How to read the Bible

When asking fellow believers about their personal Bible study practices I’ve heard a variety of guilty admissions that while they know they should they rarely do spend time in the Word. The most common explanations are these:
"I don’t have time".
"I don’t understand it."
"It’s boring."
I’ve come to realize that the core to this problem is that people have not been taught “how” to read their Bibles. I believe that if you know how and practice doing so, reading your Bible will become not a chore but a joy.
A year ago at a Ladies Retreat Linda Hunter explained "How" to study the word. Since then I have implemented those lessons as well as personalized some techniques myself, now God has given me a burning desire to read his Word. This is the most exciting book imaginable. I want you to experience this same passion for the Word.

So here we go, I’m going to give you the beginners Who, What, When, Where, Why and How to reading your Bible. Mind you this is not the only way to get something out of God’s Word but its what works for me.
WHY: To Know God
Without a “why” it doesn’t matter “how”.
ITimothy 3: 15and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction,for instruction in righteousness

The Bible shows us our salvation,it teaches us who God is, and who we need to be. We read the bible to know God. Do you know Him? Or do you just know about Him? Read this God breathed scripture and you will know Him. Though you may begin studying because you “should”. After a period of time your why will change. I nolonger read the Bible because I “should” but because I desire, I long to know more of my God. This book is not obligatory “home work” it is an amazing privilege, a gift, a love note from my Father.

WHEN: Your “First” and “Best” Time
Set a time and stick with it, The King of the Universe has an appointment with you, are you going to miss it? Make a commitment to not miss a single day. It comes down to priority. What matters to you? Yes I know, job, kids, spouse, cooking, cleaning, mowing, school, volunteering,yada yada; these are all extremely important. But are they more important? More important than the one who created you, who loves youlike no other can fathom loving you? Give God a sacrifice of your time and He will return that time to you. Give God your first time and your best time. Don’t hand him a doggie bag of leftovers at the end of the day. My God is worth more than that! I think of it as “Coffee with Jesus”. I love getting up in the morning and cuddling up in my big green comfy chair with a caramel latte, my journal and my Bible. Starting the day in the arms of my Lord, I can face anything. I’d rather arm myself in the morning than pick up the pieces at night.

WHERE: A solitary place.
Find yourself a spot, where it is quiet, turn off the phone, get rid of any distractions. This will be your daily meeting place with the Father. It is best to use the same location each day, this gets you in the right frame of mind to start your study.

At this time I will address those of you with young children, you may be asking, how can I possibly get some quiet, alone time without them asking for something. I used to get up before my kids for this reason until I realized, they need to see me making God a priority in my life. If I spend my time with the Lord when they are sleeping they will not ever see that example. Being a stay@home mommy I have the luxury of adjusting my schedule. I now have my time after I have fixed their breakfast. They know that this is “Mommy’s time with God” and that they should play quietly until I am done. It takes a little training but after a week of patiently reminding them not to interrupt this special time they now are veryrespectful of it. If you let your little children know that God is a priority in your life then He will be in theirs also.

WHO: You and the Holy Spirit
John 14:26But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.
This is where we address the understanding issue. You cannot understand the Bible on your own! In order to see what God has for you, you need to ask him to show you what he wants you to see. Ask him to speak to you personally through his word.
Mathew 7:7"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
WHAT: Bible, Journal, Pen
Find a version you are comfortable with, I like the NIV, my husband uses the NLT. Often I will search various translations to get a better understanding of what God is saying to me. Bible Gateway is a great resource of with many translations.
The reason for your Journal is to record what God shows you in your study. This Journal is also good for recording prayers, not only a grocery list of needs but also love notes to your Father. Use something with a sturdy cover and pages, you will want to keep this journal long after you have filled it up. It is exciting to look back on old journals and be reminded of truths given you by the Lord.
What ever works for you, there are various methods of using different colors of highlighters, I don’t know any of these, I prefer the underline method: If it sounds good underline it. You do know that it is OK to write in
your Bible right?

1. Be Still
Bring your mind, will and emotions into submission. Take authority over your body, you are not as tired as you think. Focus on who God is and what he has to tell you today.

2. Pray
Ask God to give you wisdom, and to speak to
you. Invite the Holy Spirit to help you understand what God has for youtoday. Sometimes it helps to write this prayer out in your journal. It helps you focus on why you are there. Example:
Father, open my eyes. Open my heart to your word today. Holy Spirit give me wisdom and understanding help me to see what the Lord wants me to see. Lord let me know you more today, show me who you are and who you want me to be.
3. Start an entry in your Journal, with a date and the reference to the Scripture you are
beginning to read. By opening it up at the start you are showing expectation that God does have something to say to you today.

4. Read
If you have not read much of the Bible I recommend you start with the Gospel of John followed by Acts or Romans then maybe Psalms. After this you can figure out a reading plan that works for you.

This is not a speed-reading contest! You are not
required to finish any allotted amount of chapters in a day. The purpose is to get to know God. Set an amount of time that you will spend in the word, at least 15 min, with an hour being preferable. Focus, meditate and study the passages you are reading, some days you may read 2-3 chapters or more. While other days God may have one verse that is meant to speak to you. Do not set in stone which area of the Bible you will be reading. Go into your study with an open heart, the Spirit may lead you to another area of study. Be sensitive to the Spirit and listen for guidance. As God shows you new verses and or old ones in new ways remember to journal them.

5. Follow-Up
It is good to follow up on your study by going over your notes. Look over what God has shown you today. I like to look over my journal in the evenings and write any other things the Lord has spoken to me throughout the day.

I hope that this will help someone begin a daily meeting time with his or her Father. I know it is fairly random and pieced together. What works for me may not work for you, but please start somewhere. Don’t ignore your appointment with God.


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