Do you have any practical suggestions on ways you fold the habit of Bible reading into your busy life? I write not as someone who has mastered this discipline, but as one who is struggling day by day to expose myself to the life-transforming Word of God. Please pass on your wisdom and advice. One book that God has used to renew my vigor in Bible reading is, How Readest Thou? by J.C. Ryle. I know that the title sounds quite stale, but I assure you that this short work is anything but boring (only 62 pages). Here is a brief sampling of the punch that is packed in his words:
“I am well aware that there are more Bibles in Great Britain (or America) at this moment than there ever were since the world began. There is more Bible buying and Bible selling, more Bible printing and Bible distributing, than ever was since England was a nation. We see Bibles in every bookseller’s shop–Bibles of every size, price, and style–Bibles great, and Bibles small–Bibles for the rich, and Bibles for the poor. But all this time I fear we are in danger of forgetting that to have the Bible is one thing, and to read it quite another.”
We’re not off the hook yet . . .
“In one house it lies in a corner, stiff, cold, glossy, and fresh as it was when it came from the bookseller’s shop. In another it lies on a table, with its owner’s name written in it–a silent witness against him day after day. In another it lies on some high shelf, neglected and dusty, to be brought down only on grand occasions, such as a birth in the family, like a heathen idol at its yearly festival. In another it lies deep down at the bottom of some box or drawer, among the things not wanted, and is never dragged forth into the light of day, until the arrival of sickness, the doctor, and death.”
And it’s not only that we read, but how we read. We must read the Bible rightly . . .
“One man looks over a chapter on Sunday evening–but that is all. Another reads a chapter every day to his (children) at family prayers–but that is all. A third goes a step further and hastily reads a verse or two in private every morning, before he goes out of his house. A fourth goes further still and reads as much as a chapter or two every day, though he does it in a great hurry, and omits it on the smallest pretext. But each and every one of these men does what he does in a heartless, scrambling, formal kind of way. He does it coldly as a duty. He does not do it with appetite and pleasure. He is glad when the task is over. He forgets it all when the book is shut. Oh! what a sad picture is this! But in multitudes of cases, oh! how true.”
Now I am going to stop typing and go read my Bible . . . the right way.