I don't know about you, but when I try to do something important, I want to do it well. I don't want to waste time or miss out on what 'could have been'.
Time in the Word of God is like that.
I know it's important, but I have to admit that there are times that I read it, pray about it, and walk away without getting a 'whole lot' out of it. I'm glad I did it, but I feel as though I've missed something.
I wonder if you can relate...?
If you can, I want to give you some 'tips' for reading the Word of God, which will (I hope) enable you to have more productive times.
Especially as many of us are on a '40 day spiritual adventure' sort of thingy as we head up to the election, this may help you grow more. (Some of you, who are well schooled at this might think of this as a waste of your time...so you have my official permission to skip this post!) :)
So, here goes:
FIRST, when you're going to read the Word of God, and you want to get something out of it, you can't do it 'on the fly'. You can't read it as you're running out the door in the morning of in the 2 minutes you have in bed at night before falling to sleep and hope to let it have IMPACT in your life...so Bible Reading Tip #1 is: Find a Quiet Place!
SECOND, you have to approach the Word in the right way...remember, the Bible is not 'just a book'. It is a Spiritual book, and the revelation of the God of the universe to us! We can't read it the same way we read our favorite novel. We have to start with prayer. After all...
"The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11 For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. 13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words.[c] 14 The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgment:
16 “For who has known the mind of the Lord
that he may instruct him?”[d]
But we have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:10-13)
THIRD, choose a section...could be anything, but if you're just starting out, I always suggest starting out with the Gospels (the books that record Jesus' life, teachings, miracles, etc.)
FOURTH, have a pad of paper or your favorite word processing program open. Make the following notations:
Section Read (ie, Matthew 1) NOTE, you wont always read a whole chapter, just depends on the section.
The Things I learned about God... (sometimes very obvious, other times, not so much)
The Things I learned about History... (sometimes this is all it seems to be about)
The Things I learned about myself... (almost always something you can learn)
Practical impact: (If the above stuff is true, what difference should it make?)
FIFTH: Close in prayer. Ask the Holy Spirit to help 'cement' this into your mind and heart. Ask Him to prompt you to remember it.
...and that's it! Really, when you get right down to it, it's not that complicated a process. Remember that, if you're a Christian, the Spirit lives within you and wants to help you discern these truths.
God will help you, and you will grow!
As you look back over your journal and the things you've learned, you will be amazed at what God does when we simply give Him the opportunity!
Word of God, SPEAK!