I can’t count how many times since being a believer the past 10 years I often forget or stray away from the Bible. It’s not that I’m against it (of course I’m for it), but due to my sin…I just naturally stray away and choose other things over it. God has recently reminded me yet again of the importance of His Word, how it’s active and living, and how by simply reading it and spending time with Him, that makes all the difference in the world.
I think it’s very helpful to follow Jesus one day at a time. Each day requires faith and trust that He is at work and He produces the results, not us. Each day is a reminder of the Gospel and how we are forgiven for all eternity. Each day is a new day for God to speak to us through His Word to show us how to carry ourselves for that given day and for whatever trials are upon us.
We can’t stray away from the Bible. God literally speaks to us through His Word. We need this each and every day and let me please encourage you to pick it up and get started. Maybe even return to it if you’ve strayed away yourself. Here are 8 ways to read the Bible:
Begin Reading This Very Day
The way to do a thing is to do it; and the way to read the Bible is actually to read it! It can’t just be about meaning, or wishing, or resolving, or intending, or thinking about it, which will barely move the meter for you. You actually have to read it for yourself.
There’s not a perfect method for this, just like how there’s not a perfect method for prayer. If you can’t actually read it for yourself, maybe you can listen to it for yourself or have someone read it to you. Either way, having the Bible pass through your eyes or ears is the main point. The Word is living and active and give it a chance to be living and active for you.
Read With An Earnest Desire To Understand It
Sometimes we read over Scripture, turn the pages, and close it thinking we have done our duty for the day, without actually understanding what we read. This will turn the Bible simply into a task for you to check off your list and you’ll never give the chance to actually learn it.
Try to ask yourself, “what is this about or what is the meaning of this?” Pray for understanding. If we can’t learn about what we’re reading in the Bible, we’ll miss huge points.
Read With Child-Like Faith And Humility
Start with the reminder that the Bible is God’s actual words, it’s perfect, it’s 100% right, and we need to humble ourselves before it. That will help us as we read it, even when it seems to counter or desires or preferences.
Begin with knowing you’ll trust what you’re going to read and act on it because God’s ways and thoughts our higher than ours and He is the author of the Bible, not us. Since we are reading what He has already written, we need to patiently listen and take in what He is saying to us.
Read In A Spirit Of Obedience And Self-Application
Make a commitment as you read the Bible that you’ll apply it to your life, live by its standards, and act quickly to its commands. Think through as you’re reading, “How does this affect me and what do I need to change in my life?”
A lot of time we read the Bible just like any other book and move on without applying what it actually says in our lives. The Bible is meant to be read, studied, and applied to our lives each day.
Just like anything that is healthy for us, the more we do it, the better. And to read the Bible daily requires a daily commitment to follow The Lord, and then can turn into a habit and rhythm in our lives. Out of everything that is available to us for good health, The Bible is the healthiest thing for us. We need it every single day.
God knows exactly what He is doing and speaks to millions of Christians every day through His Word. His timing is perfect and there’s something you’ll read today that you needed today. Likewise, there’s something tomorrow you’ll read that you’ll need tomorrow. When we neglect to read the Bible daily, we are neglecting to hear from God daily and will miss out on how He is leading us.
Read All Of It And Read It In An Orderly Way
2 Timothy 3:16 talks about how all Scripture is profitable. Which means…all…of it. We struggle to read through the entire Bible so when we gloss over certain books or chapters, we are missing out. Sometimes study notes help within a Bible to understand a bit more of what we’re reading.
Maybe make a commitment to go through the Bible in order, chapter by chapter. Whatever you do, make a choice to read all of the Bible and not skip out on parts that seem “boring” or “pointless.”
Read Fairly And Honestly
There’s so many resources out there including sermons, videos, blogs, etc. that we have got to get to the point of reading the Bible for ourselves. If we can pray, read the Bible, and continue to ask God for understanding, He will reveal what it is saying.
More often than not, the Bible is more plain and easy to understand than we typically assume. For example, Jesus says He is the only way to God. So what does that mean? It means, Jesus is the only way to God. Are there other pathways to God? No, because Jesus is the only way. It’s times like this that sometimes we let other people or resources counter what can be already easy to understand in the Bible.
Read With Christ Continually In View
Jesus is the center and the primary object of the Bible. Everything in the Old Testament points forward to Jesus and everything in the New Testament is about Jesus. The Gospel shines brightest everywhere in Scripture and if we read the Bible through that lens, I believe that would make it come to life.
Thanks to J.C. Ryle for many books on topics of following Jesus, discipleship, prayer, and the Bible.
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