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Listen while you read: "Jesus The Very Thought Of Thee"1 (Lyrics)

I remember a dream that I had when my oldest son was nine. He and I and two angels dressed in white were standing in heaven beside a giant Bible, taller than we were. The pages of the Bible had fallen open to these words:

Matthew 24:35 – Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. (KJV)

In the dream, I understood instantly that anything else that I had read in this life would be as nothing in heaven — worthless compared to the Word of God. One day in January of that year, I had picked up a Christian book to read, but my vigilant son commented, "Why don't you read the Bible?" As a result, full of ambition, Chris and I embarked on a project of reading the Bible every day.

Unfortunately, our fervour didn't last very long, but it was a beginning in my battle to read the Word consistently. During my teaching years, I found it impossible to read the Bible before school, and I wasn't much for concentration late in the evening. It was all that I could do to wake up and get ready before my 50-minute commute to the school. My drive was great for prayer and praising the Lord, but I didn't even own Bible CDs to listen to.

Thirty-seven years later, in my retirement, I have finally settled into a pattern. The Bible that I'm reading through now has wonderful footnotes and life applications, which shed so much light on the background and meaning of each verse.

There is something invigorating about reading the Word every day. In the 1980s, after attending a seminar that focused on solid Scriptural teaching, a friend commented, "I feel washed by the Word." Indeed, she had been "washed by the cleansing of God's word." Ephesians 5:26b NLT) Sometimes in my journal, I make notes on Scriptures that speak to me, usually using a different coloured ink for the quotation so that it stands out on the page, and so that I can find it again. It's inspiration for writing future devotionals!

One PresbyCan reader wrote me and shared how he writes out verses of Scripture, five times each. How impressive to spend that much time every day, allowing the Word to soak into his consciousness. The Word is making an impact on his life.

During my years in the Christian school, we staff memorized the monthly Scriptures along with the students. Every morning during our assembly time, we would open our Bibles and recite the Scripture passage for that month. One principal even repeated a certain passage every September. That is one of the easiest ones for me to recall now, if I happen to lie awake at night, unable to sleep.

This year, let's begin or keep up the habit of daily Bible reading. We won't regret it!

Prayer: Lord, help us to see the importance of saturating ourselves with Your Word, so that our lives can be changed, and so that we can become more and more like You. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Alice Burnett <>
Red Deer, Alberta, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thank you.

    Thanks for sharing such wise words, Alice.

    Amen and amen, Alice! To God be the glory! Blessings.

    Great idea for the new year, Alice! Thanks and may God bless you!

    A lot of good suggestions about how and what we might be doing to draw closer to His word. Thanks, Alice.

    Thank you, Alice. I had the same experience… finally establishing a daily Bible time after retirement. You’re right, it’s definitely a blessing.

    I never seem to sit down and read the Bible, but I NEVER miss reading the PresbyCan and reading the scripture for the day. I thank you for writing Devotionals for people like me that need some encouragement to follow the word. May God Bless You.

    Hello Alice,
    Very good advice in your devotional. Reading God’s word each and every day has everlasting benefits in our daily life. Thank you so much for these writings you contribute.

    Alice, you are bringing me the same message as the Rev Grant Wilson in Ottawa in his series “Thinking Biblically”. I am engaged in a course “How to read the Bible better”.
    Why does it take so many nudges to push me into such a valuable activity?
    Thanks for your insight.

    Thank you so much for your testimony and encouragement for reading the Bible. I especially liked your last paragraph. I read through the Bible several years but didn’t get serious about it until six years ago when I started Bible Study. Just last week I got a neat email telling about the 7 Habits for Bible Study by Billy Graham. I read his book many years ago and actually did his discipline on the Psalms and Proverbs at times.
    Thank you again for your devotionals and keep on writing.

    Dear Alice,
    THANK YOU for your emphasis on scripture in your devotion today.
    Last fall, for the first time I read the whole Bible, starting with the New Testament and then the Old Testament. It was the first time I had read Numbers, Leviticus, and Judges.
    This month, I am starting again – the Old Testament and then the New Testament (The Message version).
    Our Lord is so patient, forgiving, loving and merciful.

    Alice, thank you for your thoughtful devotion this morning. Often, I miss time with the B-I-B-L-E (the song is in my head now!) and when I can calm down and take a moment, I enjoy time with online devotions. Your writing was beautiful – like having a conversation with a good friend. I loved hearing how you found a version of the Bible that adds a bit to the scriptures for you. Would you share what one it is?
    And thank you for your smart tip to write scriptures in different ink to highlight them in one’s journal. LOVE that idea.
    I feel inspired to take more time with God and to read his word.
    Many thanks for your wonderful contribution.

    Thank you, Alice, for the Devotional you wrote for us this morning, and previous ones as well.
    I do read my bible daily, but I need the understanding of the type that your edition of the Bible gives to you.
    I would like to know what edition that is so I can purchase one.
    I long for a greater understanding of what I am reading and I think it would help me focus and remember.
    I have read many Christian books but came to the conclusion over time the Bible is the only one that is “God’s Book” and He will teach me everything I need there, and it does.
    Thank You for the suggestion of lightening the Bible verses in coloured ink in my journal.

    Dear Alice,
    Great message. I have tried a number of times to read the Bible through in many different ways but have never made it. I am trying again using Gail’s suggestion of spreading it over 2 years. I am using a one-year plan and doing half each day. So far, I have been successful and do use a study Bible which helps to clarify important points for me. I also don’t say I have to read it at a certain time of day so that I don’t feel bad when I don’t do that. I can read it at any time in the day which helps me enjoy the time that I read His Word.
    Thank you for encouragement of the importance of being in God’s Word. Retirement does allow us to enjoy things that we could not find the time for when we were working. Blessings.


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