A Life Soaked With Scripture

A Bible Nourished Spirituality.
So what are you reading these days?
What biblical passages are important to your spirituality right now?
What good books are helping you grow in faith?

I am in a season where I am spending a lot of time reading and reflecting on the Gospels and the story of Jesus. I am reading quite a number of good books on Jesus - from substantial Christology to critical biblical studies to popular devotional writings about Jesus. As you can guess, these books are loaded with biblical references. I take the time to read many of those texts and then find myself in prayerful reflections about them. There are also many stepping stones to Old Testament texts and I have benefited from those passages as well.

Then I am also reading books on the theme of Christian growth... the theme of sanctification. Again, these books are loaded with texts and going to those passages and doing my own study and reflection has been illuminating and nourishing. (The book in the picture is Living by Faith: Justification and Sanctification, which Byron Borger of Hearts and Minds Bookstore, Dallastown, PA suggested.)

About a month ago I was talking with a friend (Randy) and he told me he had been using the Renovare Life With God Bible that is the New Revised Standard Version. I was in need of a new Bible and so I bought one. It is "interesting" starting with a "clean, pristine Bible" and beginning to mark it up, underline, highlight, add marginal notes. 

I also started a supplemental journal and using a different format for "micro-reflections."  The pages are smaller and I have one focused theme per page, with the vast majority of these themes provided by the biblical texts or from significant quotes. I usually have several of them a day. I don't know for sure, but I think the journal has about 1000 pages in it. The new journal is the book standing up on the right. You can see how far I am into it and I have about 60 reflections to date. There is room for many more. By the way, check out Barnes and Noble Bookstore where they have a wide range of very nice journals. I picked this one up at the huge store down at Inner Harbor, Baltimore, MD.

After that short detour . . . back to the Bible. One of the distinctives we evangelicals bring to the life of spirituality is that we turn to the Bible as the revealed, divinely inspired, normative Word of God that is given to us. In the  Bible, we come to know what God is truly like. Above all we come to know God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ who is the full revelation of God (Hebrews 1:1-3). And we come to know the way of the spiritual life of intimacy with God and then missional faithfulness in the world he loves.

When we carefully read the Scriptures to understand their meaning... AND when we prayerfully reflect on what God is saying to us personally through these words... THEN we experience the transforming life of Christ through the Scriptures. 

When we neglect the Bible, then we inevitably fall into distortions about God, about Christ and about the life of authentic intimate discipleship/relationship with Jesus.

As the new year is approaching, I encourage you to be highly intentional and wisely strategic about planning for a new year of exploring God's Word, finding the life of Christ in those beautiful words, and then the reordering, renewing work God wants to do through His Words.

Brian K. Rice
Leadership ConneXtions International

LCI - helping you find life and transformation in The Holy Scriptures.