So last month, I changed my devotion plan.  For years, I’ve been reading through the Bible in a year, and I was ready for a change, and I thought I’d switch into a different mode.  My new plan was to read one verse a day and meditate on it, pray about it, and journal on it.

I scrapped it today.

The single-verse meditation plan is said to actually have been invented by Martin Luther, and even though he reformed an entire church using it, I failed to even reform a month of my life.

I picked up my one year bible and felt like I was home.  The readings were from Malachi and Isaiah (not exactly top ten material), but they were like water to a parched soul.

Maybe I’m just not a meditational or deep guy — I don’t know.  All I know is that when I engage God’s Word in real quantity, it speaks to me.  I guess I needed more than a verse.

My point in all this (if I have one) is this:  do you know what devotional plan works best for you?  Have you got a plan? I guess I found out that even though the one-verse thing worked for Luther and many others, it doesn’t really work for me, at least not now.  I need quantity of verse and quantity of time…it helps me connect.  God’s Word honestly rocks my world.  It was so good to read more of it today, especially stuff I have no intention of preaching on at any point in the future.

Nice to connect again God, I missed You.  Despite trying to connect with You.

How’s your fill of God lately?  And do you know what kind of time with God helps you connect the best?


  1. Joanne on December 30, 2007 at 4:53 pm

    Friends visited for Christmas. They rarely read a bible. I had bought "The Message" for my husband for Christmas and I was surprised to see them both glued to it at various times during the visit. They had no idea that such an engaging translation was available and thoroughly enjoyed it and took it home!

  2. Dianne Hibrant on December 19, 2007 at 9:11 pm

    I agree with you Carey. I too prefer to read several chapters of the Bible daily. Each day I read in a different section of the Bible; The Pentatuech on Monday, History books on Tuesday, Poetry books on Wednesday, Prophets Thursday, Gospels Friday and the Epistles on Saturday. So often my reading in the Old Testament connects with that in the New Testament later in the week. Sometimes I am able to read the whole Bible in a year and at other times it takes me 2 years or more. Each week I resume reading where I finished the week before. I write the dates in pencil above the next chapter to be read. Dating helps me realize how I have lapsed in my reading when I get back to it.
    I do verse meditation mostly when I am preparing for a Bible study format to share with others.

  3. Shirley on December 19, 2007 at 10:41 am

    I also believe it is easier and more relevant for me to read many verses at once. I guess it is a context issue. You can take one sentence out of anything and it doesn't make any sense anymore… be it a movie, a speech and yes, even a Bible… I believe you already referred to this in the Backstage Pass' series… You showed a clip of a movie out of context and anybody who didn't previously see that movie was lost as far as the meaning of that scene was concerned… I guess, for me, the Bible is a little similar with each "story" having a context and reading a verse out of its context puts me at a loss… I guess once the context is clear in your mind for a specific verse, you then can meditate meaningfully on that single verse… As you said before, to each his/her own!

    The version of the Bible I prefer to use lately has been The Message but I also find The New Living Translation Life Application Study Bible very helpful in understanding God's Holy Word…

    God bless!

  4. Carey Nieuwhof on December 19, 2007 at 8:12 am

    Neat, Allen. My one year bible is the Message, and that translation is very provocative and still fresh. I love it. I have moved to the New Living Translation as my default bible, and love it. But as you say, to each his own.

    I think you can get profit from a single verse, but for me the bigger doses challenge me more and speak to me more deeply and broadly.

  5. Allen Forget on December 18, 2007 at 4:15 pm

    I was just thinking about this recently and I was surveying a few people about what they thought was the best Bible translation to use that would be the most relational translation for a "modern" man. What I realized is, just as there are many types of books (ie, Science fiction, non-fiction, etc ), this is really a preference of how you read books and what you like to read. I too had a problem with a single verse scenario because to me, it was like reading one paragraph of a technical manual and then trying to understand how everything worked. It seemed that a single verse was easier to understand when the other verses around it were read.
    What I settled on was to use the Bible of our church ( NIV ) and supplement it with "The Message". I found that The Message does away with the verse things and the Bible suddenly takes on a story like feel where you can really begin to envision and relate to what is happening in a way that makes learning what God and Jesus are telling us that much more memorable. When I want a feel for the way it "was written" then I jump to the NIV and cross-reference passages so as to get a glimpse and understanding to the order of things. I dunno? It works for me.
    Funny thing here is that I do not read novels as per say and the best justification I came up with to really dive into the Bible was to treat it like my own personal "owners manual". In it I will find everything I need to know to operate this human body while here on earth. Whatever works.

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