Sunday morning’s study revolved around a discussion of the importance of a Christian spending regular time in God’s Word. Our church has a statement in its covenant that reads We will seek to maintain private devotions as we pray for ourselves and others which is a bit curious when you consider that the covenant is an agreement between two or more parties. Why should my private devotions be anyone else’s business? Additionally, why should I covenant to maintain private devotions–doesn’t that carry a whiff of legalism?
The latter of these two questions received the majority of our attention (the corporate aspect of private devotions is a discussion for another time). So, do I have to read the Bible daily? every other day? weekly? when I feel like it? when I don’t feel like it? Here’s a brief sampling of some of the suggestions put forward:
(i) regularly reading the Word may not carry the same weight as you move from one person to another. One man reads and another prays but both commune with God in their respective ways.
(ii) to assert that we must read the Bible is to create a rule or a duty that undermines the freedom & grace found in a relationship with Christ.
(iii) time in the Word should be a joy so a Christian is better served when he is moved to the Word by a sense of longing or need.
(iv) spending time in the Word is accomplished in a variety of ways–sermons, podcasts, Christian books, etc
(v) the Word is to our spirit what food is to the body–I can choose not to eat but I shouldn’t expect to stay healthy.
What do you think? Is reading the Word mandatory?
to be continued…