SIMPLE TRUTH: Get into the Word – and continue!By Staff Reports Published 5:15pm Wednesday, May 7, 2014
By Charles Christmas
I am convinced that the great need of the individual professing Christian is to personally and individually get into the Word (the Bible) on a daily basis and to continue day after day. Jesus said to professing believers, “If you continue in my Word, then are you my disciples indeed; and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-33).
My observation through the years has been that nothing does the devil fight any harder than to keep a professing believer away from a continuing daily time in the Word. Why is this true? The devil may not mind you making some profession, if you go no further. And you will not go much or any further without spending time in the Word. God’s plan and desire for the professing Christian is to grow in the Lord. “As beginning believers, desire the simple truth of the word of God which will enable you to grow up in your saving experience” (1 Peter 2:2). “Grow in knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ better and becoming more like him” (2 Peter 3:18).
What can “getting into the Word” do for you? “The Word is directly from God to you and is for the purpose of teaching you the truth, rebuking you when you are not walking in the truth, correcting you to walk in his ways, to teach you the right ways for your life and to prepare you for every good thing God has for you to face and do” (2 Timothy 3:16). But how does one go about “getting into the Word and continuing?” Allow me to make a couple of suggestions. If you are going to do anything successfully, you must set a time for it, and then you need a plan as to how you will go about doing it. So, let’s consider these two necessities:
First, set a daily time and place to “get into the Word.” Why do I suggest the first thing in each morning? So you begin your day in the best way possible. You put the Lord first. If you do not do this first, it seems almost impossible for some of us to get around to doing it. To do this, you must get up earlier. And to get up earlier, most of us would need to go to bed earlier. It may be that some may be able to set another time and really stick to it with discipline. Whatever works for you; set a daily time and be diligent in sticking with it.
Second, what is a simple plan I can begin with? If possible, use a Bible in modern day language. I prefer the New International Version. You may prefer the New King James Version or some present-day translation—not like they talked 400 years ago. Remember that the Bible was written guided by the Holy Spirit, and Jesus promised that “the Spirit of Truth will guide you into all truth.” The Spirit of Christ will speak to you from the Word. Set the amount of time you can spend. It is not important how much you read but that you get a personal word from God for you for that day. Ask God to speak a special word to your heart and mind.
Then the question, where do you begin reading in the Word? I suggest that you read each day a few verses in two different books in the Bible. Let one always be the book of Proverbs, beginning in chapter one, verse one; then in the book of Ephesians, beginning in chapter one, verse one. Proverbs gives you wisdom; Ephesians and the other books I suggest teach about what it means to be saved and how you are to live after you are saved. I suggest you follow Ephesians in order with these: 1 John, Colossians, James, Philippians, 1 Thessalonians, 1 and 2 Peter. After this you may want begin with the four Gospels, and then on consecutively through the New Testament, always add praying as you meditate.
Now, if you are someone who is really concerned about becoming a Christian and knowing for sure that you are saved, then you need to begin with chapter one, verse one of the Gospel of John. Why? Because this is the one book in the New Testament which tells you that “these things are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing, you may have eternal life in his name” (John:20:31).
Get in the Word and continue! No matter what time you set or how you go about it—just do it!
—Charles Christmas is a religion columnist for The Clanton Advertiser. His column appears each Thursday.