This aggressive schedule for feasting and meditating on Scripture has been developed for those who are willing to invest whatever time and effort it takes to know God more intimately every day and to counter the world’s aggressive exclusion of God, His Word, and His people.
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 installed the full version of the 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 as well as the detailed account of God’s interactions with humans from the Garden to the New Heaven and New Earth. Those of us, acquaintance, friend or family, who have entered Life with Jesus are the Catalysts, equippers who must be an accurate living source for the newly twice-born of that staple of their new life, along with the relationship that encourages and engages with them along that expedition. We are integrated parts of His physical body, so that He, the Word made flesh, is made flesh in our skin and by that, He can walk among and interact with the people He puts us with. Our only action in His desire to touch those lives in our skin is to go out of our claim to our right to our selves and be immersed in every detail of the person of Jesus as He personally carries out His agenda in others through His Word and His Spirit, letting Him live His life clothed in our skin.
The first step is to swallow the Book whole in continuous, determined action, broken only by actual duties and required interactions of the day. This is crucial before “studying” the Bible which, if started first, will install disjointed spots of light on islands of isolated Truths. Since most of life happens between the islands, our perception is broken up, leaving us vulnerable. To make sure the Holy Spirit has access to our whole heart and we intuitively see the Light as a whole, we must have the full repeated immersion in the whole, without the interruption of trying to grasp each point in our mind. The initial few reads through the whole and inviting the Holy Spirit to fully plant it in our hearts, provides a continuity of God’s Reality in our hearts, the supply house for all that issues from our lives. Living in that Reality as our home, gives Him the authority, to whisper His invitation to those around us, even in simply passing or glancing interaction. This installation grows and clarifies with each immersion and deploys His disposition in and through us. If we want to be His disciple, we swallow the Book whole – first – and are the catalyst for the ones who enter behind us. THAT’S STEP ONE. Then…
The DAILY HUNGRY BIBLE READER read-listen-respond schedule is designed for those who desire to not only read but meditate and digest scripture. The determination to know God more intimately, to be made one. That intimacy is the faithful work of the Spirit as we daily turn the soil of our heart and ask Him to establish the rulership of Jesus over areas of life that only He can touch.
This DAILY HUNGRY BIBLE READER schedule is the result of our need to read more and in varying combinations. During those years of 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. God’s Book is One, just as He is One. The continuity of His design gets more pervasive and astounding with each day lived in fellowship and communion with Him.
Each year, following the Daily Hungry Bible Reader schedule takes all of us who are reading the same passages, hearing the Author’s voice speak to us personally, no matter how far away geographically we are from each other, through the
• Old Testament once:
including 2 times through Song Of Solomon and 3 times through Proverbs.
• New Testament four times:
Each of the 4 times begins with one of the four Gospels,
then closes the year with 3 times through all the Gospels,
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 Reader is designed to train the reader to:
• be transported, not only mentally but verbally, into the physical, cultural context of what is read
• listen for God’s voice,
• acknowledge what He is pointing to in our own heart that He wants to transform and,
• answer His call to go out of our self into Him on-point, in that specific part of our nature
• document the particular scriptures that jumped out of the page through which He spoke
• see all that as this day’s personal conversation with Jesus
• see with a clear perspective, our obedient steps through the thresholds He calls us through
The idea is to incite and to be trained by Jesus to concentrate and practice listening to the Spirit as the alive, powerful Book of God is read aloud and boil it down into the core message He emphasizes each of us today.
We model those actions in print in order to nudge each one to be intentionally responsive using the model and begin to record your own Core Message, OT & NT crucial verses, Flash Points and forward Perspective as you read and hear God’s voice. 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 and heard, a message the Lord is emphasizing personally to you will become clear. We should concisely articulate that message in a short title phrase in our notes. Clearly, the optimum result will result from 2 or more people, each reading sequential chapters aloud so that all will begin to see the panorama of Scripture as one Book. As we read and listen attentively, zoom in on the Scripture that jumped out constructing the core message to us personally. Articulate Flash Points to trigger thoughtful meditation and establish the continuity of the Spirit’s call to action. So, once we have followed the Hungry Bible format and understand the flow, then each one of us makes note of the core message for us, mark the specific passages that were pivotal in its construction, the Flash Points for meditation, then a fresh perspective we heard Him call us to. In so doing, we are leading the way for the others. Now, the most establishing wrap-up – each one openly responds in intimate surrender to Jesus’ personal interaction with us, so we all follow His call to us, walking through each one of our personal thresholds TOGETHER.
PROTOCOL – This is not “legalism.” Our God is a holy God, so we approach intimate fellowship with Him in the way His supreme holiness demands.
2. Read, Listen & Perceive
• Clear the clutter, push back to the wall all other issues and concerns, good or bad.
• 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 repentance, expectant surrender, and obedience -“for the joy” set before us of deeper immersion in Him and intimacy with Him and others.
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: must be an actual translation from the original manuscripts. Don’t pass up words that are not clear to you. Stop and go to the dictionary and thesaurus. Determine to get the clear meaning of what is being read.] 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 of 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, outloud, 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 thresholds outloud, 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-articulated 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 becoming action in flesh and blood transaction.
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 in 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 approach to the subject that I’ve found is in Campbell McAlpine’s little training book titled BIBLICAL MEDITATION, Puritan preacher, Thomas Manton in his sermon #XVI of the 3-volume set of SERMONS ON PSALM 119, and Oswald Chambers in BIBLICAL PSYCHOLOGY. Each of these men clarifies what meditation is and is not.
McAlpine says, “Meditation is not an intellectual exercise, although God does not bypass our minds. It is not puzzling over what the scripture means, nor is it delving into some commentary to get another’s thoughts, (good as this may be), but it is allowing the Master to impart to us personally from His loving heart.”
Manton says, “The mind’s exercise in searching out of a truth for knowledge to prove the good, acceptable and perfect will of God,” for example. “That is study and is different from meditation in the object. Practical meditation is the inculcation or whetting of a known truth upon the soul. The end of study is to hoard up truth; but of meditation, is to lay it forth in conference or holy conversation.
Chambers says, “Meditation means getting to the middle of a thing. Meditation does not mean to be like a pebble in a brook letting the water of thought go over you, that is reverie, not meditation. Meditation is the most intense spiritual activity that brings every part of the body into harness, and concentrates its powers to profit. This includes deliberation and reflection. Now deliberation means that I am able to weigh well what I am thinking of, conscious all the time that I am deliberating and meditating. Neh. 5:7: ‘I thought within myself,’ is exactly the meaning of meditation. Luke 2:19 is the meaning of meditation also. Please note, meditation is not prayer! Prayer is definite talk to God, about which God has put an atmosphere, and by which I get answers back. Meditation often accompanies prayer, but meditation is not prayer.”
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, women, boys and girls 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.” “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 requires of us. 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.