Season 4 Sweet Selah Moments Podcast, Sweet Selah Moments Podcast

Five Holy Habits – Bible Reading – Episode 49

Season 4 Sweet Selah Moments Podcast
Season 4 Sweet Selah Moments Podcast
Five Holy Habits - Bible Reading - Episode 49

Join Sharon and Nicole as they talk about the importance of developing a habit of Bible reading. It can feel quite daunting, but it doesn’t have to be that way! We’ll share practical ways to read the Bible even when you are leading quite the busy life. Join the discussion and listen in!


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Read the transcript for Five Holy Habits-Bible Reading

Speaker 1 (00:02):

Are you ready to embrace a little stillness, some rest for your soul today? Welcome to the Sweet Selah Moments Podcast, where we stop and study God’s words and encourage one another to know him better and love him more. The Sweet Selah Moments Podcast is brought to you by Word Radio and Sweet Selah Ministries.

Nicole (00:29):

Welcome to season four of the Sweet Selah Moments Podcast. Sharon, it’s hard to believe we’re already up to our fourth season.

Sharon (00:38):

I know.

Nicole (00:38):

So we’re starting off season four with a good look at five holy habits every Christian should learn about and practice. This episode, episode 49, is all about Bible reading. Sharon, what led you to choose this theme?

Sharon (00:50):

Well, you know what, Nicole, I think it’s kind of like eating and I will tell you how.

Nicole (00:56):


Sharon (00:58):

We all know what a healthy diet ought to look like. You drink fresh water, not just caffeinated sugary beverages. We all know that we should have fruits and vegetables and proteins and such. However, there’s such an attractive array of other yummy things that we can overindulge ourselves with all that tastiness and end up hurting our bodies big time, because we’re not getting the nutrition we need.

Nicole (01:21):


Sharon (01:21):

It’s so easy to do, especially in America where everything’s available instantly. Well, in the same way, there are a whole lot of devotional books out there and podcasts and worship music, and I mean, good stuff. I’ve written two devotionals myself, and here we are doing a podcast and worship music leads me off into prayer, one of our five holy habits. But if we let these yummy side dishes become the main course and neglect the basics, we’re going to suffer. We can’t get our Bible just from listening to a podcast or from reading a devotional book about the Bible. We need to read the Bible. Each week as we unpack a habit, we’re going to look at what happens if we neglect it. And what happens if we embrace it. We have to stay hydrated for example, by drinking water in our physical lives. We can’t exist on sugars and fats. We have to stay hydrated spiritually. We have to eat good spiritual foods in our spiritual lives so we live fully and don’t waste away. So we’re going to talk about the habits we need to form, in our spiritual life, for good spiritual nutrition, basically. So that we’re operating with our spiritual bodies healthy and we’re doing what God called us to do.

Nicole (02:37):

I like that. This will be good.

Sharon (02:38):

Yeah, yeah, so that’s sort of my little analogy. I hope it works for you, but, let’s talk about a habit because this is what I’m talking about developing. And so define it. What’s a habit?

Nicole (02:47):

What is a habit? Well, Marion Webster, so helpful, defines it as “a subtle tendency or usual manner of behavior; an acquired mode of behavior that has become very or completely involuntary”. So something we don’t really think about anymore kind of like autopilot, you know? It’s funny. I never really have given much thought to the habits in my life until this past year. My husband and I had read a book on developing good, Christ-honoring habits, you know, that lead us to read our Bible more and to pray more. And that led us to examining our own habits and realizing that we had bad habits in place we didn’t even know about, you know? The thing about habits is that we all have them and if they’re not good ones, then they can be bad ones for sure.

Sharon (03:34):


Nicole (03:35):

So our body automatically, our brain is so intelligent and things that we do continually, it just…

Sharon (03:40):

It becomes a pattern. Absolutely, yes.

Nicole (03:41):

Yeah, and we don’t think about making it a pattern. It just happens. So we have to be really aware of what we’re doing continually and we’re making habits all the time, you know?

Sharon (03:49):

Uh hmmm.

Nicole (03:50):

So, you know, so the habit that I’m trying to work; you know, I’m working on some good habits, you know, like eating better, daily routine and scheduled prayer breaks. But the habit that I’m really trying to get ingrained into my day, Sharon, is my morning, quiet time. It’s the best habit I can get in place for sure. And the one that gives me the most return for the effort.

Sharon (04:10):

True, true.

Nicole (04:10):

And the thing with this, I’m pretty good during the week, but I tend to fall out of the habit during vacations and weekends. So that’s my next level, developing the steady, every day, quiet time with God.

Sharon (04:21):

And that was me too. I could do it Monday through Friday. It took longer to develop that quiet time on a weekend and even longer on vacation or when I was visiting somewhere.

Nicole (04:30):

I have different habits on the weekends and the week. So it’s hard to get it in every part of your life.

Sharon (04:33):

You have to create the habit then too.

Nicole (04:35):

Yes, it’s not as easy as you think.

Sharon (04:38):

No it isn’t. And yet once they’re there and they’re established.

Nicole (04:40):

It’s a breeze.

Sharon (04:40):

It’s wonderful. It’s wonderful. It’s just what you do.

Nicole (04:45):

Right, so if you’re thoughtful about your habits and the rest is nice.

Sharon (04:48):

Yes it is.

Nicole (04:50):

So how about you, Sharon, any good or bad habits in your life that helped, that have helped shape you?

Sharon (04:55):

Well, I’ve been working on daily walks as one of my habits right now. Ray and I decided that, you know, we both had gained quite a bit of COVID weight.

Nicole (05:04):

Didn’t we all?

Sharon (05:04):

So we needed to do something about it. And that has now become such a pattern that we, we walk. It has to be pouring rain for us not to walk.

Nicole (05:16):

Wow, good!

Sharon (05:16):

Yes, yes. Even in the depth of winter, last winter, Ray who hates the cold, was like wearing a balaclava and then a second balaclava, and then earmuffs and a hat and a scarf.

Nicole (05:29):

The abominable snowman.

Sharon (05:29):

Yes, really you couldn’t see him, but he walked.

Nicole (05:33):

Oh, that’s so nice.

Sharon (05:34):

He just did it. It’s what we do.

Nicole (05:36):

Yeah, you walk now.

Sharon (05:36):

Yeah. That’s been really good. And then for a long time, because I had such a bout with insomnia, I developed the habit of warm milk before bed and a book. And that now is automatic. And my body’s like, oh, it’s almost bedtime. It’s like a little signal to my brain. And I sleep because I have my warm milk and I have my book. And that’s my little rhythm that says, time to go to bed, so.

Nicole (06:00):

Habits are so cool.

Sharon (06:03):

They are so cool.

Nicole (06:03):

If you think about it, good ones are really cool.

Sharon (06:05):

Yes, yes. Now I have a bad habit and that is interrupting people and finishing their thoughts. And I have got to work on that. You know, I notice that I’ll think that I know better than them, what they’re going to say, and I can cut people off. I can not let the person that processes more slowly get their thoughts out.

Nicole (06:25):

Yep. Oh, I feel that one too.

Sharon (06:26):

It’s really bad.

Nicole (06:26):

It is, that’s a horrible habit.

Sharon (06:30):

I need to work on that one. So yeah. And because it’s a habit I’m talking over people way too frequently, so yes. So there you go. Well, how do you help your girls with this, Nicole? How do you help them develop good habits?

Nicole (06:41):

Yeah. I’m trying to do it while they’re younger, because it’s harder when you’re more set in your ways.

Sharon (06:45):

It is.

Nicole (06:45):

It becomes bad habits. So I’ve tried to type up a few, very simple, like a morning routine and like a chore chart and I have it posted in their bedroom in like a brightly colored little frame, and I have something in the kitchen so I have their morning routine and their bedtime routine and they have their after-school routine downstairs that has their chores. So instead of me, constantly, girls wake up, brush your teeth, comb your hair, like nagging them all the time, (I’m) like, good morning, sweetheart, morning routine. And then I walk out and then they have that self motivated… to go and to learn the routine, you know?

Sharon (07:16):

That is good.

Nicole (07:16):

And it kind of gives them a sense of like, hey, did you do your evening routine? Yep, I did. Great job, kiddo, so they can learn them and I’m not always, you know, yelling at them to do things.

Sharon (07:24):

I love that. I also liked that you’re giving them a little bit of freedom with it. You know, you’re not telling them like the order of them. You have these things that need to be done in the morning.

Nicole (07:31):

Right, before you come down for breakfast. My friend, Jackie Lipski said that, have them do things before food. Cause being hungry is a really good motivator. I’m like, you are a genius. I’m like before you come down for breakfast, this chart may be done, please. Take as long as you need, but you will not eat until that is done.

Sharon (07:48):

That actually is perfect.

Nicole (07:49):

It’s been great. It was hard to start cause they’re learning a new habit.

Sharon (07:52):


Nicole (07:52):

But, we have so much better mornings now. With four kids trying to get ready in the morning it’s chaos. And now we have a sense of order in the morning

Sharon (08:00):

Yes. And they can read it.

Nicole (08:01):

It’s much better.

Sharon (08:01):

And that’s good.

Nicole (08:02):

I put little pictures by them.

Sharon (08:03):

Yeah. I need that still. I have my little to-do lists and make sure that I don’t forget something.

Nicole (08:08):

So it’s good to have these reminders.

Sharon (08:09):

Yeah. Yeah. Well, all right then. I think that’s a habit. I think we defined that pretty well.

Nicole (08:13):


Sharon (08:14):

And I think we’d all agree that habits are helpful in keeping us on track and healthy in many ways. They’re not always fun.

Nicole (08:22):


Sharon (08:22):

Your girls probably don’t like some of the habits on their list.

Nicole (08:23):

Oh, no.

Sharon (08:23):

But they’re beneficial. And in the long run they do create more fun.

Nicole (08:28):

They do.

Sharon (08:28):

Okay. So now we’re going to look at ‘holy’ cause we’re doing this series on holy habits. So let’s define ‘holy’. What is holy?

Nicole (08:37):

Google dictionary says that ‘holy’ used as an adjective means “dedicated or consecrated to God or a religious purpose; sacred”.

Sharon (08:47):

Hmm. I love that it means something dedicated to God; set apart for him. That’s what makes the habit holy is if it’s God-focused and God-pleasing.

Nicole (09:00):

For him, yeah.

Sharon (09:00):

These habits that we’re doing, like they’re not like health habits that make us stronger physically. Although they do make us stronger spiritually, they should come from a longing to be with God and honor him. A holy habit is this offering, of a sense, to him.

Nicole (09:17):

Yeah, a sacrifice.

Sharon (09:17):

Yeah, so it’s just not a ‘have to’, it’s a we ‘get to’, we ‘want to’, this is for you, God, you, the one that died for me. You, the one that always listens to me when other people are kind of tired of me telling them the same thing.

Nicole (09:32):

I know.

Sharon (09:33):

I want to do this to please you Lord. A holy habit is an offering, a sacrificial offering. So, all right, well, let’s move now to Bible reading and study, the habit that we’re talking about now. When did you discover the joys of meeting God by reading his actual word Nicole, instead of just kind of reading about it?

Nicole (09:52):

Yeah. I think I’m thinking Sharon that when we first started coming to our current church EBC, our pastor had taught a Sunday school class and he taught about studying the scriptures on our own and how to read a passage and break it down and ask a question about it. And that was a huge breakthrough for me.

Sharon (10:10):


Nicole (10:10):

You know, growing up in really good Bible-teaching churches and attending a Christian school, you know, the application was always, you know, readily handed to me or I could ask them on it, cause you know, a little lazy, I’m like, hey, what does this mean? And they would tell me and it was great. I know Pastor Yves would be like, actually, what do you think? You should research that. I’m like, wait a minute, you’re supposed to tell me the answer. I don’t want to look this up. But it was so helpful to be like, okay, to be empowered, to search the scriptures on my own and to be told that we’re able to understand what the scriptures are saying with the Holy Spirit, that we don’t have to always have a pastor. Like, they’re so…, they’ve studied the scripture. They’re so smart, like only they can understand what it means. It’s like no, God gave me his Spirit.

Sharon (10:52):


Nicole (10:52):

So me in my little living room with the Bible going, God, show me what you want me to read. He can reveal the scripture to me.

Sharon (11:00):


Nicole (11:00):

I don’t need to have a pastor next to me.

Sharon (11:02):

Yeah, I love that.

Nicole (11:03):

So that was really neat. And then talking with you the “Four R Method” that just sealed it for me because it was simple and sweet. It broke it down in a very manageable way to study the scriptures in a short period of time every day and then come away with a verse to ponder.

Sharon (11:17):


Nicole (11:17):

You know, I just…, that has been my go-to method now to study the scriptures. So, and listener, if you want to learn more about these “Four R Methods” that I’m talking about, check out episode eight of our podcasts, where Sharon and I go over how to do it.

Sharon (11:30):

Yeah, yeah. It really is a game changer because it’s short and not everybody can sit down and do a three hour Bible study.

Nicole (11:39):


Sharon (11:39):

But most people can read 20 verses, which is what it is.

Nicole (11:43):

And in ten to fifteen minutes with all my crazy kiddos around I can study the scriptures and that is so invaluable to me right now you know?

Sharon (11:49):

So important. And if the Bible really is spiritual food, we can’t rely on just being spoonfed from other people. We need to feed ourselves sometimes.

Nicole (11:59):

Absolutely, yep.

Sharon (12:00):

So I have watched too many people over the years, Nicole, walk away from the truths of the Bible because they started listening to other voices and stopped believing that the Bible was truly God’s voice.

Nicole (12:12):

That’s so sad.

Sharon (12:13):

Yeah. We can get away from it so quickly if we don’t stay in it. Jeremiah laments this tendency of people to walk away from God’s truth, even though they should stick with it. And this is what he says in Jeremiah 2:13. I love this. It’s sad, it’s grievous, but it really explains what happens. So he says, this God is speaking through Jeremiah, “For my people have done two evil things. They have abandoned me, the fountain of living water. And they have dug for themselves, cracked cisterns that can hold no water at all”.

Nicole (12:48):


Sharon (12:49):

You know, God’s living word is the Bible. This is where God speaks, through his word. That’s our living water. And yet what do we do? We go, and we get advice from Google. We read self-help books. You know, we do all the things. And a lot of those cisterns are broken. Especially if it’s not a Christian self help book. If it’s just, you know, I just am number one. I need to think of me. I saw, oh my word, I saw a commercial the other day. And the tagline was ‘worship yourself and others will follow’.

Nicole (13:25):

No kidding?

Sharon (13:25):

That was the tag line.

Nicole (13:28):


Sharon (13:29):

Okay. So you start listening to that you kind of walked away from what the Bible says, which is absolutely not.

Nicole (13:37):

Never worship yourself.

Sharon (13:37):

Never worship yourself, right?

Nicole (13:40):

You can get in a whole heap of trouble that way.

Sharon (13:40):

Yeah. So we’ve got to watch out for these cracked cisterns.

Nicole (13:44):

Yeah, they’re everywhere.

Sharon (13:44):

And the only way is to drink from the one that isn’t cracked. We have to be in God’s word. We do not want to walk away from the one book that is God’s literal words to us and choose lesser words instead.

Nicole (13:57):


Sharon (13:57):

So, so yes, it’s great to, to hear podcasts. Yes. It’s great to read what people say about scripture. God gave different people gifts and they use their gifts by explaining the Bible to us. But we have to do it ourselves too. You just have to. So let’s look at what the Bible has to say about the Bible. Let’s get it thoroughly into our brains that the Bible is not an ordinary book. It is the cistern and it’s where we need to draw water. I’ll read a passage and chat about it. And then Nicole, you’ll do the next one. Let’s just immerse ourselves for a few good minutes in hearing from God, who breathed this book into being through over thirty-five authors who heard his voice and wrote out his message to us. So I’m going to start with an oldie, but a goodie. 2 Timothy 3:16-17, “All scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work”. That’s pretty specific.

Nicole (15:05):


Sharon (15:05):

First of all, it’s all inspired by God. There’s not parts of it that aren’t. This is what God wants us to read. It teaches us what’s true. It points out where we’ve gone wrong so we can correct ourselves. I need that a lot. I’ll read something in the Bible and it’ll remind me again. Oh, I have to be kind even when I don’t feel like it or, oh, I’m to pray for my enemies. Whoopsies, haven’t been praying for them!

Nicole (15:31):

Even if you know the verse, to read it again, it’s like, oh yeah, we need the reminders.

Sharon (15:33):

Yeah. We need them all the time. We need them all the time. It prepares and equips us to live out a purposeful life. So I love that. It prepares and equips his people to do every good work. So that’s what we need. We need to be equipped so we can go out and live with purpose.

Nicole (15:49):


Sharon (15:49):

And we only do that if we’re equipped by the word of God. So, an example of knowing truth, it teaches us truth in a hard time. There’s a verse in Ephesians that talks about “don’t let the sun go down on your anger”. And if you repeatedly don’t deal with anger towards a person, your heart gets hard. It gets calloused. The Bible has so much good for us and we’ve got to stay in it because we are people of short memory.

Nicole (16:15):

Short memory. Yes. And a sinful nature that’s always fighting.

Sharon (16:20):


Nicole (16:21):

So, I’m going to read in Joshua 1:8, it says “Study this book of instruction, continually. Meditate on it day and night so that you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.” So I was looking at that word ‘meditate’ and I found one definition of the word meditate in the Bible, means to means to mutter or speak quietly.

Sharon (16:46):

Oh, that’s interesting.

Nicole (16:49):

Yeah, like “mmmmm”. So another one says to think deeply or carefully about. So what I’m getting from this is that it’s not just a passing or fleeting thought here. You know, we’re challenged to think deeply about it. To mutter and speak quietly about the Bible all day and night, you know, kind of reminding ourselves. Like don’t get angry. You know, pray for them.

Sharon (17:08):

A gentle answer turns away wrath, gentle, gentle.

Nicole (17:11):

Yeah. So I think that’s kind of what they’re saying, like have it always be on our thoughts and our lips, you know, we really need to ingrain God’s word into our thought patterns so we can be sure to obey it.

Sharon (17:22):

Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. And it’s continual. Meditate day and night.

Nicole (17:26):

Yeah. Never stop. It’s not like, oh, just a little bit in the morning and you’re good. No, after you sit with your quiet time, keep saying that verse over to yourself. Pray it. Think about it.

Sharon (17:33):

Remember what God showed you.

Nicole (17:35):

Yeah, chew on it all day.

Sharon (17:36):

Yes. Yeah. Yeah. So, okay. Psalm 1:2-3, “But they (people that follow God) delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it (there’s that word ‘meditate’ again) day and night. They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season, their leaves never wither and they prosper in all they do”. And that’s just such a good imagery because you’ve probably done this. Maybe not, maybe you’re really better with plants than me, but sometimes my plants have to tell me they need water because their leaves start to get to all droopy. And I’m like, oh, when was the last time I gave you a drink? Yeah. So we have to plant ourselves by the word of God so that we don’t wither and we will, without it, we need that day and night. We need to feed on it. We need to learn from it. And I love the word delight. They delight in it. Why do we delight in it? Because so much of God’s word is telling us how loved we are.

Nicole (18:36):

I know.

Sharon (18:36):

And the stories are fascinating and they’re inspiring and we can get something from it every time we read it, especially, with me anyways, that ‘Four R Method’ does it for me because I’m looking, I’m actively looking for that verse that is going to speak to me for that day. So we flourish.

Nicole (18:55):

We do.

Sharon (18:56):

Yeah. So there’s that one, your turn.

Nicole (18:59):

Let’s read Acts 17:11, “And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessolonica. And they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth”.

Sharon (19:14):


Nicole (19:14):

Very interesting.

Sharon (19:15):


Nicole (19:16):

So I think this verse is a great challenge for us. You know, we should strive to be like the people of Berea, you know, they listened eagerly but they also searched the scriptures to make sure that they were hearing, you know, what they were hearing about God’s word was actually true.

Sharon (19:30):

So important that we do that. It really is.

Nicole (19:34):

Yeah, cause even our pastors and wonderful pastors and teachers are still sinful humans, you know?

Sharon (19:38):

And they can make a mistake, right.

Nicole (19:40):

So we really need to make sure we know God’s word and his truth for ourselves.

Sharon (19:44):

Do you know one thing I love about our pastors so much? Ray, my husband, as you know is, you know, Mr. Precise, you say something wrong, he’s going to notice and call you out on it. So at various times in our church, he’s gone up to various pastors and said, you know, either this didn’t make sense or I think you were wrong and misspoke.

Nicole (20:03):


Sharon (20:05):

Every single pastor, and we have five of them, has come back with gratitude. There hasn’t been a proud bone in any of them. They could be like, Ray Gamble again, are you kidding me? But no, they’re like, thank you. And a couple of times, Pastor Stan stood up the next Sunday and said, I misspoke on this.

Nicole (20:25):

Oh my goodness.

Sharon (20:26):

I loved it. And sometimes I’m like, Ray, come on. But, but I love that we have pastors that want to speak truth.

Nicole (20:32):

Yeah. They’re receptive to hearing.

Sharon (20:33):

They’re receptive to wanting to know if they’ve said something a little off and you know, be nice to us speakers, people, because we’re not God. At all. And we’re just us. And we do misspeak sometimes. And it’s not intentional, usually. I mean, it’s not. I mean, I don’t go around thinking, how can I deceive people about God’s word. I want to speak truth so much. And I think sometimes Christians can be a little too critical, but they need to ask and then clarify. And that’s what we do. And that’s why we have Jan Peck, our wonderful editor. Everything I write, Jan, doesn’t just edit for grammar. Jan will say, I know what you meant by this, but the way you phrased it, it sounds like you’re saying something that isn’t Biblical and she’ll correct it for me.

Nicole (21:21):

That’s so nice.

Sharon (21:22):

And I need her, we need each other. We need Bereans.

Nicole (21:25):

We do. Yes.

Sharon (21:25):

We need people that will say, whoa, whoa, whoa, is this really in line with what scripture says?

Nicole (21:29):

Absolutely. Oh, that’s great, I love that.

Sharon (21:30):

Yeah. Yeah. Okay. I’m so lost because I just was so enthused about that. Here we go.

Nicole (21:36):

Yeah, that was exciting.

Sharon (21:36):

Okay, moving on. Proverbs 30:5-6 says this, “Every word of God proves true. He is a shield to all who come to him for protection. Do not add to his words or he may rebuke you and expose you as a liar.” Okay.

Nicole (21:54):

Good warning for those speakers.

Sharon (21:58):

Don’t add to his words. But every word that he says is true and right. So I’m protected when I come to him and read his words and I’m in danger if I add to them. I’m not above the Bible, rendering judgment on it. God spoke it and I need to listen and obey. And if I’m confused, it’s not God’s fault. I ask for further light.

Nicole (22:21):


Sharon (22:21):

I don’t decide the Bible’s wrong. And this disturbs me so much when people elevate their brains above the Bible and they think they’re smarter. No, you’re not. You’re not smarter. You’re misunderstanding. Or you just don’t understand yet. And talk to God about it. God’s word is true. And if we don’t get it, we wait for more light. We don’t decide we’re smarter than it.

Nicole (22:47):

Right. Or just throw it away.

Sharon (22:49):

Right. So there’s that one.

Nicole (22:51):

Yeah. All right. Let’s read Hebrews 4:12, “For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires”. Wow.

Sharon (23:08):


Nicole (23:10):

So the Bible is an incredibly unique book. No other book written in history is alive and powerful. You know we’ve all experienced this as Christians, and Sharon, we talk about this too. Reading the same passage of scripture a few times, it changes every time you read it.

Sharon (23:24):

It does.

Nicole (23:24):

It’s so amazing.

Sharon (23:24):

It’s living.

Nicole (23:25):

It is living.

Sharon (23:25):


Nicole (23:27):

God chooses to reveal different things to us at different times. And it’s so amazing, the transforming power of the Bible. But it’s not all love and sweet stories. It’s also a sharp sword and it separates our sin nature from the Spirit God has placed in us. And this separation exposes our sin so that we’re able to bring it to God and have him remove it for us.

Sharon (23:48):

Yeah. That’s beautiful.

Nicole (23:49):

Which is incredibly important. We need to have that revealing of our sin.

Sharon (23:53):

We need that. We do. Yes. Yeah. Yeah. So we don’t just live with it and get that hardened heart.

Nicole (23:56):


Sharon (23:58):

Well, I think it’s pretty obvious that we need to be reading the Bible for multiple reasons. So why is it so hard to do?

Nicole (24:09):

Good question. We live in such a world of distractions and now, I mean, there’s always been distractions, but I feel like because I’m living in this generation that there’s so many distractions.

Sharon (24:17):

There are.

Nicole (24:18):

There are so many other options you know, and I know Satan just loves to plant excuses in our heads to keep us from it. It’s such a spiritual battle.

Sharon (24:24):

It is a spiritual battle. You’re exactly right. Cause Satan knows how powerful it is and he wants to keep us from it.

Nicole (24:32):

He’ll do anything to keep us from it.

Sharon (24:32):

So I think we need to watch out for three D’s.

Nicole (24:35):

Three D’s.

Sharon (24:35):

Here we go. First is, you talked about Satan, but because I wanted a D word, the devil and his demons want us to hear lies, not the truth. We need to be aware that he’s going to trip us up and he’s going to tell us, we don’t have the time to read the Bible or it’s too boring or we’ve already read it. Whatever. So the devil is the first one. Number two, I call the Daily Rush. It’s always there, there are always children to feed if you’re a mother and they’re always hungry, but even when they’re gone, they still call you on the phone, which is wonderful. There’s bills to pay. There’s pets to walk. There’s parents who need us, there’s friends in crises. The dailies can get in the way they just can. And then three, you mentioned this too. The Distractions, they’re not quite as pushy as the Daily Rush, but we can always do it later with a Bible and we can scroll a little longer on Facebook or we can watch another YouTube video. So those three D’s, we have to watch out for, the Devil, the Daily Rush and the Distractions. How do you have to watch out for them as a young mom, tell me.

Nicole (25:42):

I like the ‘Three D’s’. That’s a good way to categorize it, you know? So I think that the devil “D” could be that I feel guilty maybe about only having like a small amount of time to read God’s word and thinking that it won’t be enough. Like, Oh, It’s not enough. I’ll just wait till I have an hour to ponder.

Sharon (25:58):

And then you skip it altogether.

Nicole (25:58):

Yep. That’s a good one there. Daily rush, gosh, mornings in our house are pretty crazy even with a good schedule going, you know, packing lunches and backpacks and finding clean masks and remembering which day it is to bring instruments to school and which day to wear sneakers for PA. And coffee and breakfast and getting everyone out the door on time. Oh, it’s a lot. And then after they’re all gone, the four year old and the puppy are both sitting there waiting for me to feed them.

Sharon (26:25):

There they are.

Nicole (26:25):

And entertain them. So yeah, that’s a lot. We know that’s there. Distractions for the season of life. Oh man, those are so tempting. You know, it’s so tempting to dive into them, to avoid the daily list that I just mentioned and the 5,000 questions of my little four year old waiting for me. So for me, you know, social media, audio books, you know, and just plain old, regular books are all big distractions for me and places that I go to avoid work. Or God’s word, you know?

Sharon (26:49):

Oh, yes. Well, for me, the devil tempts me with either the lie that I already know it and I don’t have to be in the Bible or that prepping for a blog counts as listening to God. No, no, no, it doesn’t. It’s got to be my own quiet time. The daily rush: I get Ray off to work, run a ministry, walk a dog, talk to lots of family members on the phone and do all the house maintenance.

Nicole (27:11):


Sharon (27:11):

And distractions for me, Facebook, my birds at the feeder. Oh my word, they’re the cutest distractions.

Nicole (27:18):

That’s so funny, I love that.

Sharon (27:18):

Or reading an article or book instead of the actual words of God.

Nicole (27:21):


Sharon (27:21):

Those are all Distractions. Well, I’m going to close by talking about two more D’s. These are good D’s. Those were the bad D’s. These are good D’s. We need to read the Bible in two ways. Both Doctrinally and Devotionally. So let’s talk about doctrine first, Nicole. What is doctrine?

Nicole (27:37):

Yeah. Doctrine is a belief or set of beliefs held and taught by a church, political party or other group.

Sharon (27:44):

There you go.

Nicole (27:44):


Sharon (27:45):

Yeah. And Doctrine for Christians is reading the Bible as a whole and coming up with, you know, what God says about love or what God says about mercy. Not just looking at the one verse.

Nicole (27:59):

Right. But add the whole together.

Sharon (28:01):

The whole together.

Nicole (28:01):

What does God mean about love through the whole Bible?

Sharon (28:03):

Exactly, exactly. Yeah, if we just studied God’s love by reading about God punishing his people we’d have a really distorted picture of what his love is all about.

Nicole (28:13):

Umm, that’s a good point. Yeah.

Sharon (28:13):

Right. You know, we needed to see how long he waited before he punished his people and how he brought his people back. So doctrine is super important and that’s where we need our pastors and our Bible scholars that have looked at that big picture who have looked at the words in Hebrew who can help us understand and see the big concepts and not get kind of pushed off on a sidetrack because we found one verse that we interpreted wrong, you know, so Doctrine is really important.

Nicole (28:41):

It really is.

Sharon (28:41):

And that’s why we need church in some form or another. We, it’s not enough to just read the Bible on our own. You know, we need the body of Christ. We need teachers, we need pastors. We need exhorters. So that’s the Doctrine piece. The other D is the Devotional piece. And that’s what we teach at Sweet Selah Ministries. We’re all about people going to church. And that’s one of the holy habits we’re going to hit hard eventually. We’re not a substitute for the church, but devotional daily reading is also important just like Pastor Yves taught you. He said that it’s just as important to search for yourself and we’re to do that as well. So, that’s what we do at Sweet Selah. We talk about the Devotional method, but we never want to forget that Doctrine is important as well. So.

Nicole (29:24):

Absolutely. The heart of Sweet Selah and our mission to ‘take time to know God and love him more and more’. It’s really there to empower women to dig into their Bibles and have the courage to study and memorize scripture on their own, you know, and just to sit and feel God’s love for them.

Sharon (29:39):


Nicole (29:39):

You know? So if we’re ever unable to attend church, you know, like say, during a pandemic you know?

Sharon (29:45):

It could happen.

Nicole (29:48):

It could happen. Or because you know, we’re in prison for our faith, we will still know him well, because we hid his words in our heart and have learned to be still and have him sustain us through whatever life can throw at us.

Sharon (29:58):

Yes. Yes. It’s important. It is. So that’s our first, holy habit, Bible reading and Bible study. Oh, how we need to go to the right source for truth. Well, let’s close in prayer. Thank you for your word, God, thank you that it is not like any other book. It is living. You speak through it every time we open its pages. Help us to get over our fear of opening it up, help us to walk away from the devil and the dailies and the distractions and dig deep, teach us through you word please, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Nicole (30:34):

Amen. We would love to hear from you, our listeners, as we go through our five holy habits. What have you discovered about Bible reading? What’s hard for you. What tricks have you learned to create this holy habit? We would love to hear. Write us and let us know. If you’re interested in learning our ‘Four R Method’ of devotional Bible reading, check out episode eight, called Making Your Quiet Time Personal. You’ll find a simple, short, but so personal method on meeting with God for just 10 to 15 minutes a day. We are always grateful when you write a review of this podcast or when you donate, please go to and write ‘podcast partner’ in the comments. If you’d like to support us monthly with a dollar or two or more, we’d take larger donations too. And please do come back next week for our next Holy Habit, episode 50, we’ll be talking about Developing A Prayer Habit. Until then crack open that Bible and ask God to teach you something special.

Speaker 1 (31:38):

We are so glad you stopped for a while with us. Sweet Selah Moments is a co-operative production of Word Radio and Sweet Selah Ministries. More information about this Sweet Selah Moments podcast, including show notes, can be found at and at Thank you for joining us for Sweet Selah Moments,


You can download and print the transcript here.


3 Comments. Leave new

  • Sharon & Nicole,
    So glad to have your podcast available again after a summer break! Thank you for this timely reminder of studying God’s Word for ourselves. There are treasures just waiting for us to discover, but we have to do our part and look for them. God’s blessings to you!

    • Lori, so good to hear from you. We are so thankful that the reminder was useful. Yes – “treasures just waiting for us to discover.” You said that SO well. Thanks for writing. We love knowing folks are listening. Big hugs, Sharon

  • Thanks for listening! It’s so encouraging to talk to each other about these important habits to keep us focused on God 🙂


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