As a new year approaches, what is your plan for Bible intake in the coming year? If God has spoken to us and revealed to us all that he would have us to know (and he has), then one of our greatest priorities must be a personal approach to growing in our knowledge and understanding of God through God’s Word. Here are a few things to consider:

1. Planning your approach will give you a road map to follow. Without a plan, random and possibly aimless reading of the Bible is not likely to produce a greater overall comprehension.

2. Viewing God’s Word as a chief means of his grace in your life will spur you on. How does God change us? One aspect is that he changes us by causing us to think his thoughts (all that is true) rather that our own thoughts.

3. Resolving to stick with a plan will produce changes over time. In some ways, reading, studying, and meditating on Scripture is like exercising. You might have a good workout that makes you feel better one day, but a person only gets into shape by consistently exercising over time. With our approach to God’s Word, we should not expect sudden things simply because we open the pages on one or two occasions. Rather, consider the cumulative whole: an hour a day for the year 2013 will mean you have spent 365 hours pouring over God’s Word. by contrast, a few minutes a couple of times a week will ultimately end up being hundreds of hours less. Plan accordingly.

4. Praying that God would increase your desire for him and his Word seems as appropriate as any prayer you could pray. This is most assuredly a prayer that is in accordance with God’s will.

Including other peoples’ thoughts about God’s Word is helpful, but typically devotionals in our day and age are shallow and lacking. Among the good, D. A. Carson’s For the Love of God is full of substance and helpful thinking and will really expand a person’s understanding of the Bible’s storyline. A new online devotional that I am still exploring but which I think is a solid approach in a digital world is called 843 Acres.

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