I would like to present a method for reading the bible that is available for beginners.
‘Father help me grow in desire for you. Let me hear what you want me to hear when I read the bible today. Speak to me through it. Shine your light. Highlight the important words in my spirit. Give me ears that are open to what You have to say.’
Second, read anything.
It is easy for me to pick a verse because I am familiar with the bible.
At first it is hard to get started. Start reading the Gospel of John or the Psalms.
I like to keep it simple and brief. Read one verse John 3:16.
Third, consume it.
Digest it. Thank God for it.
Most of what God wants to say through His word is that He loves us.
It is hard to accept. He will help.
It is the simplest and hardest thing to do.
I often play this game with God where if I look at the clock and it reads all 3’s then I am on time with Him. So if I look and the clock reads 3:33 I know I am on track doing His will and being in His plan. The thing is when I get it right I am often confounded because I didn’t do anything. When I am striving too hard it is often 3:31 and when I am not participating enough it is 3:36.
I realize this is not a recommended thing to do. God had to talk to me about reading the bible as a divination device also. I could open the bible randomly and get direction for the day. This is not a bad thing in itself but it can become bad if I think it is some kind of magical device. It is not. God is the focus and reason for all I do. Not knowing the future or me having any power whatsoever.
Back to the time thing. I am perplexed when I get His timing right because it feels like I didn’t do anything. And I didn’t. But it doesn’t feel like I’m ignoring Him. I am looking toward Him and co operating with Him.
The disturbing part is how do I control and do what I need to do when i have no control over it. Or how do I check off my list of things to do today when the item says do nothing?
I can’t do nothing. I can sit here and do nothing but then I am doing something – sitting still and quiet. This is a good place to start. To be still.
It reminds me of hunting. I would be still and wait for the deer to come. I often enjoy bible reading more when I view it as a treasure hunt. There is so much treasure to find in the bible.
(Ezek 36:25) Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.
Ezek 36:26) A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh.
(Ezek 36:27) And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and you shall keep my judgments, and do them.
Oh no there’s that ugly morality thing. If I want to worship idols who are you to tell me otherwise?
‘ Just Jesus.’
(Matt 6:19) Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust does corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
(Matt 6:20) But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust does corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:
(Matt 6:21) For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Am I willing to trade the treasures of flesh such as gold, frankincense and myrrh for the treasures of heaven like faith, hope, and love which come from Jesus?
If so bible reading will not be difficult. Bible understanding will come. Hearing God will be possible and a guided life filled with many blessings will flow out of the One who gives us all good things.
It is not hard to read a book that is lovely and desirable to read. It is more difficult to read a book that is not to my liking. Just like summer reading though. If I give myself time to get into the characters I will enjoy the reading even though at first I did not want to do it.
Links for further reading: