I have to admit, I should have seen this coming, in fact I even preached about it! I’m sure I’m not the only preacher who has done this, and I wish I didn’t have to admit that this wasn’t the first time it’s happened. 

It’s Monday morning, and I got convicted by my own sermon the day before. I know, there’s no excuse for that, it’s not like I didn’t see it coming! So here’s what happened: 

Sunday evening while preaching in the fifth chapter of Mark, I made the comment that we often do not get as much out of our morning devotions because we aren’t “showing up” ready to hear. “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear…”

Now as a pastor I basically get paid to read my Bible, so you would think that morning devotions would be second nature! As unspiritual as it sounds, sometimes it’s really a struggle to not just go through the motions, and to actually “reap” from those early morning meetings around the Word.

So this morning I was beginning the book of Ezekiel, a prophetical book, with lots of imagery and pretty heavy content. I was not looking forward to it. After I woke up for the third time I realized that I needed to do something different. 

How important was it that I read however many chapters I was supposed to according to my reading plan? Wouldn’t it be better to take my time? So I did it. I grabbed a commentary, my red marking pen, and slowed it down. Way down. I only read one chapter. I studied out the account, read a commentary or two, underlined some things, and started jotting down thoughts.

And you know what? When I gave the Lord my “ears to hear,” I “heard!” I’ll not get into the gleanings for today because that’s not my point. I walked away from my morning meeting with the Scripture, encouraged, and enlightened a little bit, and ready with a fresh perspective of the Lord.

I wouldn’t have entered my Monday with this view, if I had just read my chapters, browsed Facebook, napped off and on, and stumbled into my routine. Perhaps you need to decelerate your devotions a little. Gear down and get some traction through your Scripture. You may fall behind in your plan, but who cares? As far as I know there isn’t a special crown for “those who read the most chapters.” (Unless it’s hidden in the imagery of Ezekiel. I’ll get back to you on that one…) The Scripture was given to us so that we can uncover the mysteries of God’s Truth. To do that it takes some investigation. I think most of us already know this, but sometimes we need to be reminded of the basics. So today or tomorrow morning, dig in! Slow it down a little and ask God for something fresh. We need it!