Words of Worth

Me? A Reluctant Reader???

August 31, 2013

UnknownAbout a year ago, I reluctantly began reading the Bible in “chunks”. My former pastor in MS started assigning portions of Scripture to the congregation. Each week a few chapters would be listed or announced with the goal of reading the same book or section of the Bible every day that week. The ultimate goal of course was to see something “new” in the passage through the repeated readings.

My friend who is a member there started “chunk reading”. She loved it. I pretended not to notice. Soon she started sharing things she had learned from the weekly assignments. I applauded but still resisted. My way of reading the Bible was working for me. Every two or three years, I read it all the way through from beginning to end. I have devotional books and studies I do. Wasn’t that enough? Besides, I love inductive study. Precept upon precept, line upon line. Reading entire chapters day after day? I wasn’t convinced it would be helpful. (Clearly I needed to read a chapter or two on pride!)

But eventually, I caved. I read chapters and chapters and chapters and I complained and sighed and moaned until…. Well, until what happened is what always happens when you continually expose yourself to God’s word – my heart and mind began to change.

I began to see how sections of Scripture flow from one chapter to another. I began to see how passages related to other books. I began to see the narrative of history and God’s story on every page and I was amazed anew. I was also a little embarrassed of my former reluctance.

This summer, for reasons unknown to anyone, Neel (the pastor) decided to put us to the test. We had to read Romans – three chapters at a time – and then he followed Romans with Hebrews!!! I texted him, “Are you mad at us?” ☺
Now I love the book of Hebrews but it can be difficult to read and understand. However, God loves us so much that He made His Word alive and active (Hebrews 4) so we can draw near (Hebrews 10) and learn and be equipped for every good thing to do His will (Hebrews 13).

Perhaps the most famous chapter of Hebrews is Chapter 11 but reading it day after day in context with the rest of the book helped me notice something new. What follows is an excerpt from my journal:

“Ending my chunk reading of Hebrews and I finally (yippee!) see there’s not a break in the theme of Chapter 11 at all. It had seemed incongruous to me:
Abel offered a better sacrifice…
Enoch was taken up…
Noah built a boat…
Abraham obeyed…. Etc

But then it seemed to shift:
Isaac blessed his sons…
Jacob blessed his sons…
Joseph said, “Bring my bones home!”
Moses’ parents hid him…

The examples in the first part of Chapter 11 were people interacting with God as they looked to the future. Now I see the other folks listed were doing the same exact thing! They were all looking forward in faith. Isaac and Jacob could promise blessings, future blessings, because he trusted in a present and future king. Moses could be hidden because his parents trusted a God who sees. Even though it clearly says, “they were looking for a better place” a heavenly homeland, I associated that verse with the patriarchs listed in verses 4-12. But it applies to the rest of the chapter and it applies to me.

Future Blessings.
If not here on earth, then there – in heaven.
I must look around while I’m here on earth but I also look forward in hope!

With all these examples firmly placed on the flannel board of my mind, I see now the reason for the encouragement to run the race set before us (Hebrews 12:1) keeping our eyes on Jesus – the once and always King.”

My encouragement to you? Try some “chunk reading”! You may be surprised how God uses that discipline to enrich your present and future days. (ct)

“Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 1:13

%d bloggers like this: