It’s been more than a while. It’s been over 2 years since I last wrote a blog post.
The busyness of life has taken over and there no longer seems to be any spare time to do some of the things I love. Life is one big rush from one place to the next. Time for bible and prayer is being squeezed.
Well not anymore.
Things are about to change.
This is my last week working in the square mile, the City of London. A new job awaits me next week. Shorter hours, shorter commute.
Time to refocus and reprioritise.
A new year, a new season, new beginnings.
101 days ago I returned from our annual visit to the New Wine summer conference in Somerset. Full of enthusiasm and feeling filled afresh with the Spirit, the next day I felt inspired to start a new reading plan. And so I embarked upon Bible in One Year.
Today I completed Day 100. I must admit, I wasn’t sure if I’d stick it out, as I’ve tried reading plans before and drifted off. But this time felt different. And it really has made a difference to my relationship with God. Every day he speaks to me through his Word in fresh, exciting and relevant ways. Verses leap out at me that seem hand picked for my circumstance.
If you’re not currently reading the bible daily, here’s a few tips get the ball rolling and keeping on track:
- Pick a reading plan. There are lots of plans available (check out You Version Bible app), and each reading comes with a devotional or commentary to help you delve deeper beyond the words on the page.
- Make yourself accountable. Why not get a friend to follow the same plan at the same time so you can discuss what you’ve read.
- Find a quiet place to read, without distractions.
- Make time every morning for your reading. It should be your first priority. It’s the best way to start the day. How can you put Gods word into practice if you’re about to go to bed?
- Pray before you read. Ask God to speak to you in new ways through his Word.
- Pray after you read. Ask God to help you put his Word into practice in the day ahead.
I found within a few weeks that my daily bible readings have become embedded in my routine. The Old Testament has been put into context in a way that I didn’t understand before. Psalms and Proverbs are offering daily encouragement and praise. Familiar New Testament parables and details of Jesus life, death and resurrection have new meaning and connection.
I’m already wondering what I’ll do once I reach Day 366…
One of the things I have taken away from New Wine United this year is that I’m coming up very short when it comes to reading the bible. Although I’ve done many short bible study plans, I’ve never managed to read it all the way through. I’ve had a couple of attempts, but the busyness of life seems to get in the way. My initial enthusiasm wanes, I lose momentum, fall behind and ultimately give up.
But this time feels different.
Commit your actions to the Lord and your plans will succeed.
Proverbs 16:3 (NLT)
They come along every now again – the crazy weeks where everything collides. You realise you’re out virtually every evening: Evening worship, Church AGM, planning meetings. And then it dawned on me, not only was it home group on Thursday, but I’d offered to lead the session.
After work I hastily went through my iTunes worship collection and selected a contemplative favourite from Rend Collective, Simplicity, for us to open in worship with. We’d been looking at ‘thirst’ during our Sunday evening service, so thought I’d take the easy option and follow that theme. I looked up a passage from John 4, ‘Jesus talks with a Samaritan woman’. To be fair, I would have liked to have put a bit more thought into it, but time wasn’t on my side.
God doesn’t do coincidences.