You may be thinking, what is that? Although I’ve heard a few other people use that term, and their definition may be different than mine, I would define it as directly studying the Bible, the Word of God, rather than depending upon other means. Dare I say it? Like a devotional.
Don’t get me wrong. I love devotionals. I write devotionals. My latest book (co-written with my husband, Larry), is a devotional: God’s Intriguing Questions. But I’d like to challenge us to be more of a biblical “self-feeder.”
Lately, I’ve felt the Holy Spirit’s nudge to again return to directly studying the Bible more than other means. I’m not saying “only,” but “more than” other means. TWEET THAT!
Curious? Then here’s a suggestion which may make you gulp:
Read a book of the Bible every day for a month.
Are you thinking, “you’re kidding!”? Feeling intrigued? Overwhelmed? Bored? You may be envisioning reading the whole book of Isaiah and needing to sit for three hours every day.
Those were my reactions when I first heard this idea years ago. But my curiosity won out and I started with a short book: First John. I read it through in fifteen minutes in my devotional time. I continued each day and in that first month, only missed three days.
I was shocked at my reactions. I thirsted for the Word more even though I’d been a Christian at that time for over forty years and a faithful Bible reader and author of women’s Bible study books. Over several months, I became convinced of this idea’s worth. Second Timothy 3:16-17 was proven true: “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
If you’d like to consider this idea, here are some benefits:
By day fifteen of most months, I was convinced there couldn’t possibly be anything more I could learn. Yet on the last day of reading 1 Peter, I saw something new. Amazing! That happened most of the time.
Contrary to fearing boredom, I actually looked forward to reading. Reading a large portion over and over again emphasized the overall message God intended in a complete book. From the book of Amos I noticed the theme that God judged the Israelites’ performance because it didn’t include a commitment from the heart. I recognized God was pruning my motives so that I desire more completely God’s glory rather than my own.
Reading one book a month made me hungry to memorize significant verses I’d been reading every day.
If you’d like to try this, here are some ideas:
- Start with a short Bible book.
- If you’re too busy, modify the plan by reading one chapter for a week. Or divide a long book in half. Read the first half one day and the second half the next day.
- Try alternating Old Testament and New Testament books. Or read them in chronological order. The Narrated Bible has the books printed in order.
- Use different resources like print and on-line commentaries, or on different days refer to Study Bibles with comments. This way you don’t have to read everything available in one day.
- Finally, don’t condemn yourself for taking it slow or skipping days.
The goal is to draw closer to God and allow Him to speak to you, not accomplish a plan. TWEET THAT!!
I hope these ideas will be inspiring to you. I was blessed by it. I pray you will be too.
How do you want to be more of a biblical “self-feeder”? Or what have you found that fits into that category?
(After I wrote this blog, I discovered the website www.theselffeeder.com. You’ll find more wonderful ideas there for this idea).