[e-Devotionals] 2000-07-19 - Spiritual Disciplines

Bible Reading, Part 2
Originally Published 1997-01-29

Ezra 7:10 For Ezra had devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law of the LORD, and to teaching its decrees and laws in Israel.

Matthew 4:4 Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'"

John 17:17 Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.

Last week I talked about the importance of daily Bible reading. This week I want to look at some practical, yet simple ways to get into reading the Bible, which have helped me. Of course, what works for me, may not work for you. It took me years of trying to figure out a way to ensure that I read the bible everyday. The key to doing it is growing in Christ and loving Christ so much, and being so appreciative for what He did for us on that cross nearly 2000 years ago, that we naturally thirst and hunger for His word, His truth.

The very first step I recommend is getting a version of the Bible with which you feel comfortable. I nearly failed English Literature in college because I had a hard time with Old English. : ) We have a wealth of translations available. Take the time to find one that is right for you. I often read paraphrased editions such as "The Message" and "The New Living Bible". They are wonderful for reading, but I do not recommend them for serious in-depth bible study. I prefer the New Living Translation, and gain much insight from finding the original Hebrew or Greek words.

Ideas for Daily Reading

  1. Set a time during the day for reading the Bible. Make an "appointment" with God and keep it. I am a morning person and love being immersed in HIS word before the kids wake up, and before getting bogged down in my hectic daily work. Have a plan and follow your plan.
  2. Daily devotional guides are an excellent way to get started. Most churches have these available. Some good ones are "Guideposts", "Daily Bread," and Moody has a good one called "Today's Word".
  3. Read the Bible to your children. I have learned much from reading Children's Bible Stories to my kids. The obvious added benefit is showing your children how important God's word is to your family. My daughters now read their Bibles every night before bed. It has become a habit with them.
  4. Buy a version of the Bible on cassette tapes. I often listen to God's Word in my car or while exercising. I have also found when my mind is very cluttered and I have trouble concentrating, listening to the tape and following along in the Bible will propel my reading back to where it needs to be.
  5. Buy a "One-Year Bible". This version is arranged in daily reading that will take you through the God's Word in twelve months. These Bibles come in various versions and are arranged in a logical manner.
  6. Find a partner and do a topical Bible study together. For me, this has been a very rewarding way to read the Bible. The neat part is the built-in accountability you have by having a partner.
  7. Join a Bible study group or better yet, if you have the ability to teach, start one. I have learned more, and concentrate more on my reading, by teaching. The old adage "The best way to learn is to teach" is so true.

Dear Father, increase in us a hunger and thirst for Your Word. Father, guide us and direct us in finding a plan that places Bible reading as a top priority in our lives. Thank You for your Word and mostly we thank You for your Son Jesus Christ, who died for us -- in our place -- so that we will have eternal life. In HIS precious name we pray, Amen.

David Massey