Maximizing our Living Experience PT. 2 (Eternal Life & Reading/Observing Scripture)

*This is a bit of a long read, 3 part series, however please trust me that it is worth it.

Ok, so I produced Part 1, and I pray you found time to read it. If not, visit the following link, https://mianogonewild.wordpress.com/2016/08/10/maximizing-our-living-experience-pt-1-eternal-life-prayer/

I want to move us forward in this Part 2, now taking a look at “spiritual disciplines” in regards to study and observation of the Scriptures. Hopefully, the concept of “Being Berean” is one you hold dear (cf. Acts 17:11), as well as the admonishment found in 2 Timothy 2:15:

“Study to show thyself approved, rightly dividing the Word of Truth, the worker who does so, need not be ashamed”.

So….what sort of “disciplines” can you take a look at to not only enhance your understanding of Scripture, but also your life? Well, if you know me, you may know I am a strong advocate of the Narrative reading of the Scriptures (understanding the storyline from Genesis to Revelation). Sadly, that is not as popular as it should be.
Most people, dare we say most Christians, are not disciplined in regards to their reading of Scripture. This is to our detriment as the Church. Therefore, it is my sincere hope and pray that you may be encouraged to implement either one of the disciplines I mention, or another you may have come across into your life.
Let’s start with the more ancient style, what is known as Lectio Divina, which is an ancient Benedictine monk practice of Scripture reading, meditation, and prayer. The term itself means “sacred reading”, and instead of being geared toward you having an understanding of Scripture, the goal is more so to bring you into communion with God. All you have to do is “Google” the term, however here is one link that I found to be rather beneficial, http://lectio-divina.org/

I used to attend a “contempary-style” congregation called Next Level Church and I found their contempary-style Bible reading program to be rather simple and helpful. It was called S.O.A.P. The concept was just as you need soap to wash your body, you need to S.O.A.P. to wash your mind and heart. Scripture, Application, Observation, and Prayer. You can do this with a study guide, or just simply going through your own reading and journaling everyday (or as often as you use soap :)).
As we are talking more about meditating on the Word, I want to be sure to to mention the Ignation Workouts that I have been going through on Miano Gone Wild.com. Ignatius of Loyola invites us to examine Scripture and meditate on our own well-being. Here are the latest links to listen to those podcasts:
http://www.mianogonewild.com/audios/23/ignatian-workout–part-1.html
http://www.mianogonewild.com/audios/25/ignatian-workout–part-2.html
http://www.mianogonewild.com/audios/27/ignatian-workout–part-3.html
http://www.mianogonewild.com/audios/28/ignatian-workout–part-3-.html

Now, if your more like me and can handle some lengthy reading, or are looking to better understand the Scriptures, I would recommend 2 concepts I have utilized – B90X & the E100 Bible Reading Plan.
B90X is borrowed from the work-out plan, P90X, and is just as strenuous. Whereas P90X is a 90 day challenge to see drastic changes in your physical appearance, B90X is a plan where you read the entire Bible in 90 days. It’s tough, however very possible. We had a couple people go through it at our church a couple years ago. You can get the plan, and start working out, at the following link, http://www.b90x.org/

Also, the E100 Bible Reading Plan focuses on 100 essential Bible passages that Christians should understand, and which help you better understand the Biblical Narrative. You can get the plan and get to work by visiting the following website, http://e100challenge.com/
I pray that these resources will give you a more solid Scriptural foundation. Surely, searching the Scriptures and knowing the Word of God is beneficial in our finding life to the full.

Be blessed.
In His Service,
Pastor Michael Miano

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