I’m prone, on 1 January, to making excessive numbers of wildly ambitious new year’s resolutions. Unachievable goals aside, many of our resolutions are laced with great intentions. It’s often when many of us resolve to get back into the habit of having a regular quiet time. So how can we make this resolution last longer than the time it takes to eat our Christmas chocolate?
I don’t know who first used the phrase ‘quiet time’ to describe the activity of daily meditating on God’s word and praying to him. Whoever it was, I think they had Psalm 1 in mind:
Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
‘Law’ is a word that is often used in the Psalms to talk about God’s words—the Bible. So, notice what is going on here; the psalmist says that the person who enjoys reading the Bible and thinks about it every day is blessed or truly happy.
Doesn’t this make a difference to our quiet time resolution?
If we treat our quiet times like a duty then that’s the tone they will take; a dutiful activity that is meant to be ‘completed’. It becomes a burdensome part of our to-do list that’s easily dropped. If, however, we treat our quiet times as moments to delight in what our heavenly Father has to say to us, then they become something that we look forward to, and don’t want to miss.
It’s easy to think that the reason we don’t read our Bible regularly is that we’re too busy. But I think for most of us that’s really an excuse. The reason I know that I have a heart problem, and not a time problem, when it comes to reading the Bible is that I don’t seem to read my Bible more on my day off when I have the time. What I need is for God to give me that delight in his word. The same delight the writer of Psalm 1 talks about; so that I want to read his word.
So how can we grow in our enjoyment of the Bible? I could give you some links to ‘through the year’ reading plans and Bible reading notes, but I won’t. Instead, I’m going to give you a reading plan just for January. Here it is: Psalm 119. Just one Psalm!
It has 22 sections, all about the Christian, their Bible and God. Each section is short – just eight verses. Why not read one section every day this month, and let it help you to pray that in 2015 God would grow you in your love for what he has to say?
'Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.' Psalm 119:18