Pastor's Blog: Preventive Piety

 |  Pastor's Blog  |  Dr. Doug Dortch

Under the category of “New Year/New You,” I’d like to recommend a simple discipline that can hold remarkable promise for you in the coming days.  I developed this discipline some years ago, and it has blessed me immensely.  So, I offer it to you so that you too might know the benefits of practicing it in the New Year.  

Simply put, I invite you to join me in reading one verse a day in the coming months.  That’s it; just one verse.  I understand how to some that may seem a woefully insufficient strategy for personal transformation.  If one verse, why not read more?  That’s the beauty of the practice.  When people commit to reading one verse, they find it easier to continue reading more.  Much like the old potato chip commercial, no one is ever content with just one verse.  One leads to two, and two to a paragraph.  There have been times that I have sat down to read one verse and ended up reading an entire book of the Bible!  

Compare this simple practice to the old strategy of reading a chapter or more each day.  Because people are busier than ever, many people find themselves falling behind in their daily reading plan and end up giving up a discipline of daily Bible reading altogether.  I find it far better to invite people to begin small and grow into something far more they can sustain.  

Additionally, if you can pick out a word in your one verse or a single thought and meditate on that insight throughout the day, you’ll find your reading and devotion much more enhanced.  This meditation is similar to the “one word that will change your life” emphasis we did a couple of years ago, but with a Bible-based twist.   

I call this practice “preventive piety.”  We’re all familiar with the term preventive maintenance and, more importantly, we practice it if we value retaining the functionality of our possessions.  How much more important is our soul, and how much more critical is it that we attend to its condition?  

So, as we move into a New Year, give this devotional approach a try and see what it can mean to your faith development.  Begin with any verse in any book and let me know how it works for you.  I always enjoy hearing stories of how people discover ways to improve their spiritual devotion.  Remember, if you’re not moving forward, you’re sliding backward.  Faith is never static.  But when we hide God’s Word in our hearts, we can be certain that whatever lies ahead, we will prepared to deal with it in the strength that only faith can provide.   

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the person of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).