- READ IT - The first thing you need to do is crack open the cover. Sometimes that’s the toughest thing to do… but it’s essential to allowing the Bible to change your life. When I think of reading God’s Word I think of three things that help make this successful: 1. Time: When will you spend time reading? Choose a consistent time during the day to read God’s Word… morning or evening? 2. Territory: Where will you spend time reading? Get away from distractions and consistently meet God in the same place everyday. 3. Translation: What will you read? There are lots of translations of the bible, some easier to read and some harder to read. Get a Bible Translation that you can understand. The NIV Student Bible is a great one to use.
- REMEMBER IT - More than just reading, we need to reflect on it and let it transform our lives! We need to think about what it says and ask the question… what does this mean for my life? If you really want to treasure the Bible then you need to think about the Word throughout the day. As you spend time reflecting on God’s Word throughout the day, it will transform your way of thinking and seeing things around you! You will begin to see things from a different perspective… you’ll begin to receive God’s perspective. As you think about and reflect on God’s Word, God will speak to you. So don’t be afraid to remember God’s Word throughout your day… if you do, God will release the power of His Word in your life!
- RESPOND TO IT - This is where the rubber meets the road… this is where we begin to walk the walk. This is where we actually begin to put into practice what the Word says. If we just read it, remember it throughout the day, and then ignore it… that will do no good for our lives or for God’s Kingdom. We need to put into action what we find in the pages of this book. Truly transformed people are those who study God’s Word and do what it says. They don’t forget what they have read, but they do something about it!
- Read ‘King’ When You See ‘Christ.’ - Christ, or Messiah, means “anointed one,” and priests and kings were anointed. Substituting "King Jesus" for "Christ Jesus" when reading draws attention to the fact that Christ was not Jesus' last name, but in fact His title: one of great honor and esteem. Making that one switch alone breathes new life into reading the New Testament.
- Read ‘You’ Differently - Almost all the "you" words in the New Testament are plural you's rather than singular you's. The Southern "y'all" expresses it beautifully: the epistles are written to believers corporately, not believers alone. This does not diminish personal responsibility at all, though. If anything, it heightens it: we pray together, believe together, suffer together, raise the armor of God together. All y'all.
- If You See a ‘Therefore,’ Find Out What It’s There For - Therefore, take note in bibles where paragraphs are divided up with headings inserted by editors. If the paragraph begins with "therefore,” you might have to pick up a bit earlier to understand the context.
- Remember What You Learned in English Class - The Bible is not an instruction manual. It's not a "how-to" book for life. It is a collection of 66 books of literature, and to interpret it correctly, you need to remember what you learned in English class about interpreting different genres of literature. Biblical truth is found in poetry, but we must read it as poetry. It is found in narrative, but we must read those as stories. It is found in proverbs, and we must treat those as such. Just a quick moment to think “what book am I reading from? And what type of literature is this?” can make a world of difference. Truth be told, the Bible is not an easy read, but it is absolutely worth the effort.
- Read to Study. But Also, Read to Refresh Your Heart - Amid the hours of serious Bible study, I treasured this advice. Sometimes, we read to study and understand and wrestle with the truth. But sometimes, we read to make our hearts happy. “Delight yourself in the Lord,” for “your words are sweeter to me than honey.”
Check out the whole article and see what are some of your favorite tips on reading God's Word. What are some of your tips for reading the Bible? Comment and let me know!