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Monday, February 18, 2013

You Are My Daily Bread: The Word Side of Devotion 2

imageThis continuation includes:
  • Which Bible should I use?  
  • How should I go about reading this huge book?!
  • Meditating & memorizing
  • Being mentored with daily devotionals
  • Great preaching & sermon notes




Five great questions of life: Life * Love * Learning * Labor * Leadership

Life: What's My Spiritual Center?

You Are My Daily Bread: The Word Side of Devotion 2

By Evan Nehring

[If you want, you can start with part 1 of this post...]

What Bible should I use?

My first choice of Bibles is still the NIV (New International Version) for familiarity. I've also come to love The Message Bible. It's a paraphrase that hits our ears today like the original words would have hit the ears of those who originally heard and read them. The NASB (New American Standard Bible) is a solid, scholarly translation in English. I also use CEV, NKJV and the Living Bible.

Try to get your hands on a good study Bible. They're not cheap, but they will walk you through the sections and books of the Bible as if there were a seasoned scholar by your side all the way.
 
iPhone Bible App - The Message Version
 

How should I go about reading this huge book?!

I always want to take what I’ve read and let it penetrate my soul and change my life. Here are some plans you might consider[1]:
  • Read through the Bible once a year. Plans are readily available.
  • Read five Psalms and one chapter of Proverbs each month, taking you through those books monthly.
  • Soak in a book of the Bible per month, giving you a deep interaction with the entire Bible in five and a half years.
  • Choose special topics that are relevant in your life.
  • Read through biographically, following the story of key Bible characters.

Meditating

Meditation has flowed best for me through journaling. Not to be melodramatic, but I like to ask myself, “How does what I’m reading change my life? Holy Spirit, come and have your way with this.”” The Bible is a life-changing book. If I’m not seeing that change, I may not be taking the words to heart.
 

Memorizing

Another great tip from Dr. Meyer: work at memorization from the big picture and the small picture. The big picture is the overview of each book’s details: title, key verse, key idea, and outline, for example. I have the outline of Genesis engrained in my mind from Dr. Meyer’s Pentateuch class: Creation, Fall, Flood, Nations, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph.

The small picture is more familiar to us: memorizing specific verses and themes. These could be verses on salvation or other important themes. Or they could be verses with much personal meaning. One of mine is where Jesus says:
Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. (John 12:24, NIV)
Nothing brings the Word to life in your Spirit like memorization.
 

Being mentored with daily devotionals

There are thousands of wonderful devotional resources available in books, on websites, on YouTube, and as daily emails. Some are laid out as daily readings for a year, while others are just good inspirational material. This may be the all-time leading graduation gift!
 
Just typing “devotional books” on Google or Amazon will give you hundreds of options. There are daily readings for you alone or for couples. Or you could just pick up good Christian books that inspire without the daily format. Study Bibles are also loaded with tools to help you personalize God’s Word.
 
Google search for "devotional books"
 

Great preaching & sermon notes

One last thought about getting into the Word. Choosing a church is complicated (more on that later). But as you weigh your options, please place a very high value on a pastor who honors God and his people by pouring heart, soul, mind and strength into his weekly sermon.
  • Does he take the time most every week to prepare?
  • Does he make it interesting?
  • Do you feel that his messages honor the Word of God, rather than stretching what scripture says?
  • Does he allow God to speak through him in a life-changing way?
  • Does he walk the talk?
I know that’s a tall order. When you find a preacher like that, get to church as often as you can, take good notes, and thank God for a worthy messenger!


[1] Thank you Dr. Don Meyer for your timely thoughts on a lifetime of absorbing God’s Word.


Here's a link to all my posts on "Life: What's My Spiritual Center?"
More of Evan's Posts on Life, Love, Learning, Labor and Leadership...
Go to Posts on Life: What's My Spiritual Center? Go to Posts on Love: Who Will I Spend My Life With? Go to Posts on Learning: What's My Worldview? Go to Posts on Labor: How Will I Make a Living? Go to Posts on Leadership: What Difference Will I Make?

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5 comments:

  1. NIV is certainly one of the best. The one I first read in fact. You can't go too wrong with an ESV either.

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    Replies
    1. I would have to describe this as a most uninteresting comment. Please see my post on this site. Copywritten Bibles are a dangerous thing

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  2. John, I see more ESV these days for sure. I find myself flipping to it often on my Bible app during the sermon.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Mr Wallace says: "you can't go too wrong".. how wrong do you need to go before you're actually wrong. Scary thing all these copywritten Bibles floating around. The obvious choice should be the one with no copyright®… Elizabethan age language & law is very important. It produced the Authorized Holy Bible. See pictures on my site on Twitter @Godwalk7 for important details

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  4. @Godwalk7 Thanks for dropping by. Mr. Wallace is a very good friend. I think his phrase is an idiom. I appreciate your loyalty to the KJV. I grew up with it and appreciate it still.

    Above all, I want the grace and truth of Jesus to shine through in our love for each other. God bless you tonight!

    ReplyDelete