Reading the Bible is one of life’s greatest pleasures. Just imagine being able to commune with God, know his heart and mind and most importantly, know what his plans are for your life. Can you think of any other book that is alive that speaks to you whatever your situation is and gives you relief and peace after reading it?
The Bible is more than a book. It is Christ himself for John said, ‘In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.’ (John 1:1).
Reading a book for leisure or for knowledge information is good but reading for transformation is something else. The Bible is the only qualified book to transform a person inside and out. It is a living and powerful book that is sharper than the sharpest double-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. (Hebrews 4:12). It is not only a book that you read but one that actually reads you. It’s like a mirror that can send back a reflection of you and how you measure up according to God’s standard. Don’t worry the Bible is not there to judge you but to inform you of how much you’re dearly loved by your heavenly Father even though you don’t feel the same way he does. He loves you anyways, nonetheless.
There is no certain right way of studying the Bible but there are some basics that you can follow to make the most out of your study.
First, set a preferred location in your house as your private space for quiet Bible study where you’re relaxed and comfortable. Be it in the morning or evening is a good start.
Second, getting a Bible in a translation that speaks to you is the most important thing. There are many translations in the market and what I personally use is the New Living Translation (NLT). I’ve found this easy to understand for the words are somewhat in our modern english just like in our day-to-day conversation but any translation is fine.
Third, getting a concordance to find out what the words mean in the context and where they’re found is also an asset. This could be purchased at a later time though.
Fourth, you can start reading from beginning to end starting from Genesis to Revelation or you can read any book in the Bible that is to your preference. To have a good grasp of God’s Word, you can also try reading Genesis first followed by Deuteronomy, John, Acts then Romans. You can also do the 1 year reading plan. Again, there are no set rules just some suggestions. The bottom line is to get you started then build momentum as you go along.
Bible reading is like an exercise where you build spiritual muscles as time goes along. There will be times when you don’the feel like reading just like with exercise, but don’t give up for this is one activity that will give you tremendous rewards and dividends later on.
If you encounter difficult subjects or verses in your study, don’t stop. Just keep on reading and studying for these verses will come to light with the help of the Holy Spirit.
Having a journal to write down truths that you have learned is another way of remembering verses and putting to mind what the Lord has revealed at that particular time.
Fifth, listening to Christian TV stations and reading Christian books is also a big help to your study. Jack Kelley is the site that I subscribe to that gives good and comprehensive information about different topics in the Bible. I highly recommend looking into this.
And finally, make it a habit to pray first and ask for God’s guidance and wisdom as you read His Word and to reveal what he wants to say to you. Have an open mind and receptive heart to whatever He wants for nothing is more noble, and worthy than following the Master who has our best interest at heart. Letting Him lead our lives daily bring blessings more than you can possibly imagine. Always remember that.
Dr. Charles Stanley is giving a free one year Bible reading plan. If you want to order, go here.