Greetings from sunny Florida. Sandy and I are enjoying a time away from the nasty weather that is so typical of February. But as much as we enjoy getting out of winter weather, I think what we most appreciate is time to read and reflect in a way that we don’t do when we are home. Writing that is a rebuke to me, because there needs to be quiet times in my day wherever I happen to be living. So my challenge to you as well as me is to make time during your week to hear from God in his Word and speak to him in prayer. We can’t “find” time, we “make” time for what is important. And this is very important.

I took my own advice and got back on a schedule of reading, by following the plan we produced for the church family. (There are all sorts of helpful reading plans that will keep us on a consistent path.) Sandy and I have a plan of reading brief passages and prayer that we follow in the evening, but taking a few minutes in the morning for personal reading has been a great joy. Our New Life plan started by reading through Psalms and Proverbs for 31 days (the number of chapters in Proverbs), and will be moving on to Genesis later this month. In reading through Psalms again I was particularly touched by Psalm 40 and go back and read it again after the other chapters as the basis for prayer. The beauty of the Psalms is that they speak personally to us in a way that is unique in Scripture, and at different points in our lives different Psalms will jump out and touch our souls.

Perhaps instead of following the reading plan you are working your way through my book, Forty Days On the Mountain. If that is the case, let me encourage you to stop and read the full passage suggested for the day rather than just the brief text as the beginning of the meditation. Or perhaps you want to take more time in reading and reflecting on the wonderful chapters of the current sermon series, John 13-17.

So there are a number of ways to approach the reading of Scripture. The challenge, in the words of the old Nike motto, is “Do it!” God is alive and he still speaks through his Word. But we can’t have that experience if our Bibles remain closed.