What is the best book or study guide or method to help Christians grow in their faith? Even on the mission field in Thailand, it seems like the options are endless as more and more literature is produced so that it might seem difficult to find the materials that will be most beneficial. A few weeks ago, I suggested a “new” method of spiritual growth to a Christian couple that I am working with. We had been discussing the nature and role of the Bible in our lives so I suggested that they start in Matthew chapter one and read one chapter every day. I told them that when they had finished reading a chapter, they should think about what that chapter says about God and about themselves. Also, are there any examples to follow or avoid? Is there something to thank or praise God for in what they read? How can they apply to their lives what they read in the Bible? This would be their homework and the next time we got together, we would all share one thing that was a blessing to us from our reading during the previous week.
Even though they have Christians for more than five years, having come to faith in a large church in Bangkok, this was a novel idea to them. Up until this point, their Bible reading had mainly consisted of reading the Thai version of a little devotional booklet called “Our Daily Bread” which contains a different story each day paired
A few days ago I went back to visit them to continue with our chronological Bible studies and inquired about their Bible reading. Both husband and wife piped up immediately, sharing how this or that verse in their daily readings from Matthew had encouraged or challenged them. I know that just reading through the Bible isn’t very creative or trendy but it is a very basic and essential God ordained method of spiritual growth. All the devotional books and study guides in the world can’t compare with the basic discipline of reading the Bible and thinking about what it says. And it gives me great joy to see Christian believers discovering the joy and blessing of one of God’s very ordinary, but very amazing and wonderful means of grace.