“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” [Hebrews 4:12]
Raise your hand if something that you want to be better about is reading your Bible. Because same. So, just know that as I am writing this, I am honestly writing this to myself as well.
I feel like this is something I hear from people a lot. That we want to be better about reading our Bible. Which is a great thing to hunger for. But if we just say it and hope for it, all it means is that we have good intentions with little to no follow-through. So how do we actually put our good intentions into practice?
The best thing that I can recommend to begin is to pray that your desire to read the Word will grow. God loves to answer our prayers, so I can only imagine how much He loves to honor a prayer that so obviously will honor Him back. Pray for the desire to grow. Pray that you will know God more each time you read the Bible (even if you have some questions)! Pray that good things will happen for y’all’s relationship as you read. Are there certain things that you’re really hoping for through reading the Bible? Ask for those! Ask God what He has for you in His Word. Simply invite Him into the whole process.
So, a lot of time when I’m doing something, I like to know the purpose or reason behind it. Although God doesn’t owe us an explanation, He is so incredibly kind and gives us a reason why reading the Bible is beneficial (but there are also a lot of other reasons). To get the full picture, I would really recommend that you go read Hebrews 4. Basically the verses leading up to 4:12 talk all about the value that God puts on rest. While Paul is saying a lot in these verses, one thing I really hear Him saying is that reading, honoring and obeying God’s Word is very much intertwined with receiving a rest that can only come from the Lord. And of course there are a ton of other reasons why reading the Word is good, but I think this verse is a great place to start.
How do I start?
The whole point of this blog series is to create practical avenues for you to live intentionally, so I want to give you some ways that can help make reading the Bible easier for you. You don’t need to do all of these! It’s just various ideas that you can choose to use if you wish!
1 | Get a version of the Bible that you can read and comprehend easily. There are so many different versions of the Bible that are written in different ways, so I feel certain you could find one you relate to. Some popular versions are The Passion Translation (TPT), English Standard Version (ESV), and New Living Translation (NLT). I also really recommend getting a study Bible because that will help so much when you do happen upon some verses you don’t fully understand. I personally have an NLT study Bible that I love. But do the research, and ask your friends, family, mentors, whoever who can help lead you to a version (or versions) that are good for you!
2 | Create a plan. Honestly, if you don’t have a plan, I think that creating a routine of digging into the Word will be more difficult. Now, please understand that I am not saying you need a super structured reading plan (although that isn’t a bad thing). What I am saying is having a set time in your schedule can be helpful. Or having a reading plan. Or just knowing that twice a week you’re going to sit down and ask God where He wants to lead you that day! Whatever it is, give yourself some sort of structure.
3 | Create your mindset. This one is simple. Choose to view this as an opportunity to encounter God instead of choosing to view this as a burden or another block in your schedule. Invite God into the process. Have fun!
4 | Do this with friends! It’s good to have accountability. And it can be fun and enriching to study and learn what God is teaching different people through the same verses.
5 | Start somewhere simple. If you’re just beginning to read the Bible regularly, I would recommend beginning with something like John or the Psalms. Wait before you really dig into some of the more complex books. (Please know that I am not saying to avoid these, but I personally wouldn’t make them the first place I began!)
6 | Just do it. Ultimately there isn’t some magic power or thing that’s going to happen that will make you read your Bible. Just pray for a hunger to burn within you to know God and what He has to say. And no matter what you’re feeling or going through, just know that you have the power within you to choose to honor God through reading His Word.
Well, those are my helpful hints on how you can dig more into the Bible! Just know that God is delighted to spend that time with you, and I truly, truly hope that as 2019 really picks up that your hunger to know God and His Word will continue to grow!
God, thank You so much for giving us the Bible. Thank You for wanting to be known and interacted with. I pray that my hunger and thirst to know You will multiply and that I will satisfy that hunger by digging into Your Word. I just pray that You will point me in the direction I need to go. Thank You for who You are and all that You do. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.