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Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Devotion: Reading Spiritually

With each New Year I tend to make the same resolutions. One of which is to read the Bible from cover to cover. However, I have recently begun to approach scripture from a new perspective.
Often times we look at reading the Bible as a chore or an intellectual pursuit as if one day we will read it and retain all the knowledge necessary to live the ideal Christian life. Then we can set it on our bookshelves alongside other self-help books such as 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, What to Expect when Expecting and Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus.
In Eugene Peterson’s book, Eat This Book, he writes, “In our reading of [the Bible] we come to realize that what we need is not primarily informational, telling us things about God and ourselves, but formational, shaping us into our true being.”
In other words, reading of the Bible is not an informational pursuit to gain knowledge, but a formational devotion that transforms. It is a spiritual discipline that engages not only our minds, not only our hearts, but our full beings. If Scripture remains informational then it becomes a tool we control rather than God’s Living Word that challenges, inspires, redirects and comforts us whether we have read it for the first time or the fiftieth.
As the New Year is upon us, I encourage you to take time for devotional reading of the Scriptures. Whether it is hearing God’s Word preached, or biblical study during Sunday School, or daily reflection, like any other discipline spiritual reading of scripture takes time and commitment.
Have you found the reading of the Bible to be boring? Does that say more about us then about scripture? Why is it more appealing to approach scripture intellectually then spiritually? What prevents us from being able to read scripture devotionally?

2 comments:

Erik said...

Wes,

I can't wait to read and discuss this book together. So much of what we're planning at camp this summer revolves around the concept you quoted here. Good stuff.

Don said...

I'm just finally getting into this book & am loving it. I'm posting 3 quotes to Twitter each morning as I read a "section" devotionally. I should be done 10 days or so before we meet.

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