"For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart." - Hebrews 4:12

It's easy to close the Bible after our morning quiet time or at night before we turn off the bedside lamp and feel good about ourselves. "Hey," we rationalize, "I'm reading the Bible, right? Isn't that good enough?" Reading the Bible is a great start, for sure. But God wants us to take another step: He wants us to live His Word: to ponder it, meditate on it, carry it with us and act on it. He wants His Word to guide our everyday decisions, serving as a lamp that shines along our daily path and a sounding board against which we can weigh our choices. God's Word can indeed seep into our body and spirit, into our heart, mind, and soul. It's our choice: Will we allow God's Word to transform us?

As I am chewing on God's Word--allowing it to penetrate my heart and search out my motivations, in order to take in all that God is offering me, I must open my spirit to the Holy Spirit's movement.

Reading God's WORD is not a chore, something to just get through so I can check of a box on my TO DO list. We need to ask for God's strength and direction, as we take in God's WORD, so that we do not just skim over it!

And then, as we are reading, we need to be ready to take in God's WORD, in order that it might change our lives eternally!

In a crazy busy world, that is not an easy thing to do! Help us Lord.

Sometimes we try to bite off a bit too much during our Bible reading. We focus on getting through as many verses as possible, instead of really delving deeply into just a few. This week, try reading just four or five verses at a time, especially if you typically read more in one sitting. Read the verses to yourself quietly and then aloud once or twice again, concentrating on the words or phrases that seem to leap off the page or resonate with you in some way. If a particular verse seems to be speaking to you, ask God for direction and guidance, and then listen for an answer in your heart.

Lord, help me enjoy the full benefit of your Word by slowing down, sitting silently with you, and really thinking about what You are trying to communicate to me. Guide me toward a deeper understanding of how You use scripture to transform my life. Amen.
Feb 1 2019