No matter who you are, how old you are, or how long you have been a believer, this is a question we all ask. How can I improve my Bible reading?
The importance of Bible reading
It was Charles Spurgeon who said, “Philip was a searcher after Christ in the place where Christ loves to be—in the pages of Scripture—and you must be the same if you desire to find Jesus!” So the importance of the Bible is not lost on us. We know that God has primarily revealed Himself to us through scripture. In fact, it was Jesus who said that eternal life is to know God. We also understand that the Bible is not just a guide for life or a book of stories conveying a moral message. The Bible is, as the writer of Hebrews wrote, “living and active… discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” It is where we find creation, death and life, and the glory to come. Scripture is the place where we find who we are because it is where we find who God is.
Still the question remains, how can I improve my Bible reading? Obviously the answer will be different for the person who has been a faithful Pastor for thirty years and the person who has been a believer for thirty minutes, but there are some universal principles we can take into account. Here are five of them.
Have a set time
You’re busy. I get it. Between school, work, family, sleeping, eating, playing Fortnite, catching up on Game of Thrones (or This is us), you don’t have much time. In fact, when you ask someone how they are doing, usually their response is “busy”. This is why it is crucial that you have a set time for reading your Bible. You are less likely to miss an event that you have actually scheduled. Instead of being spontaneous about the time you want to read, schedule a time when you are less likely to be distracted or lazy. For some of us mornings work the best, for others it’s right before bed or throughout the day. But the most important point is to just do it. Schedule it, and do it.
Pray before you read
The Bible is not a typical book. If you read it as if it were, you will miss the point. Jesus said, “I will send you a helper… he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” Pray that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may have eyes to see and ears to hear. That you may understand the things of God, and that He would give you the wisdom and insight into the depth of His truth. Prayer will change the way you read scripture.
Stop reading your Bible like it’s a blog
Going off of the previous point, the Bible is not a blog so stop reading it as if it were. The way most of us consume articles, blogs, and posts is to skim through the content. We try to read it quickly. We absorb the main ideas and points and we move on. It is not lost on me that some of you are reading this post that exact same way. Which is fine, but it is not fine when it comes to reading the Bible. If you try to skim through even a chapter of scripture, you will surely miss some great truths. When you read your Bibles pay attention. Often times, when I read, I begin to day dream and then have to go back and re-read what I had just read. Instead of trying to read through your Bible as fast as possible, you should be trying to be transformed by it as much as possible.
Do what you read
Speaking of being transformed, it is of no use if you read your Bible and do not do what it says. James tells us, “be doers of the word.” We can know our Bibles better than any other person in the world. But if we do not know Jesus, whom the scriptures are about, we have gained nothing. So, next time you read your Bible, allow some time for reflection and by the grace of God be transformed by Christ.
We all have them. You could have been a believer for eighty years and you still have questions. When you read your Bible and a question comes up, write it down and find someone you could ask it to. This could be a Pastor, a parent, a friend, or a life group leader. Never be afraid to ask questions. The disciples, for all the flaws that they had, were never afraid to come to Jesus with their questions.
Let me leave you with one last important point. The most effective way to improve your Bible reading, is to actually read it.