The Bible is God’s seminary where He equips the believer for effective service. Nothing can take the place of faithful reading and study of the Word. Here are some practical suggestions on reading your Bible.
1. Read the Bible REGULARLY. If we fed our physical bodies with the same regularity we feed our spiritual bodies, most of us would have died of starvation long ago! Don’t let the sun set on a day in which you have not spent time alone with God before the open Word. You must gather the manna fresh every day.
2. Read the Bible ALERTLY. A fresh mind is essential. Don’t give God the drowsy dregs of a busy day. Choose a time when your mind is fresh and alert (or as near to it as you can get!)
3. Read the Bible SYSTEMATICALLY. If you read Leviticus 11:3, then Revelation 5:7, then Psalm 15:4, don’t blame the Bible if you come away confused. You don’t read any other book that way. Pick out a book (Philippians, for example), start with chapter one, verse one, word one and read through the book. You’ll be surprised at how much sense the bible can make when it is read sensibly.
4. Read the bible with VARIETY. Use different translations. The old English of the King James often obscures the real meaning of a passage to modern readers. Some good translations are the Charles B. Williams New Testament in the Language of the People, The New American Standard Version, The New International Version and The New English Bible.
5. Read the Bible PRAYERFULLY. Pray before you read it, asking God to give you something to live by that day. Pray as you read it, turning the Scriptures into prayers and praises.
6. Read the Bible EXPECTANTLY. God rarely disappoints us; He usually gives us exactly what we were expecting. Approach your Bible study expecting God to meet you and speak to you through His Word.
7. Read the Bible OBEDIENTLY Unless it is obeyed, the Bible will be a closed book to you. God never reveals truth simply to satisfy curiosity or to scratch our intellectual itch for facts. Revelation requires response. As God speaks to you in your reading respond with an obedient heart. Before you open your Bible commit yourself to obey everything God will say to you as you read. And it is obedience that keeps a daily devotional time from becoming an empty ritual.
©2002 Ron Dunn. Used by permission of LifeStyle Ministries. This article is copyrighted and is for your individual use. Reproduction for any other purpose is governed by copyright laws and is strictly prohibited. This material originally appeared in the MacArthur Blvd. Baptist Church newsletter.