My love for Scripture has been an ebb-and-flow kind of thing over the past 15 years. There were times it was all I had and all I needed, but in other seasons I let it take a back seat to a hundred other things that demanded my time and attention. About 3 years ago I became reacquainted with the Word of God and honestly, I don't see how I ever did without it. I need the whole counsel of Scripture. I need the hope. I need the conviction. I need the reminder I'm unconditionally loved.

I'm so very flawed, but in the Word I find I'm so very forgiven.

I want my own way, but in Scripture I encounter a Servant who did not come to be served but to serve--and I want to become like Him.

I stare into the face of daunting circumstances, but all over the pages of my Bible I find those who, against all hope, believed in the promises of God.

That time in the Word is SO important. If we believe that there's something to be gained by spending time in Scripture, then can't we reason that there's something to be missed if we don't?

Maybe you really want to have that time in God's Word, but you don't know where to begin. Here are some of the things that help me know where to go:

* Start in the book of John and read the account of the life of Christ.

* Need wisdom? Me, too! You can read through the entire book of Proverbs in one month if you read one a day. On the 1st day of the month, read Proverbs 1. On the 2nd day, read Proverbs 2, and so on. I am often amazed that what I read in Proverbs 22 so correlates with what is going on in my life on November 22, and March 22...It really is the Living Word.

* You can read all the Psalms in just under a month if you read 5 a day. On Day 1 of the month, read Psalms 1-5. On the 10th day of the month, read Psalms 50-54. Basically, whatever day of the month it is, multiply by 5, start with that Psalm and read 5 Psalms (As I'm writing this I can't help but think of that old-school SNL skit with Chevy Chase: "I was my understanding there would be no math...").

* Like historical accounts? Read Genesis. Or Exodus. Or Joshua. Or Esther. I'm having trouble narrowing these down!

* Want guidance and hope for your current circumstances? Try Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, or Colossians.

* Get connected in a Bible study that really gets into the Word.

These are merely suggestions, of course. But start somewhere. You may not have a huge spiritual awakening on Day One (or maybe you will!)--but the cumulative effect of consistent time in God's Word is valuable beyond measure. Be warned, it's gonna get into your business. You're going to be challenged every bit as much as you're encouraged.

But--in the best possible way--your life will never be the same.