Mark Batterson, pastor of National Community Church and author of some cool books, wrote a recent article for Catalyst where he shares the best decision he has made all year…to read the Bible. Specifically a one-year Bible.
I love the openness and honesty of his article. Read this paragraph:
If you are relying on a preacher to be fed, I fear for you. Listening to a sermon is second-hand knowledge. It is learning based on someone else’s words or experiences. A sermon is no replacement for first-hand knowledge. You’ve got to see it and hear it and experience it for yourself. It’s not enough to hear the truth. You have to own it. Or more accurately, it has to own you. Honestly, I’d rather have people hear one word from the Lord than a thousand of my sermons. And that happens when you open your Bible and start reading.
Batterson is really into medical stuff…check out this research:
A few years ago, researchers at the National Institute of Mental Health did a study that consisted of subjects performing a simple motor task. As subjects engaged in a finger-tapping exercise, the researchers conducted an MRI to identify what part of the brain was being activated. The subjects then practiced the finger-tapping exercise daily for four weeks. At the end of the four-week period, the brain scan was repeated. In each instance, it revealed that the area of the brain involved in the task had expanded. That simple task, a finger-tapping exercise, literally recruited new nerve cells and rewired neuronal connections.
That is what happens when we read Scripture. We are recruiting new nerve cells and rewiring neuronal connections. In a sense, we are downloading a new operating system that reconfigures the mind. We stop thinking human thoughts and start thinking God thoughts. And our minds are literally renewed.
Does any of this encourage you to get consistently in the Word? It fires me up! I am going to read right now.