Wednesday, December 21, 2016

22 Thoughts on Bible Reading

I think the New Year is a great time to contemplate how one will improve their Bible intake and so I want to offer some thoughts that will hopefully be helpful as you consider this matter of great importance! These are things I've picked up on and am still growing in:

1. There are certain principles taught in Scripture about Bible intake but there is no cookie cutter approach. In other words, don't feel guilty for not doing it exactly like someone else. 

2. With that being said, you should be reading the Bible more than you currently are. (Probably)

3. I think every Believer should read through the whole bible at least once every few years. Once a year is more doable than you think. It would take all of 15 minutes a day. But, there are also good reasons to space that further out too. See below. 

4. Multiple readings of one book is highly beneficial. So, even if you do a read the Bible in a year plan, leave time to read certain books multiple times (as in say 15-20x at least) throughout the year. If you can't read the whole bible in a year AND books multiple times, then opt for reading books multiple times and read the whole bible every 2 years (or 18 months or even 3 years). 

5. New Testament books are helpful for reading multiple times. Or even sections of the New Testament like the Sermon on the Mount. 

6. Don't neglect the Old Testament. 

7. Learn the history of the Old Testament. The Books aren't in chronological order. That's a huge key in unlocking your understanding of it!

8. Meditate more. This is slowing down and thinking more focused thoughts about a shorter passage of Scripture. Find a section within your daily readings. 

9. Link your meditations. In other words, as you think about these individual passages, what does that tell you more about the Book or Books as a whole? 

10. Mark in your Bible. Seriously. Do it. If you don't feel comfortable marking in the Bible you have, buy one specifically for that purpose. It isn't 'holier' to not mark in a Bible. It's extremely beneficial. Underline. Draw boxes. Make squiggly lines. Circle stuff. Write cross references. Write thoughts. Use multiple colors. Write prayers. 

11. Journal your thoughts. 

12. I can't emphasize enough how much reading the whole bible through has helped me. It connects themes, shows God's greatness, reveals Truth. Commit to doing it in a year or year and a half. After you've gone through once you can spread that our longer if you'd like. But commit to getting through it once at a decent pace. 

13. Read the Bible every day. We have apps on our phones. Commit yourself to not going a day without reading a portion of God's Word. Even if you've neglected to read it during the day, read a Psalm before you go to bed. 

14. Start your day with reading. Maybe that doesn't work for some people but I think it's the best approach for most. Again, there's no cookie cutter approach.

15. Read the Bible with your family. Take a short passage that you've read and read it to your kids. Offer a few thoughts or praises to God. 

16. Listen to the Bible. Again, we have apps. Use an app while mowing or driving or jogging. 

17. Remember what you've read. Memorize verses. Understand where things are in the Bible so you can go back to them during a discussion with someone. 

18. Read the Bible more than you currently are! (See point 2)

19. Reading the Bible is chiefly about God showing us who He is that we might adore Him more. We are reading for transformation. 

20. Pray through portions of Scripture. Use God's own words to speak to Him. 

21. Understand the theme of the gospel that runs from Genesis to Revelation. Every passage either shows our need for Jesus or anticipates Jesus or shows what Jesus has done or glories in Jesus. 

22. Thank God today for the tremendous blessing we have in owning a copy of the Scriptures in our own language. And take advantage of this! (Luke 12:48)

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