How to Read the Bible

How do I know the Bible is true? How do I know that God still speaks through His word? How can I make myself want to read my Bible? Am I a bad Christian if I have no desire to read the Bible?

“All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction and for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17(NASB)

I know what you’re thinking…”How does that fix anything? If I already struggle with reading the Bible, why does this verse apply to me?” If you’ve been reading our Women of the Old Testament blogs and wondering those questions, I want you to know that it’s ok! I used to be exactly where you were, reader. I thought that the Bible was a dated book that had no place in my life. It was full of great stories, sure—but they were just stories.

Then I started reading them.

Literally. I started in Genesis and read through. It wasn’t all fun and games, though…The book of Numbers was pretty rough. But I kept going, because I know that the more you do something, the more you crave something.

Reader, whoever you are, wherever you are, let me tell you this one truth. The more time you spend with God, the more time you want to spend with Him. Isn’t the same true with your best friends? The longer you spent getting to know them, the more life you wanted to share with them. The longer you spend with God and the more you experience His goodness, truth, and might, the more you want to be with Him.

There’s no formula, no special prayer to pray, nothing that will make you want to get in the Word. It’s trusting and believing that each minute you spend reading the Bible, you will meet with a God who is infinitely bigger than the biggest problem you are facing. It’s knowing that whatever mountain you face will shrink day by day as you feed your soul with truth and knowledge.

So…

1) Find a friend, mom, sister, or neighbor who can do it with you. Find a plan online or at a bookstore, or start with a single book, and read every day. Read a verse, read a chapter, read a book, read something!

2) Get a Bible that is yours and yours alone. Then mark in it, fold pages, highlight verses, and build a history with it. The more personal your Bible is, the more you want to be in it. My Bible is filled with highlighter marks, dates, names, arrows, Post-its, and lots of coffee stains. Opening its worn pages is so, so sweet, because I know what to expect.

I know exactly where my bookmark will be each time I open the pages of my Bible and I know what passages to turn to when I need to be reminded of God’s faithfulness, because they’re highlighted and marked up on the pages I turn to in my desperate moments. I know where the binding is falling apart and I have to turn the pages carefully, or where I’ve stuck in pages from my journal or sermon notes, and how to avoid letting them fall out each morning. I almost know my Bible better than I know myself.

3) Pick a place. I do my quiet times in my closet. I live in a college apartment with six roommates, so my closet is the only place I’m guaranteed uninterrupted, semi-quiet time. My closet is filled with index cards, journals, books, and commentaries. I even threw a pillow pet and a blanket in there for days I just needed to get comfy and talk to God. I have a history with my closet, because when I open the door, even just to get dressed, I’m reminded of some of the sweetest moments I’ve ever experienced with God. Find a spot and a time, and be consistent. When you know that every day at a certain time you get to meet with your Jesus, you look forward to it!

Finally, know that God wants to speak to you. God wants a relationship with you, and He wants to sit with you in the mornings as you sip your coffee, or spend time with you in the car while you watch your kid’s soccer practice, or trudge up the hill to class. The God of the universe desires to meet with you every day, and He’s given us a book full of stories of His faithfulness, His provision, and His goodness. So let’s not waste it.

 

-Hallie

 

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