The Most Important Thing This Year

The Pastor’s Desk

reflections from the shepherd’s heart…

Why I Would Tell You That the Most Important Thing For Your Christian Life is Scripture Intake
As the new year begins and we make resolutions or new commitments in our lives, would you consider committing to reading through the Bible? Better yet, commit to spending time in God’s word in 2024. I’m going to make a bold statement here. The most important thing for your Christian life is Scripture Intake.

Wait, What?
You may ask, “What about prayer, church attendance, small groups, and faith in God?” Here’s why I believe my statement is true. Knowing who God is and what He has commanded us comes from reading His word. If you do not consume Scripture, how do you know what to pray for, when to pray, or how? When you know God’s word, the songs we sing in church make more sense and land on you differently. The sermons will be easier to digest and you will hear things that connect with what you have been reading.

Here is what I mean when I say Scripture Intake. It is not just reading the Bible. We should read the Bible and have some kind of process to help us retain what we have read. In a sense it is reading God’s word and having a pen and piece of paper out on the table as you read. I hate to say the “s” word, but studying the Bible is what we really need, not just reading it.

I know your “yeah buts” too. I’ve had the same ones. “I’ve tried to read the Bible, but I get behind on my plan and give up before the end of January.” Or what about this one, “When I read the Bible I don’t understand what it’s talking about.”

Listen, the plans I recommend for the church are five days a week. If you miss a day, make it up on one of the two off days. Perhaps you cannot do that and you finish the week without making it up. Don’t give up in yourself, just move on to the next week and read those five. what would be better for you? Stop reading the Bible because you missed a day of reading or to read the Bible five days a week for the whole year having not read that one day?

Believe it or not, journaling can help you understand and retain what you have read. There is a ministry we use called Replicate for our Discipleship Groups (D-Groups). They have detailed instructions on the H.E.A.R journaling method here:

You can do this. Understand that you probably will not be great on the first day or maybe even the first week, but over time you will get better. The benefits of this method will be clear after just a couple of weeks. Another great way to better understand what you are reading is to use  commentary. Commentaries are great because they give you facts and additional insights into the Scripture you are reading. Here’s one I recommend:

Try not to go to the commentary immediately, but allow God to reveal the meaning to you. If you come across something that stumps you, definitely break it out. Seeing that you were able to get the meaning of the text on your own will give you confidence in yourself.

Discipleship Groups (D-Groups)
All of this actually happens in a D-Group. Ultimately, my recommendation to you is to either join or begin a D-Group. Along with everything I have laid out above you will get the added benefits of accountability and a group of people who will pray with and for you throughout the year. It is a huge commitment. Especially if you have never done it before, but the rewards will be worth it. If you are hesitant, ask some of the folks who have been in a D-Group before. You will find that they are probably just as busy as you and were just as hesitant to start when they first began their D-Group. However, they will also tell you that they have never learned more about the Bible and who God is.

If you have questions or want to discuss anything I’ve written, please reach out to me. Whatever you do, get in God’s word. Commit yourself to it this year!

Grace and Peace,
Pastor Bo

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