A lot of Christians think that “a daily dose of Scripture” will keep them spiriutally healthy. And today, new technology gives us lots of cool ways to get that dose–CD’s in the car, iPods in the gym, emails at work. There’s even a program that automatically calls your cell phone with a recorded Bible verse every day. It all sounds good, but I wonder if we’re losing sight of something important.


I’m reminded of people who buy those Vitamin Paks at the convenience store. You’ve seen it. Folks are too busy to eat at home so they stop in for quick bite during the day–a couple of doughnuts and a 24 oz. coffee, or maybe a chili-cheese dog, some chips and a Super-Big-Gulp of Mountain Dew. Oh sure, it’s bad for you, but come on, it tastes great and there’s no time for anything else.

Then at the check-out counter they grab a Vitamin Pak, those foil packets with several multi-colored vitamin pills inside. Who knows what’s in them…and who cares? It’s just vitamins; maybe they’ll cancel out the effect of the junk food.

Isn’t that how some Christians approach Bible reading? We’re too busy and distracted to develop a balanced spiritual life of worship, prayer, rest and service. Plus, sitting down to thoughtfully read the B-I-B-L-E seems like an old-fashioned methodology. That’s why a digital dose of Scripture is so appealing. One quick gulp and bingo!, we’re good. But the truth is, convenience store spirituality isn’t a very good way to draw closer to God.

I think it’s great that new technology offers unprecidented opporutnities to distribute God’s Word to a needy world; the church should do everything it can to take advantage of this. But in the process we must not forget what makes Bible reading effective. It doesn’t do much good to force down a handful of Scripture if we don’t also take time to understand and apply it.

So whether we prefer a digital Bible or a “dead tree Bible” the key is to “read, mark, learn and inwardly digest” God’s Word, as the classic prayer in The Book of Common Prayer says. That’s still the foundation of a healthy spiritual life.
A Daily Dose of Scripture

8 thoughts on “A Daily Dose of Scripture

  • August 28, 2009 at 12:03 am
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    I write a quarterly “use the Encounter” promotion for our church newsletter. May I quote from this blog?

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  • September 2, 2009 at 7:28 pm
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    I think it's true that we've lost the art of setting aside time to quietly contemplate and pray over our scripture reading (and I count myself guilty of that!). There's just no getting around the fact that in order understand and apply scripture (and thereby deepen our understanding of God), we have to spend the time with it.

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  • September 4, 2009 at 1:46 pm
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    Have you heard about the American Bible Society’s Bible challenge for kids? It’s perfect for a Sunday school class project with the goal of raising money for the U.S. military to have Bibles. Check out this website: http://www.truthfortroops.americanbible.org/ for project ideas!

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  • September 7, 2009 at 3:03 pm
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    American Bible Society and Scripture Union are partnering on several Bible engagement projects but I hadn't heard about the Truth for Troops challenge. I did check it out and it looks like a valuable way for kids to help. Thanks.

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  • September 9, 2009 at 7:11 pm
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    In the UK, Holy Trinity Brompton (home of the Alpha Course) is running a One Year Bible programme where they are collectively reading through the NIV (OT, NT and Psalms) each day. It's proving to be a great encouragement.

    I use the Discipleship Journal one year Bible reading plan. I can't imagine NOT going through the Bible each year. We need to read the Bible on a book by book basis, rather than just popping in for a spiritual Starbucks.

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  • September 7, 2012 at 4:15 pm
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    Very insightful. I never thought of daily bible verse services as a quick fix. I started a Verse of the day service for my teenagers at church. I found they were reading the Bible less than once a week, and even then only at church. At least with Verse of the day they are reading it some. The rest comes with attitude and desire. If you don't have the right attitude or the desire to read more…you wont. Guilt will never get us to read the way we need too.

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