Reading God’s Word
I wonder how much easier my life would be if I would go to God first with my burdens? I am not a youngster, but I still find myself lost in stress because I’m fighting the problem without God.
Establishing a time in His Word can help keep our thoughts in line with God’s thoughts. He promises us a closer relationship with Him when we go to His Word.
1 John 3:24 "Whoever keeps His commandments abides in God, and God in him, And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us." NIV
Reading His Word does not promise us a perfect day, but it does give us the assurance that He is right there beside us throughout our day. It’s not easy to set up a regular time for Bible reading, but there are a lot of helpful guides to choose from.
Some guides seem easier to begin with, others combine reading the Old and New Testaments at the same time and about any kind of style or length we may want is available. Below are five methods to look at.
Reading It Through
Begin with Genesis and read through to Revelation. Some books are easier to read and others like Leviticus can slow us down. Another example of this method is to begin reading in Genesis and Matthew at the same time. This can enhance the contrast of the two testaments.
What I like about this method is being able to see the thread that runs through the Bible, that thread is Christ Jesus. It can tie the prophecy of Jesus in the Old Testament to the fulfillment in the New. This is my main stay when I want to read God’s Word.
Reading the Bible in a year is a popular plan and a reasonable one. Usually it will be broken up into certain chapters to be read each day. Consistency is the key to creating a habit in God’s Word. Following the plan will help keep us on tract and accountable. There are many plans that come through different Christian organizations for us to pick. Bible Gateway and Bible Study Tools have several.
If you are like me, I prefer taking a more leisurely journey. Sticking to enough chapters every day to complete in a time frame is not important to me and usually takes me a year and a half to complete. I want to enjoy the trip.
Another approach is reading about a topic that we are interested in. A good start is the concordance in the back our Bible. Pick a subject and find it under that heading. There should be several verses to read listed there. A more extensive list can be found in an online concordance at Bible Gateway.
When reading verses individually they may need further defination. It’s a good idea to go to that verse in the Bible and look at it in context of the surrounding passage. This can help in clarifing the meaning and make it easier to understand.
A journal may be a good idea to jot down the verses under the topic of study. It makes a good reference to go to when help is needed in that area or maybe a gift for someone else.
Bible Reading Challenges
For those who love a good challenge, join a group. What purpose? What we are looking for? Diving into the Bible to become more familiar with what God is saying. Reading the Bible while fellowshiping with other Christians is a added blessing.
There are challenges for just about any time period. These are people who love God’s Word and want others to join them. We all know reading the Bible can be daunting. Why not join and learn with others?
This method is a little more toward Bible study than the others. I mention it because it can be a good start and not as intimidating as reading on your own. It generally takes a single verse or passage as the focus of a particular day and expands on the theme with a story or object lesson.
A devotion can help to explain the verse and using examples can simplify the meaning. We then can apply that to our lives which is the purpose of reading in the first place.
Importance of Reading God’s Word
Reading the Bible is utmost in a Christian life. Without it we will stumble and fall. We wouldn’t expect to learn a new craft if we didn’t learn the basics and it is the same with scripture.
2 Timothy 3:16 “All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,”. NIV
We have to remember that the Bible is alive and powerful. There are so many reasons to read and apply it to our lives. It’s preparation for experiences as we grow. Who knows what God has for us to do?
2 Timothy 2:15 “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles th Word of Truth.” NIV
We need to be careful of His Word that we correctly speak it as it really is. Our opinion is not important when it comes to the Bible. It is God’s Word and we need to represent it wisely. That is why we need to read it and study to see what the verses are saying.
To really benefit from reading, do it intentionally and try to not hurry through the scriptures. Early morning is a good time before the day begins so you are refreshed and ready for the world. Experiment with listening to the scripture as some of us are primarily auditory learners and enjoy it more that way.
If you have a favorite way of reading scripture, I would love to hear from you.