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Dr. Charles W. Eliot, longtime president of Harvard University, believed that ordinary people who read consistently from the world’s great literature for even a few minutes a day could gain a valuable education. In 1910, he compiled selections from books of history, science, philosophy, and fine art into fifty volumes called The Harvard Classics. Each set of books included Dr. Eliot’s Reading Guide titled “Fifteen Minutes A Day” containing recommended selections of eight to ten pages for each day of the year.
What if we spent fifteen minutes a day reading God’s Word? We could say with the psalmist, “Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain. Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word” (Ps. 119:36–37).
Fifteen minutes a day adds up to ninety-one hours a year. But for whatever amount of time we decide to read the Bible each day, consistency is the secret and the key ingredient is not perfection but persistence. If we miss a day or a week, we can start reading again. As the Holy Spirit teaches us, God’s Word moves from our minds to our hearts, then to our hands and feet—taking us beyond education to transformation.
“Teach me, Lord, the way of your decrees, that I may follow it to the end” (v. 33).
I turn to You, the Author, to teach me as I read Your Word today. I want to hear from You, to know You, and to grow closer to You.
Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible. Each new section starts with a successive letter from the Hebrew alphabet (known as an acrostic poem). The major emphasis of this psalm is to celebrate the usefulness and value of the law. In Psalm 119 the author uses a variety of words to describe the laws and commands of God. Eight times he mentions meditating: on God’s decrees (vv. 23, 48), deeds (v. 27), precepts (vv. 15, 78), laws (v. 97), statutes (v. 99), and promises (v. 148). Meditation is the act of thinking deeply about something, focusing intently on an idea. We really get to know the commands of God by meditating on them. Reading is the necessary first step, but once we have read His Word, meditating on it throughout the day helps us to keep it in our minds.