Here are a few things to remember that might help you when you read the Bible.
- Pray! I know this seems simple, but I’ve learned that the most simple steps are often the most overlooked. Pray before you read. Ask God to give you understanding and to soften your heart to what He wants you to learn from the text that you are reading. Pray when you finish reading. Ask the Holy Spirit to convict you and enable you to apply the truths of God’s Word in your life.
- Quality is better than quantity. Reading the whole Bible in a year is awesome, but if you haven’t understood anything that you read then what really have you accomplished? Our goal with reading is to learn and grow. When your goal is to just tell people that you’ve read your Bible, your reward is that brief moment of them being impressed with you and nothing more. BIG WHOOP! I’m a firm believer that it is better to read one chapter and digest all that you have read than to read a whole book and miss out on God speaking. Take your time. Study the word, don’t just read it.
- Talk about it with others. Bounce things off of other people. They might be able to help you in your reading. I always find myself more enlighten, challenged, and blessed after talking about the Scriptures with friends.
- Use outside resources. I’m hesitant to share this as a tip, because so many people take commentaries and their study Bibles as inerrant truths and elevate them to the level of God’s Words. Please don’t do that! The comments at the bottom of your Bible are one man’s opinion. He may have spent years studying and researching (as he should), but at the end of the day it’s still his opinion. These resources are great helps when used rightly. Be careful of the ones you buy and read. Do some research yourself on the authors and ask your pastor and christian friends before running off and buying some book based on a man’s fallible opinion about God’s infallible Word.
- Jesus is the Hero of the story. The Central figure of the Bible is really Jesus. Think of like this, The Old Testament shows that over and over again humans fail at living up to our end of the relationship with God. We try and we fail time after time. This makes us realize, for this relationship to work, we need a Savior. The Gospel then reveals the arrival or the hero, Jesus. He has come to save us from sin, Satan, death, and…well, ourselves. As the Hip Hop artist Andy Mineo puts it, “When have you heard a story about the Hero dying for the villain?” But that is exactly what Jesus did. Following the Gospel is the historical account of Acts and a number of letters written all explaining what God has done and what is currently being accomplished. Revelation then tells us how the Hero, Jesus, will return to finish what He has begun. Read the Bible with this in mind and hopefully that will bring some enlightenment to your reading.
I hope and pray that this has been a help to you.