“And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe” (1 Thessalonians 2:13).
Reading God’s Word is one of the simplest and the most common spiritual disciplines for connecting with God’s heart. I choose to expose myself to every verse in the Bible at least once a year. Sometimes I read an inordinate amount of God’s Word in December, but I will finish reading all of it by the end of the year. This is not my study time, nor lesson preparation time, but simply an attempt to understand the broad scope of God’s written Word.
We can have different motives for reading the Bible. One motive is to read through the Bible to accomplish something. A better motive is to read through the Bible to learn something that can glorify our incredible God. Self-glorification comes from focusing on my accomplishing a spiritual activity. Some of the religious people in Jesus’ day had an issue of spiritual pride. They had an immense knowledge of the Bible, but not a passion for God. Their passion was for accomplishment and self-righteousness. Their Bible knowledge led to more pride in their great accomplishment. When we read the Bible with a desire to develop passion for God, our Bible knowledge will nurture that passion and not lead to pride.
–Taken from The Path toward Passion (Nine Disciplines that Connect Your Heart to God’s) by Dean Trune. (Click on the blue title for more information about this resource).
Holy Spirit, teach me as I read Your word and convict me when I read it only to “accomplish” rather than to know You better. May I learn how to pray through Your living word, seeking wisdom and knowledge from Your heart.
Praise Jesus as the righteous one. Thank God that “you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption” (1 Cor. 1:30). Confess any desire to dabble in unrighteousness in any corner of your life. Commit yourself to hungering and thirsting for righteousness, asking God to fill you (Mt. 5:6).
Pray that the righteousness of Christ will shine through you so clearly and consistently that those around you “see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven” (5:16).
–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend