How can we train ourselves for godliness? – Part 3

In my last post, I encouraged you to consistently feed on God’s Word. I know that can be difficult. Other things are always vying for our attention each and everyday. So how can we consistently feed on God’s Word?

How can we consistently feed on God’s Word?

(1) We should practice the spiritual disciplines

If you aren’t familiar, the term Spiritual disciplines, refers to our daily efforts to intake God’s Word and meet with Him in prayer. We can do that in a number of ways:

  • Reading
  • Memorizing
  • Meditating
  • Discussing with others
  • Attending Bible studies

These are all ways for us to daily get into God’s Word and pray. The hard part is doing it daily. That is where the discipline part comes in because it takes effort and work to get into God’s Word on a daily basis. We know we need to practice the spiritual disciplines, we just don’t do it.

How can we get to a place where we are consistent in getting into the Word and praying?

Let me offer a few suggestions.

(1) Use a plan

You don’t build a house or start a business without a plan, nor should you practice the spiritual disciplines without a plan. We have to know where we are going and how we are going to get there, which is why a Scripture reading plan is crucial. Not only does it help provide direction, but it helps you track your progress, so that you know you are on target.

(2) Schedule a Meeting

Along with a reading plan, it is a good idea to plan when you are going to meet with God and put it on your calendar just like you would any other meeting. I find the appointments I schedule are the ones that usually happen.

(3) Pick a place

Along with scheduling a time, it’s probably a good idea to schedule a place to have your meeting. When thinking about the place, I encourage you to pick a place that you can sit, read, and pray without distraction or discomfort. For me, that’s usually the kitchen table if the kids aren’t up, my office or the back porch. Those are quiet, distraction free places that are comfortable.

(4) Change it up 

Don’t use the same Bible reading method or plan year in and year out. Instead, change it up. Use a read through the Bible plan one year, camp in a book the next, or select a specific topic of study.

But don’t just change up your plan, try changing up the version you read as well. A different translation can help you discover things you may not have seen before. And that can help keep things fresh.

(5) Meet with a group

Studying together is a great way to get more out of your daily devotions. I am in a study group that meets every Friday morning — our Men’s Breakfast. It has been a blessing to me. As we have worked our way through several books of the Bible, I have discovered things about God’s Word that I would not have on my own.
And meeting with those guys every week also helps keeps me on track. I know I have to be prepared on Friday. Having that deadline helps me to be consistent.

So those are just a few ways you can practice the spiritual disciplines more regularly. Hopefully, one or several of those will help you to be more consistent in feeding on God’s Word.

Along with practicing the spiritual disciplines, if we want to constantly feed on God’s Word,

(2) We must set our hope on Christ 

That is what kept the apostle Paul going, and that is what should keep us going. Look at what he says in verse 10,

“For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.” (1 Ti 4:10)

Paul tells us to set our hope on God because he knows the ways of the world are completely bankrupt. Jesus is the One who gives us hope. He is the One who saves, sanctifies, and satisfies.

Knowing that Jesus is our only hope should drive us to want to know Him and to live according to His ways. The way we grow in our knowledge of Jesus, the way we come to know how He wants us to live, the way we are motivated to keep pressing on is by reading His Word. So our hope in Christ, then, should drive us to feed on God’s Word. As we feed on His Word, we should grow in godliness.

Knowing that, then, should drive us to intake God’s Word on a daily basis. I encourage you to make a commitment today to read, study, meditate on, memorize, and pray God’s Word. That’s the only way we are going to grow in godliness — in our devotion, respect, and desire for God — so let’s commit ourselves to feasting on the meat of God’s Word daily so we will be a people who are consistently growing.

Question for Reflection?

  1. What tactics do you use to make sure you are consistently feeding on God’s Word?

Resources

Post adapted from my sermon: How Can We Train Ourselves for Godliness?

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Are You Feeding Your People God’s Word?

How often have we evangelical priests betrayed our confession and our calling. Hungry people come to us ministers and college and seminary teachers for bread, but we give them stones. Our children come to their Sunday school teachers for a word from God, but they concentrate on entertaining them, thinking they have done well to get through another forty-minute session without a major disturbance.

Every week we gather as the Lord’s people, but we fill the Sunday morning service with all kinds of activity, so we don’t have time for a word from God. And when genuinely hungry people come to receive a fresh revelation from God through the words of the preacher, we fill their plates with the husks, the chaff, and the peelings of human wisdom. Too often we are more concerned to impress our hearers with our breadth of knowledge in the fields of psychology, philosophy, science, and literature, than in communicating a passionate word from God. It is no wonder that we suffer from such an epidemic of spiritual anemia and rickets of the heart.

 Question

  1. Are you feeding your people God’s Word?

Resources

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From “Reviving God’s Covenant with Levi: Reflections on Malachi 2:1-9” in Reformation and Revival 4, no. 3 (Summer 1995): 126.