And we read…

This plan contains three habits, which will change you forever if built into your everyday life.

The power, of course, isn’t in the habits themselves. You can practice these habits and completely miss the point. But these habits can lead you to focus daily on what matters most (God) and how He shows up in your ordinary, complicated life.

Do you want to change your behavior? Change your habits. Habits are the unconscious, automatic routines that shape our lives.

If you want to change, the place to start is to experiment with small, consistent actions to find what will help us reach our goal.

Over the next few days, we’re going to look at three core habits that matter most. Here are some tips as we begin:

  1. Invite a friend. It can be more effective to develop habits with others.
  2. Practice the Clean Slate Policy. When you get behind, miss a day, or discover what doesn’t work for you, wipe the slate clean and start again.
  3. Pursue progress, not perfection. Consistency matters more than doing it perfectly.
  4. Shrink the challenge. If you’re not practicing the habit, chances are you’ve set a goal that’s bigger than the time and energy you have available. Try shrinking your task until you’re 90% sure you can do it.
  5. Keep going, even when you don’t see progress. Small habits, maintained over a long period, can lead to lasting change.
  6. Take as long as you need. Don’t just complete this plan. Aim to build lifelong habits.
  7. Have fun. Experiment. Be curious. Take the habits seriously, but approach them playfully. Aim to learn about what works for you and what doesn’t. Enjoy the process.

I can’t wait to get started with the first key habit:

This plan contains three habits, which will change you forever if built into your everyday life.

The power, of course, isn’t in the habits themselves. You can practice these habits and completely miss the point. But these habits can lead you to focus daily on what matters most (God) and how He shows up in your ordinary, complicated life.

Do you want to change your behavior? Change your habits. Habits are the unconscious, automatic routines that shape our lives.

If you want to change, the place to start is to experiment with small, consistent actions to find what will help us reach our goal.

Over the next few days, we’re going to look at three core habits that matter most. Here are some tips as we begin:

  1. Invite a friend. It can be more effective to develop habits with others.
  2. Practice the Clean Slate Policy. When you get behind, miss a day, or discover what doesn’t work for you, wipe the slate clean and start again.
  3. Pursue progress, not perfection. Consistency matters more than doing it perfectly.
  4. Shrink the challenge. If you’re not practicing the habit, chances are you’ve set a goal that’s bigger than the time and energy you have available. Try shrinking your task until you’re 90% sure you can do it.
  5. Keep going, even when you don’t see progress. Small habits, maintained over a long period, can lead to lasting change.
  6. Take as long as you need. Don’t just complete this plan. Aim to build lifelong habits.
  7. Have fun. Experiment. Be curious. Take the habits seriously, but approach them playfully. Aim to learn about what works for you and what doesn’t. Enjoy the process.

I can’t wait to get started with the first key habit 

Core Habit #1: Engage the Bible

Reading or listening to absorb the Bible is crucial for spiritual growth. Donald Whitney, a leading teacher on spiritual disciples, writes, “No Spiritual Discipline is more important than the intake of God’s Word. Nothing can substitute for it. There simply is no healthy Christian life apart from a diet of the milk and meat of Scripture.”

The late philanthropist and pastor George Müller said something similar: “The vigor of our spiritual life will be in exact proportion to the place held by the Bible in our life and thoughts.”

This habit may seem scary at first. Shrink the challenge, and make it small enough that you’re confident you can succeed.

Getting started isn’t as hard as you might think. I’ll give you some tips tomorrow, but here are some guidelines to build the habit of engaging the Bible.

  1. Choose a format. If you’re an auditory learner, consider listening to the Bible. If you prefer to read, that’s great too. We’ll dig into some options tomorrow, but think about how you enjoy learning for now.
  2. Choose a goal. Again, be realistic. Listening to the Bible in a year takes around 75 hours, which works out to less than 15 minutes a day for a year. Reading the Bible over two years takes only 7–8 minutes a day. This option is great for people who’ve never read the Bible before. Another great option is to select one book of the Bible to read and reread for a while (one to three months or more), allowing the book to soak deep into your heart.
  3. Practice. David Mathis says it well: “At the end of the day, there is simply no replacement for finding a regular time and place, blocking out distractions, putting your nose in the text, and letting your mind and heart be led and captured and thrilled by God himself communicating to us in his objective written words.”
  4. Don’t give up. Many people quit if they miss a day or two. You can avoid this mistake by using the clean slate policy. No guilt, no shame. Just start where you are, do what you can, and carry on.

Core Habit #1: Tips on Engaging the Bible

Here are some more tips on building a habit of engaging the Bible.

  1. Believe it’s worth it. When you get to the hard parts, remember that they are there for a reason. The Bible says, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Tim. 3:16–17). Everything in Scripture is good, so lean in.
  2. Follow a plan. Find a plan that works for you. Buy a Bible that includes a reading plan, or search for “Bible reading plan” online.
  3. Use good tools. A Bible with study notes is a great help. So are the explainer videos at BibleProject.com. A good Bible companion or commentary can also come in handy.
  4. Read or listen with others if possible. Find a reading partner for accountability, encouragement, and discussion.
  5. Pray. Ask for God’s help as you read or listen. David Mathis calls this the X factor in Bible reading: “No matter how thin your training, no matter how spotty your routine, the Helper stands ready. Take up the text in confidence that God is primed to bless your being with his very breath.”
  6. Get the big picture. It’s okay if you don’t understand every detail. Get a broad understanding of the big picture.
  7. Expect to learn something.
  8. Apply it to your life. As you read or listen, look for a thought, insight, or action to take into your life. Puritan preacher Thomas Watson said, “Take every word as spoken to your- selves. When the word thunders against sin, think thus: ‘God means my sins;’ when it presseth any duty, ‘God intends me in this.’ Many put off Scripture from themselves as if it only concerned those who lived in the time when it was written; but if you intend to profit by the word, bring it home to your- selves: a medicine will do no good, unless it be applied.”

Get started today! Find a plan that fits your life, and start reading using the guidelines and tips I’ve given you. Keep going, even when you fail or when it gets hard. Regular Bible reading really does make a difference.

Published by Fellowship of Praise: ALL praise to God our Reason, Hallelujah!!!

To God be The glory. Let us praise God together for His ALL in our lives, Amen.

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