Daily In the Word


Christians who are interested in spiritual growth recognize that spending time taking in and absorbing God’s Word is of utmost importance. It is within the Bible that we learn about God’s love for humanity, Jesus’ message, and how to live in harmony with God and our fellow human beings.

Setting aside daily time to read the Bible provides the opportunity to connect with God each day. It opens us up to receiving His instruction, guidance, and help through life’s problems and difficulties. It reminds us of the moral code upon which we try to fashion our lives and provides us with guidance when we are faced with decisions. It’s a key element for those who seek to be like Jesus, because it is in the Bible that we hear His teaching, see the example of His love, and are introduced to the relationship with His Father that His sacrifice has opened up for us.

Each day we are flooded with a barrage of input from a wide variety of delivery systems that try to influence us in one direction or another. Taking time daily to read what God has said provides a way to navigate through the noise and distractions of life. It enhances our spiritual ability to discern truth and falsehood. It makes it easier to keep our hearts centered on those things which are important, to living lives of true happiness, inner peace, and alignment with God and His will. It helps us to survive and overcome all that life brings our way. Abiding in God’s Word brings us in regular contact with His Spirit. “The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.”

Carving out the time to read daily is no easy task—it requires self-discipline. Like the workouts and training that maintain our physical conditioning and improve our performance, taking regular time to read God’s Word will strengthen your spirit and make you a stronger Christian—one who is grounded in God’s truth and love. The connection you’ll develop with God will help you be Spirit-led in your daily interactions with others, in your decision making, and in your ability to stay strong in the face of temptations.

There is no specific formula for how much you need to read daily or what portions of the Bible you should read. The key is setting aside the time to do it and then sticking to it even on busy days. Finding and following a Bible reading plan of some kind can help you persevere with your reading and forge ahead when you find yourself in the more difficult portions of Scripture. It may also be helpful to use a contemporary translation that you’re comfortable with.

Ideally, you should try to read when your day is the most free from distractions, perhaps early in the morning before your day begins or late at night when all is winding down. The quietness and absence of activity around you facilitates meditating on what you’re reading. And if you can’t carve out some quiet time, you can still read on the run, in whatever time opens up for you—or listen to the Bible in audio form as you go. It’s a fight to keep your commitment to read and study God’s Word, but doing so will make a difference in your life.

When you read the Bible or listen to others expound on it, think about what you’re reading. If a passage stands out to you, read it again. Think about it; ask yourself why it stood out and what God might be trying to tell you through it. He desires to speak to each of us directly, and by meditating on what we read, we create the opportunity for His Word to speak to our hearts. Take the time to commune deeply with God through His Word. It will change your life.


There are times when solitude is better than society, and silence is wiser than speech. We would be better Christians if we were alone more, waiting upon God, and gathering spiritual strength for His service through meditation on His Word.

Our bodies are not supported by merely taking food into the mouth, but it is by digestion that the food becomes assimilated. Our souls are not nourished merely by listening awhile to this, and then to that, and then to the other part of divine truth. Hearing, reading, marking, and learning, all require inwardly digesting to complete their usefulness, and the inward digesting of the truth lies for the most part in meditating upon it.

Let this be our resolve: “I will meditate on Your precepts.”—Charles Spurgeon

Are You A Perfectionist?

perfectionistTherefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect. Matthew 5: 48

Jesus was not commanding His people to be perfectionists. One day Christ will make us perfect; during our time on earth, we should be striving for Christlikeness, always realizing that we have much room to grow.

Perfectionism is a disposition to feel that anything less than perfect is unacceptable. It is rooted in the need for control and affirmation.

Perfectionistic people think they should know everything and so beat themselves up for mistakes. They think they should be totally powerful and they become upset when things are out of their control. They believe they should accomplish the work of ten people in a given day and they become depressed and discouraged over what “little” they can accomplish.

Perfectionistic people are idealistic in that they frequently think about how things “should” be, not how they really are. They are always setting impossibly high goals, which lead to discouragement, failure, and ultimately quitting. They are afraid of failure, equating failure to achieve their goals with a lack of personal worth. They are tied up in the “shoulds”of life and require rigid rules. With such an overemphasis on contentment, happiness, and a sense of accomplishment are not permissible until their current project or activity has been completed. The “process” is overlooked because the end result has not been reached, thus there is no “joy in the journey.”

Perfectionistic people feel that they have to be the best at what they do. To simply do one’s best is not good enough. They believe their worth is determined by their performance. Since day-to-day performance in various areas of life fluctuates, a perfectionist’s sense of worth fluctuates as well.


Type A people are usually very strict and rigid and are often called perfectionists. They have a certain way for things to be done, and flexibility is not an option. They need to be on time and have problems with people who are more relaxed with time. They are often described as workaholics and are driven. They were probably given conditional love at some time in their lives; that is, only if a standard was met were they rewarded and accepted. They are more likely to suffer heart attacks at an earlier age than other personality types.

Type B people are usually more laid back, more carefree with their time. They are not so rigid and are considered more flexible in their relationships. They tend to cope with daily stress in a more positive way than Type A people.

Many references in the Bible use the word perfect; for example, “Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect”(Matt. 5: 48). You need to understand that perfection is not something God demands from you. God knows you cannot do it or He would not have had to send His Son.

As Christians, we need to be more concerned with our relationship with God—allowing Him to make us perfect—than with being perfectionists. A perfect heart will do more to insure a life of healthy relationships and a good self-worth than any perfectionist’s rigid schedule or ways will.


1. Determine Your Personality

Do some self-exploration by taking a personality inventory, such as the Myers-Briggs or other similar test that is available online. This is a great way to discover what makes you tick. Seeing yourself on paper and realizing that you have personality tendencies that are similar to those of others can be part of your life journey in discovering the you God made.

2. Change Is Not the Issue

You do not need to change as much as begin to understand your God-given na-ture and how to use it when appropriate and rein it in when not appropriate.

3. Learn Flexibility and Acceptance

Realizing, for example, that “I am more rigid with my time and you are more flexible,” is okay and doesn’t mean that I am better than you.

Ask, “What’s the worst that can happen?” The answer probably isn’t worth losing sleep over.

God’s love is unconditional. You don’t have to earn His love by being a perfec-tionist or by setting unrealistic standards for yourself or others.

God sets no conditions that we have to meet to be His children. We, in turn, need to be unconditional in how we accept and love others.

4. Laugh a Little

Don’t be so judgmental of yourself and others. Find humor in who you are.

Laugh at yourself when you do something foolish or funny. Be prepared to laugh with others who are laughing with/ at you.

5. Be Realistic

* You’re not going to be God, so stop trying.

* Look at life as it is, not as you think it should be.

* Meet people halfway.

* Don’t expect the impossible—of yourself or others. Set attainable goals and reasonable time limits.

* In your life, determine when perfectionism is appropriate and when it is not. Learn to accept “good enough” on certain tasks.

* Realize that many positive things can be learned from making mistakes.

6. Be Perfect in Heart

Concentrate on having a perfect heart with God. This will release you to a less stressful life. You’ll live for God and not for your perfectionist tendencies.

Being perfect in heart (not being a perfectionist) and having one will with the Father enables you to overcome perfectionist tendencies that disconnect you from your loved ones, and inhibit your relationships in general.


For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified. Hebrews 10: 14

Believers have been made perfect in God’s eyes because of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. At the same time, however, we are “being sanctified,” being made perfect and holy progressively through our walk with Him.

We are considered perfect, even though we have a long way to go. As we let God work in us, He perfects us.

Instead of measuring perfection by worldly standards, we should seek to obey God, looking forward to the day when He will finally make us perfect for life with Him in our perfect eternal home.

What Is Your Navigational Tool?

navigateDava Sobel’s award-winning book Longitude describes a dilemma faced by early sailors. They could readily determine their latitude north or south of the equator by the length of the day or height of the sun. Calculating east/west longitude, however, remained complex and unreliable until English clockmaker John Harrison invented the marine chronometer. This was “a clock that would carry the true time from the home port . . . to any remote corner of the world,” thus enabling sailors to determine longitude.

As we navigate the seas of life, we also have a reliable source of spiritual direction—the Bible. The psalmist wrote, “Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day” (Ps. 119:97). Rather than occasionally glancing at God’s Word, he spoke of pondering the Lord’s directions throughout each day: “Your testimonies are my meditation” (v.99). This was coupled with a commitment to obey the Author: “I have sworn and confirmed that I will keep Your righteous judgments” (v.106).

bible-heroLike the mariners of old, we need a constant guide to help us find our way and stay on course. That’s what happens when we seek the Lord day by day with an open heart and a willing spirit that says, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”

With God as your navigator, you’re headed in the right direction. (Our Daily Bread)