Chewing Like a Cow... Ruminating Through the NT
Does any one ask me, What is the best safeguard against false doctrine? – I answer in one word, ‘The Bible: the Bible regularly read, regularly prayed over, regularly studied.’ We must go back to the old prescription of our Master: ‘Search the Scriptures.’ (John 5:39) If we want a weapon to wield against the devices of Satan, there is nothing like ‘the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God.’ But to wield it successfully, we must read it habitually, diligently, intelligently, and prayerfully. This is a point on which, I fear, many fail. In an age of hurry and bustle, few read their Bibles as much as they should. More books perhaps are read than ever, but less of the one Book which makes man wise unto salvation. Rome and neology could never have made such havoc in the Church in the last fifty years, if there had not been a most superficial knowledge of the Scriptures throughout the land. A Bible-reading laity is the strength of a Church. -J.C. Ryle, Warnings to the Churches
In June of 2014, I spoke for a women's gathering on the subject of being a Berean. Having studied this topic for quite some time, I had realized one of the most basic underlying problems in the church today is a lack of spiritual discernment––the skill of separating truth from error (see 1 Thessalonians 5:21). And since spiritual discernment is gained through the study of God's Word, the obvious solution, then, would be to encourage people to get in a daily habit of not just reading the Bible, but learning it. And not just learning it––taking it one step further by comparing everything to Scripture, just like the Bereans did in Acts 17:11.
Months earlier, I had stumbled across a Bible reading plan of taking a portion of the New Testament and reading it every day for 30 days. At first, I didn't think I could handle that. Reading the same thing every day for a month? But once I started in, I found that I loved it because I remembered so much more than when I would cruise through Scripture on the "read-the-Bible-in-a-year" plan. It meant that I was meditating on God's Word, not just reading it. Mr. Webster defines meditation as:
the act of meditating; close or continued thought; the turning or
revolving of a subject in the mind; serious contemplation; rumination;