10 Tips for Reading the Bible:
Let’s face it: reading and studying the bible every day is not always easy. Life is full of distractions and the enemy is really good and getting in the way of quiet time in the Lord’s presence. But despite all of this, God is clear that we’re to be in his word, meditating on his scriptures, and storing them away in our heart. If we don’t know the scripture, we cannot lean on it and press into it! It’s my heart for you to know Jesus and the character of God intimately, so here are some helpful practices when studying the word:
1: Pray for Guidance and Clarity. Sometimes scripture can be wordy, heavy, and hard to understand (looking at you Old Testament!). The best way to combat just grazing over the words and moving to understanding them on a deeper level is to just ask! The word tells us we receive wisdom by simply asking for it, so ask the Lord for clarity and understanding while reading his word!
2: The Right Translation is KEY! Everyone has a different style of reading they prefer! Don’t just settle for the first translation you try, but rather read a few until you find the right one for you.
3: Read Scriptures in Multiple Translations. Even after finding a translation that is a great fit, you may not find that every passage is clear and understandable. There is nothing wrong with reading a passage in multiple translations, in fact, that will do nothing but deepen your understanding of the words.
4: Create a Distraction-Free Environment. I know this is easier said than done. But creating a consistent, calm environment to study the word will prevent any distractions from getting in the way of what the Lord is trying to teach you!
5: Be Intentional with Reading. Again, some scripture can feel overwhelming to read, and it can be easier to speed-read without slowing down enough to understand. Truly seek the meaning and the context of the stories that you're reading. My grandmother once told me that she wants to know and learn everyone in the bible so that when she gets to heaven she can tell the heroes of the faith that she knows their story. That’s powerful stuff right there!
6: Pair the Reading with a Devotional. There are so many resources for exceptional devotionals, and they are an incredible tool to not only understanding scripture, but relating it to our world today. Devotionals teach us how to apply what we’re reading to our daily lives!
7: Find Jesus throughout Scripture. One of the best tools I’ve found is when reading scripture, regardless of whether it's the Old Testament or the New Testament, finding the thread of Jesus and the messiah ties everything together in an incredible way!
8: Have an Accountability Partner! When taking the step towards daily reading and studying of scripture, having a partner who is encouraging you and holding you accountable makes a huge difference!
9: Go into Your Reading Expectantly. Don’t wait for a revelation, but rather go boldly into your quiet time each day expecting to hear from the Lord, trusting that everyday He will give you what you need. By walking in the confidence that He will move and speak, your time in the word will be so much more fruitful!
10: Understand that God’s Word is Alive, and it is a GIFT. Lastly, remember that we are unbelievably fortunate to have God’s word, whole and complete accessible to us at any moment. Be cautious not to take that for granted, and allow that thankfulness to permeate your quiet time!
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