Making time to be impacted

One of Living Hope's Bible Quizzing Teams
One of Living Hope’s Bible Quizzing Teams at Quiz Meet in 2012

When I was a teen I was involved in Bible Quizzing.  If you aren’t familiar with Quizzing, it’s a competitive activity, where teens memorize verses and books of the New Testament and then answer questions about those verses.  I memorized the books of John, Acts and 1 & 2 Corinthians.

Quizzing had a profound effect on me as a teenager and the verses I learned in the three years that I quizzed still impact my life today.  If you have ever heard me quote a verse from the book of John during a sermon, it’s because of quizzing.  If you hear me talking about 2 Corinthians 5:17, it is because we studied that verse in quizzing.  If you ever hear me getting excited about the work of the Holy Spirit as expressed in the history of the book of Acts, it is because I was a Bible Quizzer.  God’s Word has impacted my life greatly.

God says that his Word always has an impact. God’s Word will always affect us, whether we hear it read aloud, read it ourselves or memorize it.  Isaiah 55:11 says “It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it.”

A number of years ago Willow Creek Community Church and Willow Creek Association sponsored research into discipleship and the activities that lead to spiritual mature.  Researchers used a tool called the Reveal Survey which has collected data from 2000 churches and 500,000 people. What was discovered was that the most catalytic thing you can do to grow in your faith, no matter where you are in your faith, is to read the Bible regularly.  God’s Word impacts us, just as he promised in Isaiah 55:11.

So the question we need to ask ourselves is, “Am I making taking time regularly to let God’s Word impact my life?”  God has something he wants to do in our lives.  There is something he wants to show you, teach you, tell you and he wants to use his Word to do this.  So are you making time for him to do this?

Here are four ways you could create opportunities to listen to God?

  1. Download the YouVersion Bible App for your phone or tablet.  Many of us always have our phones with us and YouVersion allows you to take your favourite Bible translation with you in your pocket.  YouVersion has many Bible reading plans that you can use as your read the Bible.  The app can even read you the Bible, so you can listen while you drive to work or are out for a walk.
  2. Make an appointment with God and yourself.  Set a time and make a commitment to yourself that you are regularly going spend time reading the Bible.  If you are a morning person, get up 20-30 minutes earlier. If you are a night person, plan to do it 15-20 minutes before you go to bed.  Or maybe take time at lunch.  Pick a time that works for you when you can bring your best and listen to God.  Living Hope’s chapter a day Bible Reading plan can be used during these times to guide you in your listening.
  3. Memorize verses or whole passages of the Bible.  Choose a passage and each day memorize a verse from that passage, repeating the verse(s) you memorized the previous day.  Going over verses again and again as you memorize a passage will help you see and understand that passage in a new way.  Or use an app like Fighter Verses to help you memorize verses from the Bible. Fighter Verses will prompt you to memorize a new verse, its kind of like flashcards for your smartphone.
  4. Get together with a friend.  Plan to get together regularly with someone to read the Bible together and/or to talk about what you’ve been reading.  You could read a portion of Bible at dinner with your spouse or family.  You and your spouse or a friend could use the same Bible reading plan and then meet for coffee once a week to discuss what God is saying to you through what you are reading or dialogue about something that is unclear in the passage.  Small Groups are great place to build these sort of relationships.

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