Read Scripture Blog: Week 1

I hate working out. Even when I was doing P90-X every day and in the best shape of my life at 22, it wasn’t the working out itself that kept me in the program. It wasn’t even the results. It was mostly the friends that I had at the time and their commitment to working out – getting faster, stronger, more agile – that kept pushing me to wake up and work out. But I hate working out. Yet, there is an undeniable principle that I have learned over the years about working out that really does apply to reading the Scriptures too. And surprisingly no, it’s not the daily commitment. It’s that fact that “you get out what you put in”.
For people that work out, the effort that they put in is rewarded with an equal exchange of results on the other end. I know that the days where I have gone to work out, but its just to work out, that there’s not an abundance of effort on my part, but rather I put out just enough to do the work and move on. Those days, I know, are not obtaining the best results. The days that I sweat profusely however, the days that I want to throw up, the days that I regret the next day when I try to move, those are the days that I know are rewarded with the results I’m wanting.
The same principle is true of reading Scripture and meditating on it daily. The days that I wake up and read, just to read and move on, are the days that I don’t truly experience the best results. There is an inherent good in being in the Word, just as there is an inherent good in working out, but there is very little to be gained from going through the motions. The days that I focus in though ,the days that I am tender to what I’m reading, the days that I allow God to speak to me instead of trying to speak for Him, those are the days that I know are rewarded with the results I’m wanting.
I wish that working out were easier. I know the simple math of losing weight and gaining muscle (Output > Input; Calories In < Calories Out) but knowing the math doesn’t help me eat less or work out more. Instead, the hard work needs to be put into the task at hand. Likewise, I wish that growing in Christ were easier. I know the simple truth of salvation and life (Justification = Glorification; the one who is faithful will be given life) but knowing the truth doesn’t help me sin less or serve more. Instead the hard work needs to be put into the task at hand.
And so, as you begin this journey of faith and commitment, I hope that these words give you encouragement and resolve to put in the hard work this year. As with my work out experiences years ago, the thing I look forward to most is the “community of commitment” that will push me to wake up early, sacrifice my comfort time, re-prioritize, read on the weekends, and submit to God’s Word. I hope you will feel free to share your lessons, struggles and rewards with your church family throughout this journey! Put in the work and expect the results.