Grace Habit; Part 4

Wikihow  even has a wiki on how to study the Bible - here's their image.

Wikihow even has a wiki on how to study the Bible - here's their image.

The question remains: "How did you learn to spend time with God?"

Did you have deovtions?  Did you sit down and have your quiet time?  Or did you follow a Bible reading plan?  Maybe you read  "My Utmost for His Highest"?  Maybe you used a Life Application study Bible?  Maybe you had an Inductive Study Bible?  Or maybe your church or denomination offered a class on how to study the Bible - or maybe you took a seminary class?

I remember when I first learned about Christian Book Distributors ... back in the day - with a phone call to a 1-800 number - they would put you on their mailing list - and send you their catalog - printed on newspaper type paper - all black and white - with hundreds and hundreds of horrible little grainy pictures of life-altering bargain priced books like "Mere Christianity" by C.S. Lewis.  I remember my mother handing me a check to "go buy something decent to wear to an interview" - cashing it - driving to Good Will and a garage sale or two - and coming home with something better than ripped out jeans and worn thin hoodie to wear to an interview - and mailing a check off to the catalog people - and buying my first study Bible: a hard-backed NAS Open Study Bible.  Then came the Thompson Chain Reference Bible ... then Bible software!  Ooooh!

There are also a plethora of prayer methods aren't there.  There's the "A.C.T.S." method (adoration, confession, thanksgiving, supplication).  I'm personally pretty fond of the "Hour That Changes the World" by Dick Eastman - an 11-kinds of prayer - that at 5 minutes each(ish) takes up an hour when you begin and end with praise.  I've always liked best that it includes both resting with and listening to God - which actually makes prayer seem like a conversation.

Maybe you remember missionaries coming to visit your church and telling you about people hearing the gospel for the first time, or receiving their first Bible.  The head of the campus ministry I attended as a student was invited at one time to teach a class to some Czechoslovakians back when Czechoslovakia was a country still.  He told stories about two brothers attending who every evening after the last class would plead with him to borrow his old, worn out Bible over-night and then hand deliver it to his hotel room the next morning "on their way" to work (but it was actually horribly out of their way).  Near the end of the class the brothers finally told him that they were taking turns hand-copying whole books from his Bible - because they'd never had one and didn't believe they ever would - and even though this Bible was in English - a language they struggled with - they were so eager to finally access to a Bible - they considered themselves extremely fortunate and were glad to give up sleep - and walk twice as far to work.  When my campus minister heard this - he instinctively gave them his Bible - right then and there.  They were so over-come with joy that this book was now theirs - that they burst into tears.  I believe that just about every single missionary serving near the U.S.S.R. or other closed countries has stories like this.

It's curious that today it's so ridiculously easy to have a completely free personal Scripture study reference library that would be the absolute envy of every seminary student not at all that long ago - and to carry it around with you everywhere you go - on your phone!  You can down-load a free app that will even READ the Bible out loud to you with a professionally produced recording - in the version of your choice - again - completely free and utterly portable.  Yet I don't think this proliferation of resources and ease of access to those resources has led to a significant uptick in Christians diving in.  Obviously, life is extremely complicated and despite the dawn of the internet age has failed to automatically become easier - so the answers to how this has come to be are varied and numerous.  Still - the excuse we all said before you could stuff an entire seminary library into your back pocket was "Well, I'd love to study the Bible more - but who can afford all those resources?"

So - what IS stopping us from diving in?  Busyness for sure - but busyness doesn't really mean busyness does it?  Or better put - what "gem of an idea" would unleash your inner scholar?