What devotional habits and resources have helped your Christian growth?

2 Min Read

FERGUSON: I began life as a Christian as a member of a Bible reading society which was big in the United Kingdom and in some of the Commonwealth countries, you are from a Commonwealth country, called the “Scripture Union.” And it basically took you through the whole Bible, I think, in three years and the Scripture Union provided little notes, commentaries that were geared basically for every age group. So, in my early Christian life that was the pattern I used.

Later on, I used a different pattern and then I started using the kind of “Through the Bible in a Year” type pattern and there are various forms of that. I have used one that was written by Robert Murray M’Cheyne, Scottish minister in the nineteenth century that is very well known. You read four chapters a day from Old Testament, New Testament. You get through the Old Testament once and the New Testament twice in the year. And so, getting through the whole Bible each year I think is a helpful practice.

I’ve also, in addition to that, focused from time to time on certain books and given them more concentrated study. The material I actually recommend, I think I find myself recommending most, is actually Tabletalk, Nathan, for two reasons. One is because it does give you that help of a disciplined program of Bible reading. It gives you help in the notes that help you to expound and understand and apply the text, and there are also some great articles that go along with it. And it’s a terrific bargain. So, product placement is Tabletalk.

I know people who have used the same pattern all their lives. I have tended to vary the patterns I’ve used just because knowing the way I’m wired, that’s what I’ve found most helpful. And then, I have surrounded that with various things. You know sometimes I’ll have used some kind of prayer book just to help me, you know, to get the engine started. Sometimes I would sing.

Last year I did something I had never done before. I’m a speed reader and I felt I was speed reading instead of meditating, and so I started chanting the Psalms to myself, now not quite in the old Anglican way, but what I found in the English Standard Version was I could slow myself down by chanting out loud. And one of the things, I think, both my wife and myself have found is that speaking the Bible out loud is a very good help to Bible study because it was actually written to be heard and not just to be read.

So, those are some of the things that I have found helpful.

This transcript is from a live Ask Ligonier event with Sinclair Ferguson and has been lightly edited for readability. To ask Ligonier a biblical or theological question, email ask@ligonier.org or message us on Facebook or Twitter.