The Bible is one of the most interactive books you can possibly read: not only does it require time and literacy, but it deserves dedication, emotional investment, prayer, application, and so much more.
Bible study is the practice of a disciple of Jesus in which we try to deepen our understanding of God’s Word so that we can more closely align our lives to what God has revealed and commanded.
Seven Ways to Read God’s Word
- Before you begin, ask God to speak. Ask him for “ears to hear.”
- Believe that God wants to speak to you, even more than you want to hear from him. Then be alert for his voice.
- See your Bible reading as a personal time with God rather than an assignment in trying to learn new information about God.
- Don’t be in a rush. It’s not a race. You don’t get a prize for finishing your reading quickly. Linger. Savor the words. Re-read them.
- You wouldn’t buy a best-selling novel (or a work of non-fiction), let it fall open to page 134, and start reading there. Or only read the final four chapters. Why do we do that with the Bible? Resist the urge to read randomly. Read through a book at a time. (You might consider starting with the Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.) Don’t ignore big sections of Scripture. Consider reading the entire Bible cover to cover. That’s the best way to get the truest sense of who God is, and what his story is about.
- Exercising once every three weeks is better than nothing. But such a sporadic training regimen isn’t likely to get you in great physical condition. In the same way, occasional Bible reading isn’t the optimal way to cultivate your relationship with God or prepare for helping others know God.
- Always read with a mindset of “I will do whatever God commands.”
This article is an excerpt from the upcoming Rose Guide to Discipleship by Len Woods.
Enjoy having this easy-to-understand discipleship guide packed with 30 ready-to-use lessons on 30 discipleship topics: Becoming more like Jesus, salvation, forgiveness, prayer, trusting God, how to study the Bible, and other spiritual growth topics! Whether you’re a new Christian or a seasoned believer, this guide includes overviews of key topics to dive into for a lifetime.