I have been listening to a lot of both Latin and Greek hymns of late. Something about them is both very calming, yet energising, at the same time. One, in particular, is very good – it is apparently a chant from the Templar era, in Latin, and it essentially tells you to put on the whole armour of God and go kick Satan’s poxy sulphurous arse:
I highly recommend listening to this while drinking your morning coffee. It will give you a rather good buzz.
That, however, should be only the start of your morning routine. Your day needs to include a form of proper Bible study. The hard part is to figure out how and where to get started, because reading the Bible, in and of itself, is not going to be of much use.
The Bible is the living word of God – inspired by the Holy Spirit, transmitted to us through the minds and hands of men. There are legitimate arguments that you can have over exactly who wrote what – that is a rich field of scholarly discussion and dispute. But, ultimately, the whole of the Bible – from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21 – points to THE Word of God – the Logos, the Word described so beautifully in John 1:1.
That Word is Jesus Christ, who is Lord. It’s just that simple.
Merely sitting down and reading it, as you would any other book, is not going to do anything for you if you do not believe that everything in that book points to Jesus. It will simply be words on a page, and you will not get much from the text other than some great history lessons and some very profound wisdom.
But, if you approach the Bible as the LIVING WORD, and you dedicate time to reading it and meditating upon it every day, then, because it is the living word, new truths and new ideas will come to you as you read the same passages again and again.
How, then, do you thrive upon the Word of the Lord? How do you make sense of what He is trying to tell you, what He wants you to do?
Here, I recommend taking some advice from Dr. James Tour, who put it in a very simple and powerful way at the beginning of a talk that he gave a few years ago:
The Bible does indeed give a clear prescription for thriving: read and meditate upon the Word of God.
Sit down for 15 minutes, every day, with a really good translation of the Bible – I personally recommend the English Standard Version, but for those who take Biblical study seriously, you will need a proper study Bible of some kind. A Macarthur Study Bible in any of its various translations and editions will do fine. For those who want the full-banana experience of trying to unpack the Word, then use the New English Translation.
Before you begin, ask God to reveal His Word and His will to you, through the Holy Spirit, in the name of Jesus Christ. I assure you, He will respond.
Open up a passage of the Bible. Start at Genesis 1:1 if you want. Read as much as you feel you can manage for 5-10 minutes. Go back and re-read passages if you have to. When reading passages in the New Testament, flip back to the Old Testament to see the links between them – the footnotes and references will tell you where to go.
Most importantly, meditate upon the Word that you have read. Do not rush. Do not worry. And do not feel the need to read for the sake of reading. If you have to spend a week trying to understand or decipher a single paragraph – even a single verse – then so be it. God has the time – you simply need to ask Him for it.
This requires discipline, to set aside time from the business – the literaly busy-ness – of life. Your flesh will rebel against it. You will find any number of excuses to avoid doing this task.
Do not avoid it. Your spirit must discipline your flesh. This is not a passing fad or trend – your very LIFE is at stake. If you do not believe, truly and fully, that Jesus is Lord, that He died and rose again for your sins, to save you from yourself and reunite you with the Lord your God, then your very eternity is at stake.
Take 15 minutes out of your day to do these things. Listen to Templar and Orthodox hymns if that helps you concentrate. Put aside all of your devices and ignore them. Do what is necessary to read and understand the Living Word of God.
Your spirit and soul will be better off for it – and, eventually, so too will your body.