How To Recharge Your Bible Reading Habits: Catalogs and Bible / by Patti Greene, Greene Pastures by Patti [From Email notifications, click the title for best web viewing]
Do you read your Bible like you read catalogs?
I’m an expert on catalogs—at least I feel like I am. Catalogs swamp my snail mail. A fleeting look at the front cover and I know immediately whether a catalog ends up in the trash, in my bathroom, or on my coffee table. Many times, particular catalogs deserve my immediate attention!
In my email, I receive so many advertisements that I know whether to delete them, file them, or order from them immediately. I know which ones run out of items quickly, which ones have the best sale section, and which ones are not worth ordering from because their shipping is horrendous.
It has to be a very trendy catalog or an impressive advertisement to warrant my attention nowadays.
Some of the marketing headlines that enticed me with last week’s group of catalogs and advertisements were:
Elegant accents to add to your bathroom!
Wrap Yourself in the Beauty of Authentic Irish Knits!
Look for the Jumbo Almond Butter Crunch Buttery Toffee That’s Twice as Thick, Ten Times as Tasty!
Have a CHUCKLE—Then Try to Keep a Straight Face!
Safari and African home decor will unleash your wild streak!
True Classics that Never Go Out of Style!
September Classy Shopping Spree
All these appeal to my sense of want, comfort, and style. If I like the color, the layout, the design, and the uniqueness of special catalogs, I look forward to those special catalogs coming! When I open those kinds of magazines or emails, I anticipate feelings of joy and comfort from perusing the pages, whether I eventually purchase from that catalog or not.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we read the Bible with the same anticipation as our favorite catalog? What if we couldn’t wait to sit down and pore over God’s Word. What if we were anticipating God’s love, comfort, and support? What if we knew we would find the perfect gifts and direction in the Word of God?
The Bible is not a dull book. It is a book filled with God’s love, guidance, and purpose for our life. His Word also lays out how He wants to involve each of us in the lives of others.
How To Recharge Your Bible Reading Habits
- Make opening His Word a habit. “But I, O Lord, cry to you; in the morning my prayer comes before you.” Psalm 88:13
- Find a quiet place [away from distractions] to read and meditate upon His Holy Word. “I will ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds.” Psalm 77:12
- Open the Word with anticipation that God has something to tell you today. “But, as it is written, ‘What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him— these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God.'” 1 Corinthians 2:9-10
- Look at the subheadings within the various books of the Bible. “An intelligent heart acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.” Proverbs 18:15
- Ask Him to enlighten you by the power of the Holy Spirit. “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore, I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.” John 16:13-15
- Ask Him to show you any shortcomings for which you may need help or forgiveness. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
- Make a decision to read God’s Word and pray for specific things. “And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.” 1 John 5:14-15
- Have a journal or notebook to write down what impressions you receive as you delve into the Word. They may be certain verses or prayer requests that come to mind. “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it. For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.” Habakkuk 2:2-3
- Close the Bible with anticipation on how it will affect you today. “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23
When I receive my Touch of Class catalog, I want to get away by myself, browse the catalog, dog-ear the pages, circle what I need (or like), and/or possibly buy.
My prayer is that we may all open the Bible with even more excitement and awe as we do our favorite catalog. The entire Bible was written for us. I heard someone say that if God gave us the entire Bible, let’s read the entire Bible. There is something we can learn from every word, every sentence, every chapter, and every book of the Bible.
Just as we may browse our favorite catalog looking for those snappy gadgets or voguish apparel, let’s peruse the Holy Bible looking for God’s truth, wisdom, and spirit.
Heavenly Father. My heart’s desire is to read Your Holy Word with all the enthusiasm I can muster. I am busy. I get tired. And, sometimes I just don’t want to pick up my Bible or pray. Lord, I need the desire to spend time with You more than anything else. Please take away all distractions. Communicating with You and listening to You and Your words need to become the major priority of my life. But, I need Your help. Thank you for listening to my honest cry for help. I love you. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Headlines from Ballard Designs, Current, Grandinroad, Touch of Class, and The Vermont Country Store.
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version containing the Old and New Testament. Wheaton: Crossway, 2001. [All verses come from the English Standard Bible unless noted otherwise]
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Edited by E. Johnson