Monday, January 14, 2013

Finding Your Gold Nugget and your Logos

This is the second week of our "Read the Bible Through in a Year" adventure.  The Bible reading schedule for this week is:

Week 2
  • Genesis 16-18; Mark 6
  • Gen 19-20; Mark 7; Psalm 1
  • Gen 21-23; Mark 8; Psalm 107
  • Gen 24-25; Mark 9; Psalm 4
  • Gen 26-27; Mark 10
It's a five-day plan, which gives you two days to either catch up or go more in-depth with some personal study of something you read during the week.  It may be possible that you've already fallen behind, and haven't caught up during those two days off.  My advice to you is that you should forget about catching up, and just pick up with today's reading.  You've got the rest of eternity to catch up.  If you make reading the Bible a lifelong journey, you'll eventually read the whole thing anyway.  When you worry too much about catching up, then you start to feel guilty about falling behind, and you abandon the whole project.  Instead, just forgive yourself (Jesus does), and move on.

Today, rather than really talking through all these scripture passages, I want to talk about finding your Gold Nugget.  Each Sunday, usually at the end of my sermon, I have a Gold Nugget, which is the key verse of the sermon.  It encapsulates the central theme of the entire message.  When I have my personal Bible reading time, I'm always looking for a Gold Nugget--the "take-away" verse that I literally carry with me throughout the day.  Then, I'm amazed at how many times God gives me the opportunity to share that daily Gold Nugget with others throughout the day.

So, how do you find your Gold Nugget, when you have so much scripture to read in your daily assigned readings?  Then, what do you do with it?

First, before you begin reading, pray that God will show you something that you need today.  James 1:5 (ESV) says, "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him."  When you go to your Bible reading time with an expectant heart, God will reward you with His truth.

Then, do your reading.  When you have a long assignment like this, you're going to have not only four chapters (in today's example) but you'll have several sections within those chapters.  For example, today's reading involves:
  • Sarai and Hagar
  • Abraham and the covenant of circumcision
  • Isaac's birth promised
  • Abraham's intercession for Sodom
  • Jesus being rejected at Nazareth
  • Jesus sending out the twelve apostles
  • The death of John the Baptist
  • Jesus feeding the five thousand
  • Jesus walking on water
  • Jesus healing the sick in Gennesaret
When you read all these stories, one of them will stand out to you more than the others.  This isn't a random thing--remember, you've asked God to give you wisdom as you read His Word.  God is beginning to show you something important, so pay attention.

Next, read that section again.  While all of the Bible is good, and good for your instruction, today God has narrowed down His instruction to you to just this one section.  Pay close attention to it, opening your heart to what God is saying to you through these few verses.  

Generally, within these verses, there's one verse that stands out from the rest.  Find that one verse.  That's your Gold Nugget for today.  Write it down and carry it with you in your pocket.  Pull it out when you have to wait in the drive-thru, or when you're in line at the bank teller.  Heck--even when you're using the restroom, there are a few minutes that you can make productive.  Pull out your little slip of paper and go over your Gold Nugget a few times.  

Sometimes, within that Gold Nugget, there is even one word that stands out to you more than the rest.  That one word may sum up the whole verse for you.  You can even just go back to that one word throughout the day.  When that word comes up in conversation, let that be a reminder to you of God's Word that He has given to you today.

In a later post, I'll talk about how to pray through your Gold Nugget, and your one-word-prayer (which I call the Logos Prayer).

Now, I want to give you an example from today's scripture reading.  Today's passage is Genesis 16-18; Mark 6.  From all those stories, what stood out to me the most was the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000.  Out of that story, the verse that spoke to me the most was Mark 6:31 (NASB), which says, "And He said to them, 'Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while.' (For there were many people coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.)" 

Now, I'm going to write that verse down on an index card and keep it in my pocket.  Or, I might just type it into the memo section of my cell phone, so I don't have to worry about paper.  Sometimes, I'll send myself a text message, with the verse on it.  Then, it's right there in my inbox.  

Out of all those words, the Word that stands out to me the most today is REST.  This is God's Word, God's logos for me today.  Throughout the day, I'll try to be aware when I either "accidentally" use the word "rest," or when I hear others use it.  It will be a reminder from God for me to take a moment and rest myself in Him.

I've found this to be an excellent way to "rightly divide the Word of truth."  I hope that this method will help you, so that you won't sit through your reading of four chapters, then slap your Bible closed, say, "My, that was a lot of reading!" and then just go about your day, forgetting what you've read.  God's Word is meant to be taken with us throughout the day, not left in our armchair where we left our Bibles.  I pray that your quiet time with Jesus today will be blessed, and that He will give you His Word of truth--not just for you to benefit, but also so that you can share it with others.

In closing, I want to share the video below with you.  Since I'm sharing my Gold Nugget today with you--and it's all about coming away with Jesus to a quiet place and resting--then I'll share this video about doing just that.  I hope that you can find a quiet place with God.  Maybe later, I'll write about creating sacred space in your home as well, but until then, this video will give you some ideas.


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