Like many of you, we are beginning a new Bible reading plan in our home for this year. I often hear wonderful messages on the subject of reading the Word of God. The Scriptures are so wonderful! We may grow stale, but the Lord is perennially fresh!
We are instructed in 1 Timothy 4:13 to “give attendance to reading.” Reading the Bible is not the end of what we should do with the Word of God, but it is a good beginning. The simple discipline of reading the Scriptures will do wonders for your heart and home. It will give God the opportunity to speak to you in a personal way.
There are a variety of different Bible reading plans available. Use these seven suggestions to help make your time in God’s Word more meaningful each day:
1. Read systematically. Have a definite place to begin each day. My practice for how much to read is this – I read until I know God has spoken to me. I read until I am led to turn what I am reading into prayer.
2. Read slowly. Meditate on what you are reading. Do not rush. In the word of the Psalmist, “Selah.”
3. Read prayerfully. Pray over the Bible passage. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you understanding. Allow the verses to become the starting point for your confession, praise, intercession, and communion with God.
4. Read verbally. It is easy to be distracted when you read the Bible. The enemy loves to distract and the flesh is weak. Read out loud. In this way, your eyes, ears, mouth, and mind are all engaged in the Bible reading. This practice will help you to concentrate more on what you are reading.
5. Read consistently. Set an appointment to meet the Lord and guard it jealously. Reserve an optimal time and quiet place to listen to the voice of God.
6. Read obediently. Identify one step of action you will take each day. One. We move from hearing the Word to doing it one step at a time.
7. Read purposefully. God’s purpose is bigger than just you. Read to share truth with others. Providentially God will put people across your path each day who need what you just learned. I have found it helpful to write down in a journal what God is teaching me so that I can better remember the truth. Make it a habit to then relay what you receive throughout your day.
A.W. Tozer observed, “Whatever keeps me from my Bible is my enemy, however harmless it may appear to me.” Deal with your enemies. Determine to get well acquainted with your Bible and better acquainted with your God.
At the first of this year, we should apply the principle and claim the promise found in the final book of the Bible, “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophesy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand” (Rev. 1:3).
When we finish this year I hope it will not be said of us what Jesus said to the Pharisees, “Have ye not read…?” (Matt. 19:4)