A wondrous thing about reading and meditating on Scripture is that we are looking into the face of God. Jesus is the Word of God made flesh. Why was He made flesh? So men can see Him, touch Him, hear Him. He wants us to know Him. That is His own definition of the life He offers us and He says, “Come, taste and see.” “Come out of your isolation, Discover and Understand.” The more we come to God and see Him through the words we read, the more trustworthy is our perception of Him. Knowing Him is eternal life. Believing on Him is the work that God invites us to. Doing what He says is His indescribable nature given to the physical world in us, so that men may know that HE IS. He is the light of the world. Plug your whole heart, mind, soul, and strength into the Living Word and be lit.
This aggressive schedule for feasting on Scripture has been developed to counter the effect on human beings, especially humans who consider themselves to be Christians, of the world’s aggressive exclusion of God and His Word. Though we love Jesus and want to know Him, we are affected daily by the spiritual rebellion against Him and much of that influence is not resisted because we have not “entered the Data” – installed the full version of God’s Software, His Living Book. One of the signs that a person has truly been born and immersed into the Life of Jesus is an insatiable appetite to read the text version of that Life. Those of us, acquaintance, friend or family, who have entered Life with Jesus are the Catalysts, equippers who must make sure the newly twice-born are provided with that staple of their new life, along with the relationship that engages and encourages them in that expedition. We are now integrated parts of His physical body, so that He, the Word made flesh, is made flesh in us so that, in us, He can walk among the people He puts us with.
The first step is to swallow the Book whole in continuous determined action, broken only by the actual duties and vital activities of the day. This is crucial before “studying” the Bible which, if done having skipped the essential full Data entry, will only install spots of light on islands of isolated Truths. Therefore, the foundational perception of the continuity of God’s Book is broken up and vulnerable to the delusions of the world’s rebellion against God. To make sure the Holy Spirit has access to our heart and we intuitively see the Light as a whole, we must have entered the Data which provides a backdrop of the continuity of Reality in our minds. That backdrop gives Him the freedom, even without our notice, to whisper His invitation to those around us by the Spirit, even in simply passing, through how we naturally move and interact with them. This installation grows, clarifies and deploys His disposition in our skin. If we don’t want to be “retarded” ;o), we swallow the Book whole – first – to be the catalysts inciting the ones who enter behind us. THAT’S STEP ONE. Then…
DAILY HUNGRY BIBLE read-ponder-respond schedule is for those who desire to read and work out through our fingertips more of what God works into us. The determination to expand the feeding on God’s Word comes from our desire to intimately know God. That intimacy is the faithful work of the Spirit as we daily turn the soil of our heart’s and ask Him to establish the rulership of Jesus over areas of life that only He can reach. During those years of DHB’s development, we were astounded to see the new vistas into God’s mind and the amazing continuity which appeared when reading both Testaments together, as well as His obvious coordination of the other resources we would read to each other in each read-ponder-respond session.
Following The Daily Hungry Bible will take us through the
• Old Testament once including Song Of Solomon 2 times and Proverbs 3 times.
• New Testament four times. Each of the 4 times begins with one of the four Gospels, then closes the year with all the Gospels 3 more times, another time through Romans and one last time through the Gospel of John.
There are special readings for Valentine’s Day, Leap Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve.
Daily Hungry Bible is designed to train the reader to:
• listen for God’s voice,
• ponder and acknowledge what He is pointing to in the reader’s heart that He wants to transform, and answer His call to go out of ourselves into Him in that particular muscle-memory in our nature.
• document in notes and verbally the particular scriptures that jumped out of the page through which He was personally speaking to the reader.
The goal is to train us to concentratedly listen to the Spirit as God’s words are read out loud and distill it into the core message He is emphasizing to us today. To provide a starter-kit for that, I’ve titled each day with a core message that the Spirit pointed out to me as I worked through the development of the schedule. As the Book is read aloud and heard, a unique personal message the Lord is emphasizing to each hearer, reader, and listener, will become clear. That message should be concisely articulated in a short title phrase in your notes. The best result comes with 2 or more people, each reading the sequential chapter aloud to each other so that all will begin to see the panorama of Scripture. As we read or listen, zoom in on the Scripture that jumped out as a layer of the developing core message. Articulate Flash Points to trigger thoughtful meditation and establish the continuity of the Spirit’s call to action. So, once we have followed the format built into the schedule a few times and the flow gets established, take it to the next step. Invite each one who is participating aloud to write the core message they heard, mark the specific passages that were pivotal in perceiving the Spirit’s pointer, some Flash Points for meditation, then articulate the fresh perspective they heard Jesus call them to. Each one of those participating, now holds an integral building block to build now the structure of the whole-body immersion into biblical worship, not for later but now, before dispersing. Here are God’s clear guidelines:
PROTOCOL – Not to be mistaken as “legalism.” Our God is a holy God, so we approach intimate fellowship with Him in the way His supreme holiness demands. Useful opener for gathering and renewal before the verbal responses and moving together through the personal thresholds.
2. Read, Listen & Perceive
3. Respond verbally
• Clear the clutter, push back to the wall all other issues and concerns, regardless of their value.
• Ask for the Fire of the Spirit to cleanse mind, body, spirit to prepare a pure and holy Temple of our bodies and in the collective Body.
• Invite God, to take the center of our concentration to hear what He says, receive counsel from the Spirit of Truth and, in full trust,
• Respond in expectant surrender and obedience -“for the joy” set before us of intimacy with and deeper immersion in Him.
2. Read Listen & Perceive is a single coordinated action which simply means pay attention. That takes concentrated practice. Remember the prize always goes to the one who runs to win. Read the daily prescribed chapters to each other, each reading a chapter in sequence. [The requirement regarding Bible version: it must be an actual translation from original manuscripts.] Listen & Perceive During the reading, mark passages that stand out, without losing the continuity of the reading. After the reading is finished, revisit those marks, each on their own, and extract the Flash Points important for collecting & establishing what the Holy Spirit has uncovered pertinent to any business He may be calling you to today. Just as a tutorial, start by practicing with my personal examples of Core Message, Core passages, Flash Points and Perspective, then step out on your own to develop the habit of the meditative flow with the active reading and listening for what God’s got on His mind between you and Him today.
3. Respond – honest & humbled, transact the business directly, intimately, out loud, on-point with Jesus, that the Holy Spirit has brought to the table as you have heard what He is saying in the context and continuity of His surgical Words. That is today’s threshold for each of us and we must go out of ourselves and through to Him, openly with those who have read and heard the same Words and will be stepping through their own unique threshold out loud, with their whole heart.
The results of this daily process are infinite and eternal, certainly, the portal through which we follow Him into all that He has promised, but let me just mention a few of the most powerfully transforming results. By gathering openly-verbal, thoughtfully-articulate engagement in turning over that territory of our hearts to Jesus’ rulership in our own ears as well as the others, there is established, in the physical world, the “truth” part of “in spirit and in truth,” the intention of the spirit manifest in flesh and blood action.
Gathering for this exclusive purpose provides:
• the challenge of thoughtful, honest articulation, daily making fresh our relationship to Jesus
• the strength of gathering to step through each of our personal thresholds together, moving as coordinated Body parts, One in Him, a single Organism.
• and liberation from the illusion of being alone by healing transparency and the joy of moving together in Him.
That’s just to mention a few.
A word about BIBLICAL MEDITATION
Unlike the pagan mind-emptying ritual, the suggestion of a passage to meditate upon is designed to establish and develop the essential habit of personal interaction with God. Rather than trying to void the mind, Biblical meditation, means we push everything that is happening aside to clear the clutter of thoughts, ask God to cleanse the temple (there is only one Cleansing Agent for the human heart) and invite Him to take His rightful place on the throne of our heart as we give Him our undivided attention. Biblical meditation explores and drinks in the thoughts and perspective originating from God and responds to Him right then and there. Many Bible scholars and commentators have written on the irreplaceable nature of this practice. As you read the Psalms, you can see that its origin is wholly founded in meditation upon God’s Word. The most practical and transformative exposition of the subject that I’ve found is from three beloved men of God. 1. Campbell McAlpine, in his little training book titled ALONE WITH GOD: A Manual of Biblical Meditation 1981,2. Oswald Chambers, especially in his BIBLICAL PSYCHOLOGY 1912, and 3. D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones in his STUDIES IN THE SERMON ON THE MOUNT 1959-62, in my humble experience, the most powerful exposition of that pivotal session with Jesus in print. The three men, though in different times were in perfect harmony expounding the same Father’s heart and mind.