The purpose of developing discipline in studying the Bible is to develop a habit of daily communication with God. Developing a consistent habit of studying the Bible requires a little set up. Before jumping head first into your Bible reading, we must first establish 3 Q’s; a quiet place to study, a set quiet time, and finally a quiet heart in order to hear God’s word. Oftentimes we skip the importance of setting up the Bible study and jump in only to fail at our reading and studying the Bible.
In his book, Knowing God, J.I. Packer describes the true purpose of theology this way, “We must seek, in studying God, to be led to God...How are we to do this? How can we turn our knowledge about God into knowledge of God? The rule for doing this is demanding but simple. It is that we turn each truth that we learn about God into a matter for meditation before God, leading to prayer and praise to God.”
The ultimate purpose of reading and studying the Bible is to know God and by knowing God we are able to turn our knowledge of God into a transformative and glorifying work, with our songs, hymns and spiritual songs. We do this with our entire being!
Joshua 1:8; Nehemiah 8:3; Romans 10:17; Hebrews 4:12; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Psalm 119:11; Job 23:12;
The 3 Q’s Practical Steps:
1. A Quiet place to study. Find a place, where you are able to concentrate and meditate on your daily Scripture reading. Do not use a place that’s so comfortable that you fall asleep. This is a meeting between you and God, so strive for consistency rather than focusing on time spent reading.
2. A Quiet time to read your Scriptures. A good starting place is 15 minutes in the morning or evening, separated to just reading your Bible. Usually best before or after kids have gone to bed. Stay consistent with your selected time. Set a daily reminder on your phone. There is greater chance for success when you have one specific quiet time that is the same daily.
3. A Quiet heart to hear God’s word resonating in your heart. Psalm 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” God desires to meet us in our daily reading of Scripture. Whether you read the Bible from cover to cover or use a Bible reading plan, God intends in meeting you in your time of dedicated reading. Still your heart by praying for peace and for God to reveal himself through the Scriptures. John 17:17 Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.
One of the most powerful purposes living in a missional minded community is the accountability that is established within the group, to seek out God and his purpose for our lives. All of this begins with a discipline life of Bible reading and studying.