Over the next few weeks, we are asked to prepare our hearts for His coming. We begin by identifying areas of our lives that need attention, and take on habits that assist us in growing in the character and likeness of Jesus. One primary way that we do this is by spending time with the Lord, and in His word.
An American evangelist, D.L. Moody, reminds us, "The Bible was not given to increase our knowledge, but to change our lives." We are called to hear it, read it, memorize it, and apply it to our lives. In doing so, we are transformed. It also gives us clarity, direction, and purpose in the changing times in which we hear so many different 'truths'. As we immerse ourselves in God's Word, we set a priority to be with Him, we become more like Him, and to be rooted in the Truth revealed through Jesus Christ.
The challenge for most of us is the how. How do we begin, and what do we do? As we begin Advent, there are daily readings set out on the table into the sanctuary that serve as a great starting point. Additionally, beginning in Luke with the story of the Incarnation, or Jesus entrance into the world, is also fitting. There is no substitute for being in God's Word yourself, and often the hardest part is getting started. Once you begin, it is much easier to jump to another book or pick up another study as you continue. As a visual learner, I also found this little graphic helpful to illustrate how we go about doing so.
As at the beginning of any new year, make resolutions you can do and keep. Begin today, and see how God transforms you daily through the lessons, passages, and verses He will call forth from your time with Him.