As I mentioned yesterday, I have been reading through the Bible chronologically and since January 1, I have read Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, 1 & 2 Samuel, 1 Chronicles, Job, and a lot of the Psalms (for those of you reading along with me). It equates to approximately 10-14 chapters a day.
As a Precept leader, of course I have my purple and yellow pens out and am marking every reference to God. I do this with a purple triangle colored in with yellow. This slows me down so that I don’t just zip along without really paying attention to what I am reading. If I were studying, I would mark more of the key words, but for this four-month reading I have decided to mark only the names of God and the pronouns. Now as I look through my Bible, I can spot easily which chapters have a lot to say about God.
In addition to reading the Bible, I also started reading “Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life” by Donald S. Whitney, and I wanted to share a little bit about why I highly recommend this book along with the reading of the Bible.
The author begins with a quote from V. Raymond Edman in Chapter 1 speaking very clearly to a time when God’s people are “largely illiterate in the Scriptures.” A time when “We need the rugged strength of Christian character that can come only from discipline.” Immediately I was intrigued as I feel this time alluded to is our present.
The main theme of the book is 1 Timothy 4:7,
“But have nothing to do with worldly fables fit only for old women.
On the other hand,
discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness.”
The focus being on “…discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness.” Along with this verse, Mr. Whitney has jam packed this 311 page book with Scripture, which always appeals to me.
I am recommending this book not only for a great study of the spiritual disciplines, but more importantly for a clear look at how to apply them, and in so many different ways. Again, this appeals to me because when it comes to meditation of the Scriptures, for instance, my artistic side tends to blossom. But I don’t want to meditate in a way that just makes me feel good. I want to meditate in a way that draws me into the presence of God and glorifies and magnifies Him in me, changing me from the inside out to be more like Jesus. This book shows me what that looks like, how to do it in every day life.
There is so much I can say about this book, but really I think you ought to get it for yourself and see what I’m talking about. I am in the process of meditating and memorizing Psalm 30, which has really been standing out and speaking to me. I’m so thankful for all that my God has saved me from. I want to be pleasing to Him and live the rest of my days only and always for Him. I want to tell the world of all He has done for me, in a day when the world wants us to be quiet about God and about His Son Jesus Christ, and about the Holy Spirit who dwells within those who have believed in Jesus as Lord and Savior. I want to praise Jehovah in song with every breath I have.
This sentence in “Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life” sums it all up for me: “Therefore if we would know God and be godly, we must know the Word of God—intimately.” We do this by disciplining ourselves for Godliness. Please join me!