Are you able to read the Bible every single day in your home without any help, accountability, guidance, or examples?
If so, you are weird and this page isn’t for you (no offense…).
The vast majority of Christians need help in making the Bible a regular habit in their homes. That’s what this page is for. We believe most Christians need to take a few simple “steps” to go from “Sunday-only” Bible readers to daily devotion Christians. While not everyone will need every step on this path, we believe these are the key components to creating a strong home-devotional life.
Step 1: Come to church regularly.
Although church attendance doesn’t miraculously create home devotions, it does remind us of the power of the Word. At church, we hear of Jesus’ love, his forgiveness, and his plan for our lives. The Holy Spirit works in our hearts through the Word and Sacraments and are desire to draw near to God is increased.
In addition, church gives us resources, reminders, encouragements, and prayers and ensures that the Bible doesn’t slip down our list of priorities in our busy lives. During 2013, Eastside’s worship services will be filled with not only the Word, but also prayers for home devotions, offers of free resources, and inspiring examples of the Word at work in Christian homes.
Step 2: Get some resources.
Where do I start reading the Bible? How many verses or chapters should I read each day? What is the book of Romans about? What does this verse even mean? What if I’m into technology and not old-fashioned books?
That’s where the second step of the path comes in. At Eastside, we are creating “resource centers” in our church and school lobbies where you can find the right resources to help you get the most out of your home devotions. Bibles? We’re giving them away. Devotional plans? Those are free, too. Kids’ Bibles? Ditto. Recommended apps? We’re sharing our recommendations. Study Bibles? We’ll show you the best ones (in our humble opinion) to buy and where to purchase them.
Simply put, we want you to have a Bible, a plan to read it, and resources to understand it.
Step 3: Get in a group.
If you’ve ever tried working out or eating healthier meals, you know the power of the people around you. Hang out with junk-food lovers and you can kiss your weight-loss plans good-bye. But hang-out with fitness buffs and you’ll find lots of inspiring “figures”, quality advice, and encouraging words.
Home devotions aren’t too different. Like any change of habit, most of us need encouragement, advice, good examples, and prayers to make the intention of Bible reading a reality.
Therefore, we recommend taking the step to get into an “intentional group”. An intentional group is our fancy name for a group of people, whatever the size, who “intentionally” ask about your home devotions. Their goal is not to guilt you into reading, but instead share their experiences, obstacles, encouragements, success stories, and prayers. Our hope is that they will remind you of the blessings of being in God’s Word and the powerful things the Holy Spirit does in the lives of these who meditate on God’s truth “day and night” (Psalm 1).
Our small group Bible studies are a prime example. Three times each year, you have the opportunity to get connected and increase your likelihood of being in the Word at home.
Step 4: Embrace the Vision.
This is the final step! Now that you are hearing the Word in church, receiving the Sacrament in all its forgiving-power, resourced with a Bible and a plan, and surrounded by Christian encouragement, prayer, and example, you’re ready to take the final step and get into the Word at home. While you may have started doing this earlier down the path, this is the time to make it a daily habit.
Will you be perfect? No, but that’s not the point. The more you can get into the Word, the more you will be blessed by the truth of the gospel and the guidance of God’s law. Each day will be filled with divine direction, unconditional love, and strength for your suffering. Soon, you will be the example that new Bible readers look to, the example that inspires them to get into the Word at home for the very first time.
So, are you ready to take the first step? Or the second? Or the third? Or the fourth?
We pray that this simple path and the ministry of Eastside Lutheran blesses your home today and for generations to come!