Spiritual Disciplines Ep. 1: Bible Reading

Show Notes:

Matt: J.D.,  we’re going to do something we’ve never done, and we’re going to take that question and camp out here on Ask the Pastor for the next several episodes, because you feel like this one is worth unpacking. Like we mentioned at the end of last week’s episode, we’re going to spend the next 8 weeks unpacking something I think a lot of Christians have heard about, but they may not know a ton about: the “spiritual disciplines.” What are some important spiritual disciplines to focus on as we attempt to grow in our faith in 2024?  

J.D.: Yeah Matt, the “spiritual disciplines” – or the practices that every disciple of Jesus should follow and work into their lives – are definitely worth talking about, and rather than giving a short answer with a “checklist” of spiritual disciplines, I wanted to go in depth on a few different spiritual disciplines for the next few weeks here on Ask the Pastor, and we’re going to incorporate some of the many great questions we’ve received from our listeners on this topic. 

So, starting today, we’re going to dive into an eight-episode series on the spiritual disciplines. Along the way, we’ll be sprinkling in a few different listener questions we’ve collected from you, our listeners.

  • By the way, you can always email your questions in to requests@jdgreear.com.
  • Or you can even message them to me on Facebook or Instagram.

So to start, I want to talk about one of the most foundational spiritual disciplines: Reading and studying your Bible.

This may seem elementary to some of you, but I’m a pastor… and I have a real sense that the practice of opening up your Bible, reading and studying it, and truly understanding what it says – and even why we read it at all – is unfortunately RARE.

  • We know from the example of Jesus and the Apostles this was a big deal.
    • And Jesus himself would go off by himself, early in the morning, to spend time with God.
    • He used Scripture against Satan
    • Acts 2, devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching
    • Acts 17:11 commends the Borreans for not taking Paul’s word for something, but “examining the Scriptures daily”

Matt: Let me stop you right there to ask a question sent in by a listener named Dalton who asks, “What time of day is best for Bible reading? Is there a time of day that bible reading ‘sticks better?’”

J.D.: That’s a good question, and I personally have found that the morning is the best time to read your Bible.

  • First, when i don’t, i find the day gets away from me and i just run out of time or feel too tired. 
  • I also feel SO much more prepared for my day when I’ve spent time with God in the morning. 
    • Orders my day. I can pray through my cal, and also hear from the HS about anything
    • Orders my mind, sets my mind right.
    • A way of giving God my first and my best
  • But one of godliest men I know liked do it better t night, maybe right before bed.
  • So there’s no “right answer,” but Dalton, I’m partial to studying the Bible in the mornings.

Matt: Here’s another from Josh: “Does not sticking to a consistent daily quiet time mean I am being disobedient?

  • Great question. My answer would be: MAYBE.
  • It’s clear that we’re commanded to spend time with God. To neglect that is to sin. But don’t go and beat yourself up if you missed a day.

Look, this question leads me to something pretty important, which is that I want to make sure that we all understand the WHY behind reading you Bible every day.

  • Yes, reading it will help you understand more about God, about biblical history, and it’ll make you more biblically literate. Yes, we’re commanded to hide God’s Word in our hearts. Yes, it’s a practice we take from Jesus himself.
  • But WHY do we do it? What is the #1 GOAL of Bible reading? To KNOW God by spending time with him.
  • If you ask me about Veronica… and I say, “She was born in… her siblings are named; her favorite music is… height/weight…” 
    • Love this quote by AW Tozer: “The Bible is not an end in itself, but a means to bring men to an intimate and satisfying knowledge of God, that they may enter into Him, that they may delight in His Presence, may taste and know the inner sweetness of the very God Himself in the core and center of their hearts.”

Matt: That’s good. Let me ask a question that’s a little bit more about the “nuts and bolts,” from Paul: “How do you pick which book of the Bible or section of the Bible to study in your time with God?”

  • Another great question. I just open it up and read whatever page it falls on…
    • No, but seriously, there are a LOT of great resources these days to help you plan out your reading. Of course, you don’t have to use one – I oftentimes don’t – but we live in an age where a fantastic Bible reading plan is only a Google search away.
    • If you’re a new believer/searching, start with the Gospels. 

  • Matt: Starting next week, we’ll dive into a series of eight episodes focused on the spiritual disciplines—the basic practices of the Christian life. Don’t miss the first episode in that series next week as we talk about what a healthy prayer life looks like.
  • We’re now on YouTube; subscribe to @J.D.Greear.


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