I have three children. One son, Israel and two daughters, Camille and Charlie. Charlie loves to have books read to her! The other day I found myself on the floor with her reading, re-reading, and reading again the same book for close to two hours. Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell. When you read something enough, it can start to get in you. I find myself thinking through the pages of this wonderful book at the most random times. I may be sitting in staff meeting thinking to myself that a lion says, “roar!” and an elephant is way too big to keep as a pet!
When we read through things we often see it the same way time and time again. I was reading this wonderful book to my daughter again the other night and had a momentary thought: “I wonder how she hears this?” What thoughts are going through her mind that make this so magical each time she hears it? The way that she looks, waiting for me to make my awful imitation of animal noises! The laughter that follows, and her insistence that I continue to the next page, pointing at every detail. I had a fleeting thought run through my mind that I have grabbed and tried to steward from that moment on: Do I read the Word of God in the same way? Do I listen intently, waiting to see what is next? Do I have the same enthusiasm that my 3 year old daughter has for a book about zoo animals? This is the Word of God! Should we not be more intrigued and engrossed in this than anything else?
I want to be like Mary, not Martha, who sits at the Masters feet, listening as I can now imagine, to Jesus speaking truth and sharing His wonderful parables. I picture her face to be the same as my daughter's. A sparkle in her eye and an eagerness in her smile as she hangs on every word.
I am reminded of Josiah's first encounter with the Word of God in 2 Kings 22:11 "Now it happened, when the king heard the words of the Book of the Law, that he tore his clothes." He in turn shared this with the nation and we see one of the greatest revivals take place in the Bible. This at the simple speaking of the Word of God.
There was nothing elegant that was being said or proclaimed in either scenario. This was not as much about the posture of the giver of the Word as it is about the posture of the receiver of the Word. The Word of God profited them. In Hebrews 4:2 it says, "For indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it."
Does the Word of God profit you?
How often do we read in the wrong posture, so we therefore "get nothing out of it." His Word doesn't return void, but we can definitely not gain from it if our posture is wrong. Think about this: In the parable of the talents, the last man was not thrown out for receiving the talent, rather for receiving the talent and not gaining profit from it. It would be a shame to come this far and miss out on all that God has for us, because of our posture before him. The only position that really matters is the one you are in before His throne.
Does the Word of God excite you?
Here are some ideas to help kick-start a Bible reading regime that will excite you!
1. Find a good devotional. Try a plan on the You Version app.
2. Read slowly with a pen in your hand. Write in the margins or get a journal.
3. Study a specific Person in the Bible. Read what commentaries have to say about them.
4. Study a specific Topic in the Bible. Work your way through every passage about it.
5. SOAP - Scripture, Observation, Application and Prayer. Keep it simple and start with less.
6. Pray back scripture. Put everything in "first person."
Remember, consistency trumps quantity!