (Psalms 119:11). I am not talking about looking in the Bible to answer Sunday school questions, but relishing in God’s Word so that you develop a deep love for the Lord you never thought possible.
Here are a few simple ways to make the Bible a priority and begin a spiritual resolve for the rest your life.
Start a daily Bible reading plan
It is super easy to download a Bible reading app these days on your smartphone or tablet. Simply choose the plan that interests you and get started. The app will remind you to read and will keep you up to date with your plan. You never have to try to remember the chapter and verse of your reading. You can even highlight and bookmark favorite verses.
If you want to spread the love, involve your whole family. Choose a family devotional reading plan and then discuss what you learned over dinner each evening. A family devotional works even if you have adult children away at college. You can view each other’s plan activity and encourage each other as you read and study together.
How many times do we try to quote a verse only to forget a portion of it? Maybe we can’t remember an important chapter and verse when sharing our faith with someone. Why do we attend church, but refuse to read the Bible? It is no wonder that researcher George Barna called Americans “biblically illiterate.”
For Christians, memorizing Scripture is the best way to hide God’s Word in our hearts. When we face struggles, or temptations, the Lord is faithful to bring His Word to our remembrance and help us overcome. Try memorizing a verse each week. Write the verse on index cards or put Scripture sticky notes on your bathroom mirror. While brushing your teeth in the morning, you will be investing in your spiritual growth.
Turn off the radio
Music is inspirational, but does it guard your heart against sin? Choose to turn off the radio in your car and put in an audio Bible CD instead. Take a break at work, plug in your headphones to your Bible app, and push play. Allow God’s Word to minister to you while you tune out all other distractions.
Journal meaningful verses
Keep a journal of the verses that mean the most to you. If you have been encouraged, strengthened or challenged by a verse, write about it. Write down what God is teaching you, and what you need to change to obey Him fully. Write how the Lord has answered a prayer in your life related to the verse. Write a name next to the verse if you are praying for someone else. Your journal is your point of reference as you see God’s hand at work in your life.
Get alone with God
If your house is too noisy and someone is always interrupting your quiet time (like at my house), try finding a spot outdoors to spend time with God. Sit alone with your Bible in your backyard. If you get tired of sitting, walk in your neighborhood while you recite Bible verses. Find a cubicle at the local library or a quiet corner at the coffee shop. Read for several minutes and then meditate on the verses you read. Listen for God to speak to your heart.
In 2015, resolve to include the Bible in your daily life. The Lord has graciously given us His Word, and it is our privilege to read and study it. The ultimate blessing is that as we allow the Bible to penetrate our hearts, we will grow in faith, draw close to our heavenly Father, and experience sweet fellowship with Him.
Redunda Noble is a freelance writer who also leads a women’s Bible study, sings at church and serves alongside her husband James Noble, pastor of Grace Fellowship Baptist Church in Memphis, Tenn.
Reprinted from Baptist Press (www.baptistpress.com).
Baptist Press (BP) is the official news service of the Southern Baptist Convention and provides news to the 42 state Baptist papers. BP reports on missions, ministry and witness advanced through the Cooperative Program and on news related to Southern Baptists’ concerns nationally and globally.