By Jerry Jenkins, author of more than 180 books with sales of more than 70 million copies, including the best-selling Left Behind series. Jerry B. Jenkins is former vice president for publishing and currently chairman of the board of trustees for the Moody Bible Institute of Chicago. Jerry’s writing has appeared in Time, Reader’s Digest, Parade, Guideposts, and dozens of Christian periodicals. Twenty of his books have reached The New York Times best-seller list (seven debuting number one). He owns the Christian Writers Guild (www.ChristianWritersGuild.com) and his novel I, Saul released from Worthy Publishing August 27. His website is: jerry-jenkins.com.
I tend to be a perfectionist. An ideal at the top of 2014’s resolutions list should be to spend time in prayer and Bible study before 6 A.M. But I’ve tried that before. It works for two days (okay, one) and then, exhausted, I sleep in on day three.
Daily time in the Bible remains one of my goals, but I’ve given up on those early morning ideals. I’ve found a better way. I realize that to be a Word person, I have to be a person of the Word. No matter where I am in the world, at home or away, I’m going to go to bed and sleep somewhere, sometime, every day.
That’s when I open my Bible, paper or plastic (usually the latter), and dig in. It becomes a sacred time. There are dangers and drawbacks, of course. Many would recommend starting your day this way, but I’ve proven a failure at that. I do have to fight fatigue, but I’m used to reading at bedtime, so I just make sure Bible reading takes precedence over whatever else is on the docket.
If I ever must miss a day, I just pick up where I left off. No guilt, no recriminations. I just get back to it as soon as possible. This year I’m going to read The New Living Translation in chronological order, using the text-to-speech feature for some of those sluggish Old Testament passages (if you have to ask, you haven’t been through the Bible in a year).
When I’m studying Scripture in preparation for writing a book, I try to open myself to what God wants to tell me. Ephesians 4:11-12 talks about how some of us are called to be apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, or teachers. What do they all have in common? They’re writers. Apostles and evangelists wrote much of the New Testament. Prophets wrote a good chunk of the Old.
We all know how important writing is to pastors and teachers. But if, like me, you’re a writer, that’s your calling, too. It’s part of our job to equip people for ministry, to edify the body of Christ.
To write with passion and beauty, we need our power sources: the Bible and the Spirit of God. But are we connected? As John 15:5 says: “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing” (NKJV).
We’re doomed to fail when we try to create something readable and powerful without communing with the Creator, attempting to bear fruit without being rooted in Him. In 2014 I’m resolved to stay connected to my power Source.
As it first appeared in ASSIST News Service. Reprinted by permission of the author.