Reading the Bible one-to-one
Senior minister Mat Yeo reflects on the dream of a web of regular one-to-one Bible reading with others.
In the book The Trellis and the Vine, the authors dream about this idea:
Imagine if all Christians, as a normal part of their discipleship, were caught up in a web of regular Bible reading—not only digging into the Word privately, but reading it with their children before bed, with their spouse over breakfast, with a non-Christian colleague at work once a week over lunch, with a new Christian for follow-up once a fortnight for mutual encouragement, and with a mature Christian friend once a month for mutual encouragement.
It would be a chaotic web of personal relationships, prayer and Bible reading—more of a movement than a program—but at another level it would be profoundly simple and within reach of all.
It’s an exciting thought!
The Trellis and the Vine, T Payne & C Marshall, Matthias Media 2009, p57
Now, before you have the reaction I first did when reading this… either that’s too hard, or I haven’t got the time for that… just stop and dream like the authors did.
It’s a great aspirational picture. And in the end, I must fully agree with the authors. It’s an exciting thought!
As I reflect on this, I know that time is a poor excuse. I just need to look at other time munching habits I have to see that.
Being too hard is a poor excuse—especially with wife or children or Christian friends. And with non-Christian friends, all it takes is a dose of courage to ask. You might be surprised by the answer!
Here are a couple of thoughts:
We must be lovers of God’s Word. Both hearers and doers. For if we are not, the chances are we will be lovers of the world. Its voices are loud and persuasive. We need to hear our Lord constantly.
Consistent research has told us that the number one difference between a believer growing or not growing as a Christian is how often you read the Bible. Researchers have even put a number on it. While the habit of daily Bible reading ought to always be our goal, those that read it at least 3 times per week generally report they are growing as a Christian, with the opposite being reported for those who read it less than that.
Secondly, there are so many good resources around that help us to read the Bible with others. For instance, for the last several weeks, we have been encouraging you to try The Word One to One, which takes you and a friend through the gospel of John. Ask me for a copy.
Let’s continue to encourage one another in this most important discipline.