Daily time with God in Bible study and prayer is an essential discipleship practice. It is vital to growing to be like Jesus. It is as vital as breathing is to life. Stagnation and distance quickly develop when we go without Bible study in the same way dehydration quickly develops when we go without water.
But there is a key question that should be asked to check on our practice of daily Bible reading and prayer. Here it is:
What is your purpose?
If we are not careful, our purpose for daily Bible reading can become diverted. What do I mean? Why are you doing daily Bible reading? Has your practice devolved down to habit? Are you currently simply just going through the motions? Are you just checking off your list of things that good Christians do?
Or is your Bible study practice more for sermon or lesson preparation? Are you reading more for ideas for your plans? There is a time and place for that, but there is a need for Bible reading and prayer that is more basic–and much more important.
Why are you doing daily Bible reading? Consider this:
The most basic and vital reason for Bible reading and prayer is for relationship with Him!
Our marriages cannot survive based upon past conversation and relationship. Conversation and relationship must be kept fresh. In the same way, our relationship with God cannot rest upon the past. Verses we memorized as children and scripture we read as teens will not return empty (Isaiah 55:11). But God desires a relationship that is real and personal.
Growth as a disciple demands living, active relationship with our Lord. When that stops growing, so do we as disciples!
Then how do we keep our relationship with Him fresh? By spending time with Him daily in His Word and in prayer. But that is why we must check our practice by asking, “What is my purpose?” Make sure you are doing it for the right reason: relationship. Seek Him first. Listen to Him. Desire Him. When you study, ask Him what He wants. Don’t miss Him! Be a disciple. Make disciples!
For more ideas about discipleship and growing in His likeness, check out these blog posts:
- Weddings, Marriage, and Discipleship
- Disciple-making: Using Group Size Advantageously
- Where Does Evangelism End and Discipleship Begin?
- Addressing Transition Weakness: Assimilation and Disciple-making
- Enlist a Disciple-making Team
- Disciple Others: Give the Gift of Presence
- Make Disciples of All Nations Means Becoming Fishers of Men
- Who’s Involved in Your Discipleship?
- Discipleship Encourager Actions