“I’m so glad you’ve become a Christian. Now that you’re saved… read your Bible and pray everyday.”
The above quote is the generic post salvation advice. It is, for some reason, the most difficult advice to receive and implement in our lives. I call these two things the disciplines.
Let me encourage you with a few thoughts…
Reading your Bible for 15 minutes daily will allow you to read your Bible once every year. This includes about 40 days you can miss.
If you pray for 15 minutes, you’re doing a lot better than most people.
You don’t have to read every word in the Bible. The whole thing is important and it’s all good, but most of us don’t understand the difficult stuff.
Failure to plan is planning to fail. A Bible Reading Plan will help you stay on track, even if you’re reading from cover to cover. The same thing applies to prayer… Without a plan to pray through, you’ll be done in 3 minutes. (I’m going to be releasing a prayer guide in a few weeks that can help with this.)
If you don’t pray or read today, you’re not going to Hell… don’t get discouraged.
The disciplines are very important. It is vital that you pray and that you’re hearing from the Lord through Bible reading. HOWEVER, I am not a big fan of the term daily. This is a wonderful goal and I attempt to do both of these things early in the morning… daily.
For the most part I’m doing good, but last week I was a sleep machine. As a matter-of-fact, I didn’t wake up on time one day last week. I actually woke up everyday with barely enough time to make it to work. Most of those days I still got in about a quarter of my daily Bible reading, but one day I didn’t. I don’t like to miss these things, but I’m not in depression and despair over it.
If you don’t allow yourself flexibility and grace you will not complete the disciplines in your life. Grace frees us from the rules and flexibility allows us to stay on track.
For instance, I’m the only person in the world that’s not a fan of the One Year Bible. Why? The dates. January 1, 2011 isn’t a flexible time frame. In addition to that, I don’t want us to have to wait until the new year to start reading our Bible. December 31 is a famous day for staying up late… and we’re gonna start reading the Bible the next day? Yeah right. To me it’s more flexible to have a “Day 1, Day 2, Day 3″ system rather than a dated system. I believe it gives me the flexibility to start when I want, keep me from feeling like I need to either catch up or skip days, and it doesn’t keep my failure in front of my face… like reading Jan 17′s day on Feb 3!
As I mentioned before, in the next few weeks I’m going to be releasing a prayer guide to help you have a pattern of prayer. This is something I’ve developed for myself personally and have decided to share it with my team and with you. As we gear up for that, please remember that slow and steady wins the race. Be prepared to have grace and flexibility as we embark on REGULAR prayer and Bible reading. Don’t attempt to read the Bible 18 times this year or pray for a collective 21 hours this week.
You can do this!