I heard a recent exchange among men on the importance of "the spiritual discipline of study." Was good, but not entirely sure what to think of it, except I have either misplaced, or never owned my own copy of the book they were referring to (good author). I will be looking at that book soon. One of our pastors, Sharon, in the past has taken us through Lectio Divina in reading Scripture, and it was good.
My point here is that I think we need to learn to read the Bible well. This will involve rereading it, to be sure. And reading it slowly and carefully. Pondering its meaning both for the original readers, and for us today. And trying to catch something of God's voice to us through that.
I have listened to the Bible being read I think dozens of times in my life. That is good, and keeps me in all the books throughout the year. Yet I find that the best reading I do is the kind where I can stop and ponder what I just read. If we sweep over a book, that is good as well, because a cardinal sin of Bible reading, and Bible memory is to take one "precious promise" or whatever from Scripture out of context. We need to read each part of every book in the context of that book.
But we also need to let what we read soak in. We need to ponder and think through each thought we read. And see it all in terms of the Story of God, and how we fit into that story.
This takes time and effort. It certainly involves being in the Book daily, or at least regularly. But it also involves living life and reading other books and listening to others. The Bible reflects real life and the real world, so that we need not be threatened by what we hear and read out there, as we continue to read Scripture. Indeed, we'll often find it eveh helpful to us. Of course not all of us are readers, though probably most bloggers are, so that most anyone who will read this, is. But I find that we need to be in Scripture reguarly, and we understand Scripture better as we seek to grow in living as fully as we can in this life before God through Christ with other believers for the sake of the world.
What has any of you found to be true from your own life and experience in this?