How I'm Reading the Bible Right NowAug 09, 2022
Ever wondered how an ancient text (the book of Genesis was first written around 3400 years ago) can give you wisdom and keys to the way of life on a daily basis? Better yet, the words are living and active and as you read them, they are READING YOU! So how do you engage with the scriptures on a daily basis to grow in wisdom and the best way to live life?
Here's some practical tips that I am doing right now.
[Listen to the podcast episode 156 here - Authentic Conversations]
1. My baseline, go-to reading, is the book of Proverbs
This is the book of wisdom so reading a chapter each day keeps you from sabotaging your life success... IF you do what it says. To ignore the counsel of wisdom is to invite trouble into your life (Prov 9:12 TPT).
The simple way is to read the chapter that coincides with the day of the month. Today is August 9 so I'm reading Proverbs chapter 9.
As I read I am asking Holy Spirit, what wisdom He has for me today. Verse 6 pops out:
"Lay aside your simple thoughts and leave your paths behind.
Agree with my ways, live in my truth, and you will find righteousness."
I then highlight it and re-read it across different versions. I love the YouVersion bible app for this as it is so quick and easy. Actually, I've just started giving to them on a monthly basis because it's such a great resource and I use it virtually every day.
Reading across different versions helps with context - so that you don't read into the scripture something it was never intended to say. Different versions also help broaden your understanding of the passage as they use different words that can trigger slightly different perspective and understanding.
I find that when I pause from my activity and lean into 'hearing' more that God speaks more. That's a principle - Pay attention, therefore, to how you listen. Whoever has will be given more, but whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has will be taken away from him (Luke 8:18).
So what am I hearing Wisdom speak to me today from Proverbs 8:6 I mentioned above?
The simple framework S.O.A.P helps me (developed by Pastor Wayne Cordeiro)
What Scripture is highlighted?
What is your Observation about what it says?
What is the Application to you, today?
Now take a moment and Pray about it.
My observation is that this is invitation to let go thinking and the patterns of behavior that lead to undermining confidence, sowing doubt and sabotaging or delaying success in the Way of life (righteousness).
My application for today is a re-emphasis and re-engagement in what I talking to you about! I MUST come daily and prioritize time to read and listen to the ways of Wisdom. I need to refix my thinking and behaviour on what Wisdom says about me and not what circumstance or opposition says. SO I AM EXTENDING MY TIME DAILY to do just this. It is how I start my day.
This is significant because the last two months have been all over the map with transition and changing environments. Now that we are in our own home I need to re-establish daily patters, disciplines and rituals that set me up for success. This is the first one!
Now I pray:
Lord, I let go the distractions and mess all around me and recenter my life and focus on You and Your ways of Wisdom. Let Your Word read and align me. Search me and know me. Test me and know my anxious thoughts. Test me and see if there is any offensive way in me. And lead me in the way everlasting. Thank you for speaking to me this morning!
2. My current (re)focus is the scripture that define my life purpose
As we get setup again in a new home, in a new location, with a new schedule (and timezone) I felt prompted to go back to the scripture mandate that defines my purpose and calling.
Titus 1:5 is a life verse that first opened up to me around 2005 after a 21 day fast. It is the Apostle Paul speaking to his disciple, Titus, saying "For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should SET IN ORDER THE THINGS THAT ARE LACKING, AND APPOINT ELDERS IN EVERY CITY..."
This is what eventually became the tagline of my coaching/consulting business as I was running one day pondering how to say what I do:
"I give individuals and organizations clarity for what's next and the courage to do it."
So how am I uniquely reading the bible right now?
A) I am going back over key scriptures that define who I am and what the Lord has commanded me to do
Note, this is what THE LORD says about me; not a missionary, not a pastor, not a leader. According to the command of the Lord (see Titus 1:3 TPT)
What are they key passage(s) of scripture that define you? If you don't have one, ask the Lord to reveal to you a scripture or passage. Don't wait, do it right now.
B) I am going deeper and broader in the scripture
I jumped into the passion translation and copied the entire book of Titus, then pasted it into a word document.
I then deleted all the titles and verse numbers so that it reads like it would have originally... as a letter... to me!
I then saved it as a pdf file and uploaded this into a document reader (I use ReMarkable) that I can then write over, highlight and add notes. You could simply do this by printing out a hard copy and writing over it.
I have uploaded a copy of my document HERE (click to open/download). If this doesn't work, email me and I will send you a copy.
C) I am highlighting actions, commands and behaviors to implement
As I repeatedly read through this letter (to me!) I look for phrases or words that are repeated.
I also read the entire passage in other translations for the same reasons I mentioned earlier in this post.
I then underline, highlight or annotate things that stand out. For me that is the purpose for which the letter was written and the mandate given to Titus - what he was being commanded to do. I then look for HOW he is to do that.
All of this I note and then summarize in my journal/notebook.
I am committed to reading this daily over at least a week, pondering it through and allowing it to percolate in my spirit (called meditation).
After a week or so, I will take time to summarize and then use that to refine and refresh the vision, purpose, mission, objectives, strategies and actions for my business... Heaven in Business!
PS. If you read through Titus you will find the very purpose for which I wrote this today for you!
So, what will you be reading today and tomorrow?
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