Remember Jesus’ words in John 15. “I am the vine, you are the branches. The one who remains in Me and I in him produces much fruit.” Don’t miss the most important truth of this text. We are not commanded to bear fruit; we are commanded to abide in Jesus. If we fail to abide in Jesus, we will fail to bear fruit. If we succeed in abiding in Jesus, we will bear fruit.
That seems to be our trouble. We are forever trying to bear fruit. We focus on bearing fruit. We strive to bear fruit. Instead of the oftentimes “fruitless” effort, we should instead focus on abiding. How do we do that? We remain in His Word. I don’t know any other way. Ravi Zacharias says “If you fail here, you will fail everywhere.” I agree.
Where do you start? You start with a plan.
Maybe this is a plan that will get you started.
Discipline yourself for daily reading and reflection on God’s Word.
Develop some kind of plan for daily reading. I usually read through the Bible every other year. Today I read Leviticus 11-15. Tomorrow, my plan calls for me to read Leviticus 16-17. I like following this kind of plan. In alternating years, I usually read just the New Testament so that I can read at a little slower pace. This is a plan that has served me well for better than a decade. You might follow a different plan. The important thing is to find something and stay with that plan.
Depend on the Lord for understanding.
There will be parts (like Leviticus) that you do not always understand or relate to in your life. That is why I begin my reading with praying a simple prayer, “Lord, speak to me through your Word—today.”
Decide now that you will obey any instruction from the Lord.
We must decide before we read that we will obey. Otherwise, we will be like the man that James spoke of who read as one looks into the mirror. Seeing what kind of man he was, he turned away before changing his appearance. That kind of approach to Bible reading renders us hearers (or readers) of the Word, but not doers.
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