You can make almost any Christian feel guilty by asking them how their Bible reading and prayer habits are going. Many of us find having godly habits in this area difficult, and it is possible that we find ourselves not doing what we know we should be doing.
Why should we read the Bible regularly anyway? If you are like me, you may have read the Bible through many times, maybe you have even grown up the church and feel you know the Bible well already. We don’t re-read any other book so many times when we already think we know it, so why the Bible? There are some good reasons to encourage a regular Bible reading habit:
- It means that you are getting constant input from God. The way you see the world is influenced by what input you are getting. Most of us watch much TV or read many books but only have direct input at church or church ministries.
- It puts you in a humble position before God regularly. When you regularly pray you are showing God that you know you cannot do it all and you recognize him as your King and Friend.
- It improves your knowledge of the Bible, and your knowledge of God. God reveals himself to us in his Word. So if you want to know what God is like, the Bible shows you what He has said, what he has done, which is ultimately fulfilled in Jesus.
- It gives you guidance for living in God’s world, and helps you to identify areas you need to work on and false teaching. The Holy Spirit often convicts us of sin as we read or listen to God’s word, and we need that.
So if you are a little guilty about your Bible reading, do something about it in 2013. Start small and regular – make sure you read a little each day, even a few verses, and think and pray about them. Over time it will change your perspective on the world.
I have found great benefit personally with having a Bible reading plan in the past, some pattern that makes sure I read the whole Bible over time and not just my favourite passages. You can find a big list of options for free at http://www.ligonier.org/blog/bible-reading-plans/.
Starting this habit, or re-starting it, is the best thing you can do for your spiritual life in 2013.