5 Tips To Improve Your Bible Reading

August 1, 2009 — 1 Comment

I read an article from Beliefnet that I thought my followers could find helpful.  The author is Chris Brooks, of whom I know nothing about, but I liked his simple and quick insights. Normally I would just share a link (which I did), but it is harder to navigate the way they set it up as compared to the list form I have below.  I will be “On a Boat” for the next week so I won’t be blogging at all. Have a great week!

Brooks says:

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” (2 Tim 3:16).

And yet there are so many passages that make you go “huh?” Over the years I’ve found five questions that can help make any passage “devotional.” These aren’t necessarily quick and easy to apply, but with a little time and thought they can help you get to some of the juicy goodness in a passage.

1. What Does This Tell Me About God?

The nature and character of God is the bedrock on which the scriptures are built. Sometimes you have to look past the details of the text and ask what they tell you about God. Find out what the passage is telling you about God and worship Him anew.

Example: Leviticus 10 (Don’t take the easy option and think about God’s “temper.”)

2. What Does This Tell Me About Me or Humans?

The Bible has lots to say about God. It also has a lot to say about human nature (especially my nature). Reflect on what it teaches you about you.

Example: Deuteronomy 13

3. What If It Were Me?

I often read the Bible as if it were on a higher plane, but those events took place in our world. Get down into the details: feel those people’s pain; cry with them; laugh with them. Read the Bible narratives like you would any other story.

Example: Isaiah 6 (At some point you should say, “Ouch!” Reflect on what that teaches you.)

4. How Does This Fit Into the Grand Narrative?

The Bible is one story, from Genesis to Revelation. Each event is part of that over-arching story. Find where the passage you’re reading fits into the grand narrative and you will better understand the passage; you may also see God’s plan in a new light.

Example: Joshua 8

5. Is There Anything I Need to Know, Stop, Change, or Do?

This comes straight out of 2 Timothy 3:16. Every passage should tell you at least one of these things. (Be careful not to stop at “know” too often; that’s an easy cop-out.) The epistles are obvious, but the narratives are God-breathed too. Look for the insight, for the example, or for the warning in historical and prophetic passages.

Example: Amos 2:6-16

Take It One Question at a Time

Ask these questions one at a time until one of them reveals a truth upon which you can meditate or worship or which you can apply to change your life.

Jonathan Sigmon

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One response to 5 Tips To Improve Your Bible Reading

  1. I like these thoughts, man. I fall in love with the 1st one, “what does this tell me about God”. What helps take me from reading out of obligation to reading out of purpose is that question. In every book, there should be something you can learn about God that will help you understand the One we follow. I think one of the bigger distractions from reading God’s Word is reading out of obligation, out of duty. If our walk is out of obligation, then I think we’ve missed a lot about this relationship with God. Now, I believe that as a Christian, reading Scripture is a responsibility as well as a privilege. The purpose is greater than just checking something off a list. If your checking things off a list, it’s likely your selling yourself short of the fullness that is located in what you’re reading and ultimately, selling God short of what He teaches throughout Scripture. I’m reminded of Jeremiah 29:13 where it says, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all of your heart”. What I’m saying in this tangent is, reading out of obligation is not God’s desire. His desire is to have a real, active, authentic relationship. You can always tell when somebody’s not engaged in a conversation. I’m guilty of being the person who’s talking to people and looking around for other people to talk to or to see who I’m going to talk to next. Reading out of obligation tends to be disengaged. Thinking actively about what certain passages can tell me about God is a way I find helpful for keeping my focus on what I’m reading and why. just some thoughts. I know it’s a tangent, but I just want my dang free CD. haha. just kidding.

    Overall, brother, I’ve appreciated reading your thoughts throughout different blogs. It’s encouraging, so keep it up.

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