Spiritual Discipline – Bible Hearing, Reading, Studying, and application of the Bible
Hearing the Bible is one of the easiest disciplines to keep; it requires going to a Bible-based church every Sunday. Why consider this a discipline? In the 1960s, it used to be that no stores were open on Sunday morning. It was a time for family and gathering with other Christians. Many things are pulling our time and attention in today’s society. Kids sporting events, parties, and movies, just to name a few. Romans 10:17 states, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” This is not to say that hearing biblically based sermons are the only way to receive salvation, but it is one of the main ways to receive saving faith.
Jesus once said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” (Luke 11:28). Only listening to the Bible being read aloud or a bible-based sermon is not enough – we must apply what we learn to our lives. For the purpose of godliness, so we can be transformed into the image of Christ. There are other ways to hear the word of God, and at times I use all of them. Sometimes I listen to a Christian podcast while I walk or exercise. Sometimes I listen to a pre-recorded Bible reading and meditate on it while I fall asleep. There are also radio stations and YouTube to take advantage of. It doesn’t matter what method, but avail yourself of different ways until you find what works for you.
Some people believe they don’t need to go to church to worship God. That may be true, but if you want correct doctrine, it is best to study the Bible with other believers. If you are reading the Bible alone, you can incorrectly interrupt passages, but if you are learning with others, you will less likely drift from the truth. This is one area where there is safety in numbers.
Before we attend church, we should prepare our hearts to hear the message. Sometimes getting to church with the whole family can be stressful. Your son spills milk on himself, requiring a last-minute change; your daughter won’t sit still while you brush her hair. All these things can add to the morning’s frustration and unsettle your heart before you hear God’s word. I advise preparing as much as possible the night before, laying out clothes, taking baths, and pre-prep breakfast so it doesn’t take as long. Pray the night before for a smooth morning, and lastly, when you get to your seat in church, take a deep breath and quiet your mind.
Hearing, reading, studying, and applying the word of God to our lives is essential, and we should discipline ourselves to do it.