Practical Tips for Reading the Bible

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Fall in Love

I have heard this story, real or imagined I don’t know, which tells us the real motivation in reading the Bible.

An author liked a girl and wanted to marry her. But she was not interested. Anyway the author gifted her with a copy of his latest book. She was in no mood to read it and kept it aside somewhere.

Five years later; for no particular reason she fell in love with the author. The first thing she did was to search and find the book the author had gifted her with five years ago. And she read the book with great passion from beginning to end.

What made her read the book which she had no interest to read at all? She fell in love with the author.

Are you in love with God? Then the Bible will come alive for you in a way never before. So pray that you’ll fall in love with God. He has already loved you with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3).

Ask the Author Himself

Quite recently, a friend of mine wrote an article which was published on a special occasion. There was one particular statement in that brilliant article I did not understand. I asked a few others who had read the article the meaning of that statement. I got different opinions. But none of them satisfied me.

After a few weeks, I met my friend at a social gathering. I suddenly remembered my doubt and asked my friend the meaning of that statement which I had found difficult to understand. Then when he explained it to me, I understood the real meaning of the statement.

Many others had given their opinions; but no one could clearly explain it as best as the author himself. The Bible though written by over 40 authors in a time span of around 1600 years was inspired by the Holy Spirit. Therefore, before you read the Bible pray to God to illuminate (throw light upon) the passage you’re reading. When you pray in earnest, God will certainly help you understand (see how God send Philip to assist the Ethiopian eunuch to understand the Word of God he was reading; Acts 8:26—40).

Tune Out Other Voices
When the land phone rings and I pick it up and find that it is an important person on the other side of the line I often have to ask others to do so many things for me to able to listen clearly. I ask someone to lessen the volume of the TV or change it to mute; I ask others to stop talking loudly or if there is noise coming from outside the room I ask to close the door.

Why take all these steps? I take these steps to tune out other voices so that I can clearly listen to the important person who is speaking. It is the same when we try to listen to God as we read the Bible. Our minds, after having listened to the news, gossip, slander, criticism, negative talk, and a host of things like that are corrupted to the extreme. It will not be in a receptive mood to take in the Word of God.

So we will have to tune out those voices to listen to God. That is one reason why men of God like Moses, David, Elijah, John the Baptist had to go through desert experiences.

It is best to sit with the Bible after a moment of prayer asking God to open your minds to understand the truths written in his Word (Psalm 119:18, Luke 24:32; 45). It is also best to spend time with God’s Word early in the morning before reading the newspapers (because the news of this world will take away the appetite for God’s Word) or switching on the TV to see even a Christian programme.

Also have a Bible Reading Plan like the Five Lane Plan to help you develop a habit of effective reading of God’s Word.

 

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