4 Tips for Better Bible Reading
If you read your bible this morning, the question is: do you remember what you read? And more importantly, do you have a general idea of what God spoke to you that applies to your current life? If you do, then that's awesome! You are definitely in the minority.
It's unfortunate, but it seems that daily bible reading has become another mindless activity in our day. We want to be "good Christians" so we open our bibles up and read something most days and check it off the religious checklist in our heads without giving it much reflection or additional thought.
Fortunately, it doesn't have to be that way if we decide to be intentional about our bible reading!
Here are 4 tips for better bible reading:
In order to read your bible, you need to read your bible... right?
If you struggle with the daily discipline of bible reading, I encourage you to make a commitment to yourself for the next 21 days. Follow along with my devotional (see below) and find a friend to do it with you for accountability. Read on your own and then check in with each other to see what God is speaking to each of you.
My suggestion for anyone doing daily bible reading is to pick a book of the bible (if you're a newer Christian, start in the New Testament) and read through it in small portions each day--ideally no more than 10 verses.
Using a pen, place a mark in your bible to show which part of that passage stood out to you the most. Write the verse number and the main idea in a journal.
After you've written down the part of the passage that stood out to you, ask God what message or truth he wants to impress upon you with that scripture.
Dig deep by asking specific questions:
- What are you wanting to teach me with this verse?
- How does this verse apply to my day today?
- Is there something you would like me to start doing?
- Is there something you would like me to stop doing?
Now take the time to write down what you felt God spoke to you. You don't need to worry about getting it exactly right! Just summarize the general message that you felt he was trying to impress upon you.
In addition, take a moment to think of any action steps that you can apply to your day or your life based on what you've just learned.
If you feel led at this point, spend a few minutes in prayer. Thank God for his faithfulness in your life, the truths that he is teaching you, or anything else for which you feel grateful.
For me personally, it's at this point in my daily routine that I bring my wants, needs, and desires before God. If I start my morning thinking about what I want or need, my focus tends to be on myself and I'm not very open to hearing from God. By focusing on learning from him first and thanking him second, I can then come before him with a clear mind, open heart, and less selfish motives.