A (Simple) Way to Read the Bible
Reading the Bible can be hard, right?
We want to read it, but we don’t know where to begin. We open it at random and hope God speaks to us through whatever passage our eyes happen to fall upon. And, far too often, we just end up confused and discouraged. So, we give up. Our dreams of having a meaningful time in the Bible and with God fall by the wayside.
Now, just to be clear, the whole Bible is inspired by God. He can and does use every part of it.
But what if there was a better way? What if we really could engage with God – through His Word – in a meaningful way? What if it could be simple?
Reading the Bible doesn’t have to be complicated.
So, let’s make it simple.
Set a Time
We all lead busy lives. We’re not going to find time to spend in the Bible. We have to make time to be in the Bible. And that means planning for it.
Set a time to spend with God and don’t let anything get in the way. You wouldn’t stand up your boss for an important meeting, right? You wouldn’t stand up your spouse on date night, right? Don’t stand up God. Set a time and commit to being there.
By the way, prioritize consistency. Commit to ten minutes every day rather than one hour once a week. Get up ten minutes earlier, stay up ten minutes later, or eat your lunch ten minutes faster. Whatever it takes. Make it simple. Be consistent.
Have a Plan
There are a thousand ways to approach the Bible. That’s part of the problem. We can get overwhelmed by the endless possibilities. We can study a character or a theme or even a single word.
But, let’s make it simple.
Choose a book.
The books of the Bible are just that – books. They were meant to be read from beginning to end. So, choose a book and work your way through it.
I’d recommend starting with one of the four biographies of Jesus – Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Commit to just one passage or one chapter. Let it take as long as it takes.
As a pastor and mentor of mine once said, “It’s not about getting through the Bible. It’s about getting the Bible through you.”
Ask the Right Questions
Jesus saves whole people. God wants all of you – every part of who you are.
So, read the Bible holistically by asking the right questions.
Engage your mind. Ask, “Based on this passage, what does God want me to know?”
Engage your heart. Ask, “Based on this passage, what kind of person does God want me to be?”
Engage your hands and your feet. Ask, “Based on this passage, what does God want me to do?”
Every time you come to the Bible just remember those three words.
Know. Be. Do.
Keep it simple.
There you have it!
Developing a discipline of reading the Bible doesn’t have to be complicated.
Yes, there are challenging parts. Yes, there is a place for study Bibles and commentaries and Bible dictionaries. But, for now, let’s keep it simple.
Set a time. Be consistent.
Have a plan. Know where you’re going.
Ask good questions. Engage holistically.