[January 22, 2023]

Heartland Community Church


Reading the Bible

By Meghan Hemenway

Have you ever tried to break a habit? Have you ever tried to build a new one? When were you successful and when did you struggle to change your behavior? The answers to these questions can be helpful when attempting to build or break a habit. There is one more big question: What is your why? What is it you hope to gain with the change you are considering? In what ways will this change lead you closer to the life you imagine for yourself?

Today Brad talked about the habit of reading your Bible. He offered some compassion for what may have stopped you or tripped you up from having a consistent practice of reading the Bible. He also presented some compelling answers to that question of why – why would you endeavor to read the Bible regularly?When you can connect a goal to a larger vision for your life, it can become part of the larger narrative of your life and not just something you feel like you should do.

In his book, Atomic Habits, James Clear lays out a four-step process to use for starting or ending any new practice. The steps are: Cue, Craving, Response, Reward. These steps, like many things in life are simple, but not easy. What is a cue you can identify that will remind you to read your Bible? Helpful cues are time of day, a location, or a related activity. The craving gets back at the answer to your why question. This is the motivation or the determination that you think of that drives you to continue after the cue. The response is what you do next. What is the small next step you take after the cue? And finally the reward is just that – a reward you gift yourself for following through with your habit. This process will look different for every person, which means there is no right way to do it. There are many wonderful rhythms for building the habit of reading scripture into your life.

Join the Monday – Friday Prayer Zoom call at 6:45 AM.

Sign Up for Midweek or Jesus and Women to explore the Bible.

Watch this Sunday’s message here.


[Sunday, January 22]

Read Isaiah 43:18-19

Sometimes we may default to shame when we consider changing a habit. Maybe we tell ourselves that a better, stronger, wiser person wouldn’t struggle in the way we do. Shame feels like the opposite of grace. If shame tells us we are not doing our best, grace tells us there is boundless room for us to try again. If you are considering building a habit of reading the Bible, what new path can you imagine for your life? If you feel an urge to pursue this habit, where do you think God may be leading you?


[Monday, January 23]

Read Hebrews 4:12

When you start to read the Bible, either for the first time or when returning after a time away, it may feel foreign, the language old and outdated. This verse in Hebrew reminds us that the word of God is alive and active. Read this verse again and notice what comes up for you. What is your initial feeling or reaction? What do you think this feeling is attached to? What messages have you heard about the Bible?


[Tuesday, January 24]

Read Psalm 119:105

The Bible can be described in many ways: A guidebook, a rulebook, a love letter, a nice story. Depending on your background and perhaps your relationships within a church community, some of these descriptions sound true while others might trigger different emotions. What description for the Bible best fits your current understanding of this book? Which descriptions would you like to explore more and why do you think that is?


[Wednesday, January 25]

Read 1 Thessalonians 2:13

For some people it may be difficult to think of the Bible as the written word of God. We know that books of the Bible were written by humans who we believe received the material from God. Is this a difficult truth for you to believe or, on the flip side, is it hard for you to imagine the perspective of someone who struggles to believe this? How have you found common ground with people who may not share your same views or values in matters of faith? How does this verse bring comfort and how does it bring challenge?


[Thursday, January 26]

Read Deuteronomy 8:3

This verse refers to the manna that God used to provide his people with enough food for each day. The Bible tells us stories of how God sustained his people physically and spiritually. We often think of basic needs as food, water, and shelter. But do you consider your emotional and spiritual needs as intrinsic to your survival? As humans we are designed for connection. Love and a sense of belonging are as essential to a full life as our need for food, water, and safety. Do you have a verse that stands out to you? A verse from the Bible that makes you feel known and loved?


[Friday, January 27]

Read Ephesians 6

Chapter six of Ephesians is one of those sections of the Bible that might be referred to as a rule book. The verses lay out various rules for how to live in relationship to other people. What initial reactions do you have to reading this list of rules? What role have rules played in your life? When have rules been helpful and when have they felt oppressive or just unhelpful? What do you believe to be true of God’s character and what do you think God’s purpose is in providing these particular rules?


[Saturday, January 28]

Read Romans 15:4

Earlier in the week we considered different descriptions for the Bible. Have you ever called the Bible a book of hope and encouragement? In the scriptures, God tells us we will have to wait patiently for his promises to come true, but he doesn’t leave us with only that difficult truth. In his compassion, he left his words to connect us to his love, his power, and to help us not feel forgotten. What in the Bible brings you hope? What is encouraging?



{extra journey resources}

CLICK HERE to visit The Bible Project site and explore their super simple, super informative Bible videos (and other resources). You can also download The Bible Project App HERE.

CLICK HERE to get the Read Scripture App, from our friends at The Bible Project.

CLICK HERE for more on how to use the observe-reflect-apply approach to getting the most out of your Bible reading.

The Bible App Get the free YouVersion Bible for your phone, tablet, or computer. Experience the Bible anywhere, with options to highlight, save notes, and share what you are reading with others.

The Bible App For Kids YouVersion partnered with OneHope to develop the Bible App for Kids, designing it specifically to engage children with Bible stories on an age-appropriate level. The Bible App for Kids is a free app for Android, Apple, and Kindle devices, available in over 60 languages.

Bible Gateway Provides advanced Bible searching capabilities, which allow readers to find passages in scripture based on keywords, phrases, or scripture reference.

Please visit us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter and share what you are learning, questioning or experiencing. We love conversations!


© 2023 Heartland Community Church

12175 S Strang Line Road, Olathe, KS 66062

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