We asked Nathan Turner, who oversees discipleship here at Koinonia, to share some thoughts about the value of reading God's Word daily and the Life Journalling process:
Guilt. That was probably the biggest emotion I used to feel about the Bible. Guilt because I wasn't reading it as much as I thought I should. And guilt because my life didn't seem to measure up to what I read.
The Bible was a book I knew I should read, but didn't really want to (I felt guilty about that too). All this changed when I discovered that the God of the universe - the God who created me - wanted to actually communicate with me through the Bible. The Bible became a way for me to get to know the God who rescued me from sin and darkness.
Don't get me wrong, I didn't suddenly start receiving life changing revelations every time I opened my Bible. Sometimes I would still do something else if I let my feelings dictate my actions. But that's the key. If I let my feelings determine my choices my life will head in the wrong direction in a hurry.
Things changed for me when love became my motive. I began reading my Bible because I love God and love hearing from HIm. It still takes discipline at times and I am still capable of reading the Bible out of routine. When this happens it can still seem dry, but when I choose to read out of a desire to build my relationship with God, I am always refreshed and strengthened.
I discovered that God doesn't want me to feel guilty when I miss reading the Bible and spending time with Him, He wants me to feel hungry!
I have found that following a Bible reading program can be very helpful to keep me on track throughout the year. One we have been using as a church for a number of years is the Life Journal reading program by Wayne Cordeiro. It takes you through the Old Testament once and the New Testament twice in one year.
It's very simple to follow. As you read you select a verse that stands out to you and record it in a devotional journal (your "Life Journal"). Next, you write a short observation from the verse and then a thought on how it applies to your life. Lastly, you write a brief prayer. If you miss a day you don't need to fall behind, just pick up the reading for the day you begin again. If you have less time one day you can simply read the New Testament portion of the reading. You can also see today's reading online here.
In addition to the standard journal, there are versions for kids, youth, and new believers. You can purchase a Life Journal in the Koinonia Resource Centre or you can follow the reading program on your device using a Bible app, such as YouVersion.
Join us on Wednesday, January 22nd, at 7pm for our Life Journal Night to discover more about how you can experience the joy of hearing from God through His Word.