Sunday, August 14, 2016

8 Short Practical Tips for Bible Intake

1. Use an accurate but READABLE translation.  I don’t prefer the KJV because we don’t talk that way, it’s more difficult for me to grasp. Some people do prefer the KJV and that’s ok, but find a translation you’re comfortable with and stick with it.  ESV is for me.  NIV, HCSB, NASB are all reliable translations. NLT paraphrases a tad too much for me. I don’t mind looking at it from time to time but wouldn’t like using for my regular Scripture intake. Stay away from The Message as part of regular bible intake, it’s not a translation but rather one person’s commentary.

2. Don’t find time, make time. Personally, I like to read in the morning but that may not work for everyone. If you do the morning try setting the alarm 15 minutes earlier than normal. It’s just 15 minutes. The important thing here is make a plan and stick to it. MAKE A PLAN AND STICK TO IT. 15 minutes every morning is more than you think. I’m not advising you to stop with 15 minutes but try starting small if you’re not use to this, could even start with 10. Grow from there…

3. Speaking of plans, make a plan to read through the New Testament if you haven’t already done so.  You can do this pretty easily in a few months at just a few chapters a day. Also, make a plan to read through the Old Testament but it’s ok to take your time here.  It’s not that the OT is unimportant but it is a lot to take on if you’re not used to regular bible intake. So, you may want to have a 1-2 or even 3 year plan for the OT.

4. Tell yourself you will read EVERY DAY. Even if some days you do shorter time to simply read through a Psalm. Get in the habit of reading every day.  NOT A DEVOTIONAL. Those can be helpful but need to come SECONDARY to you actually opening your bible and reading it.

5. Accountability. For me, keeping a journal is great accountability.  You may also want to enlist your spouse or a friend to challenge you on your bible intake. 

6. In your regular reading pull out verses to meditate on. To meditate simply read a verse or a few and contemplate on it. Say it a few times over and over. Say it in different ways. Look it up in different translations.  Attempt to memorize it.  Think of how it applies. Think of what it tells you about God and man. TONS more could be said about meditation.

7. Pray. Pray that God will transform you through His Word. Use the Scriptures you read to voice your prayers to God. For example, if you’re reading Matthew 4, part of your prayer could be “God, give me a hunger for your Word. May I desire it more than food. I repent of not cherishing your precious Word as I ought, give me grace to discipline myself to read your Word daily…” etc. from v.4

8. If you are a dad or mom, READ WITH YOUR FAMILY. It can be as simple as reading a Psalm together 1-2 nights a week, discussing some, and praying. A total of 5-10 minutes!

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