Dear Peddie Church Family,
I would like to follow up on my long-term goal of enabling you to abide in the Word through the daily practice of lectio continua (continuous reading).
The knowledge of God and His Word is not esoteric but is available to all who earnestly seek Him. We as a church would be far stronger if all members would eventually wean from milk and be able to take solid food from the Bible as we rely on the Holy Spirit for illumination.
When you begin the daily practice of lectio continua, you might find the breadth and depth of the biblical writings overwhelming. But don’t be discouraged by the barriers you might face initially. Knowledge grows very slowly, and it will take many years to be equipped with the Word of God. The key is your yearning for God and your desire to know Him. Once the yearning is there, then there are countless resources available to guide you in your growth.
For studying the Bible, the Internet is not the most reliable source. Top search results from Google don’t necessarily mean they align with the biblical truth. When it comes to biblical teaching, there are factors far more important than online popularity, and we need to be equipped to discern theological presuppositions, world views, and especially, the spirit of the author.
Where then do we find reliable guides to help us understand the Bible? As a start, a few resources that I would recommend are:
- Life Application Study Bible (Tyndale House Publishers, various translations, such as NIV, NKJV), whose study notes are focused on practical applications.
- NIV Study Bible (Zondervan), whose study notes cover more of background and technical information.
When using the Study Bibles, be sure to read the introductions to books of the Bible since they give the bird’s eye view of theological themes. If you find the font sizes in these Study Bibles too small, then consider getting digital versions for your tablet. One app that works well for me is Olive Tree (olivetree.com).
For my personal devotion, I use a print copy of the Bible, primarily because I can add all kinds of annotations, write notes on the margins, and find them easily later. I also use the Olive Tree app on my Android tablet with the study notes from the Study Bibles.
Most importantly, please remember that the goal of lectio continua is not accumulation of biblical information but knowing God through a moment-by-moment interactive relationship with Him. The knowledge of God grows only by living with Him; otherwise, it becomes defective, even harmful to our soul. It is my prayer that we as a church grow more mature by eating solid food from His Word and living it out daily.
In the service of Christ,
– Pastor James