the more i read the bible, the more i am convinced of its truth and its power. for those of us who believe in God and are trying to follow Christ, i realize daily how foolish we are to make this attempt apart from God’s word. my growing passion is to see each of you finding time daily to read, study, learn and apply the messages and the truths of the scriptures.
i realize, though, that for so many, this seems allusive. it’s not just making the time commitment. it’s the daunting challenge of picking up ancient writings and making sense of them. after all, they were originally written centuries ago in languages and cultures that are absolutely foreign to us. where do we even begin to read, and how are we supposed to understand, much less apply what we read?
if this is your struggle, i want this week’s post to provide some guidance. so here we go…
1. Get the right bible
threshold doesn’t have an ‘official’ bible, but i do use the new living translation most of the time. i find it is an easy-to-understand translation that communicates quite well what each biblical writer had in mind. if you don’t have a bible, or feel like the one you are using is too difficult, i highly suggest you go get an NLT. further, i suggest an NLT Study Bible – it has tons of notes and maps and charts to help all of this make sense to you. the purchase also comes with a code that allows you to use the entire thing online.
(click for a sampler from genesis)
2. Choose one book of the bible and read it
reading plans are abundant and helpful, but if regular bible reading is a challenge or somewhat new, cut your teeth with a fairly short book. you’ll get through it quickly, and this will build your confidence. if you have or buy a study bible, read all of the notes at the bottom of each page as well. this will dramatically increase your understanding, and thus your ability to apply the truths to your life. for the next few months, why not hang out in ephesians, since we are working our way through it together in sundays?
3. Meditate and pray
the power of God’s word is in the personal application. you might read all the way through a book like ephesians once fairly quickly, but after that, take it slow. don’t be in a hurry. live with a small section all week, perhaps using the one you heard last sunday to guide you though the coming week. revisit it. let various words or sentences jump out. sit quietly and invite God to speak to you through what you have read. pray and ask God to point you to something in your life that needs addressed by the text.
the bible rocks! it just does. all it takes is a commitment and a little time to raise your comfort level, which will have you soaring in no time. the promise is this: get familiar with it and then read it regularly. it will change so much of your life for the better. guaranteed.
so, take a risk. no more excuses. make the commitment. see what God will do.