Transformative Reading
Devotional

Transformative Reading

January 23, 2024

Transformative Reading

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17

What we put in our minds often comes out of our mouths. Think of a little kid repeating phrases they have not been taught, but have heard from their parents. From a young age kids absorb the things they hear. In a similar way, what our minds absorb shapes our words, thoughts and actions. In Romans and Philippians Paul addresses this; he urges people to change the way they live by renewing their minds (Rom. 12:2) and then details the types of things we should ponder in order to transform our attitudes and actions (Phil. 4:8).

His point is that we need to be intentional about what we put into our minds. That is where Bible reading as a Spiritual Discipline plays an important role. Through the practice of reading the Bible, we fill our mind with God’s Word, and our lives are shaped as a result.

For many, Bible reading can be intimidating or frustrating. But that’s not how it was intended.The Bible is God’s personal words and gift to us. When we read the Bible, we not only read about history long ago, but we learn about our Heavenly Father. We get to know him, his heart for us and how he moves and works in our world.The entire Bible reveals that our God is holy and just but also full of love, compassion, and kindness for people just like you and me. As 2 Timothy 3:16-17 declares, each and every word has a purpose and is useful in teaching us about God and ourselves.

God gave us an incredible gift in the Bible, so how can we better incorporate it into our lives? There are countless ideas of how this can be done, and each approach has its strengths. But the best thing we can do is simply start. Consider what it would realistically look like to read your Bible more. This doesn’t have to be a grand declaration of an hour a day. Maybe the first step is listening to a passage on the way to work. Perhaps you thrive on a plan and could begin following a Bible reading plan on your phone.

Whatever the method, take one step toward engaging more wholeheartedly with God’s Word. Don’t be discouraged when things don’t make sense or it doesn’t feel life changing. Be assured that you don’t read alone, the Holy Spirit is working in your heart every step of the way.

Spend a moment reflecting on how God may be calling you to engage with his Word. What is one small thing you could do in the next few weeks to open God’s Word more?

Prayer

Heavenly Father, we thank you for your Word and the way it teaches us about you and your desire for our lives. Grow in us a desire to know you better through the Bible. Protect us from becoming discouraged when we don’t understand and fill us with trust and assurance that the Holy Spirit is constantly working. As we engage, may your truth sink deep into our hearts and minds, transforming the way that we live. We pray this in your son’s name, Amen.

Makalah Scholten
Spiritual Care Coordinator

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