On a scale of 1-10, with a 10 representing the strongest, rate how you do with reading and studying the Bible. Why did you rate yourself as you did?
If you are struggling with reading God’s Word, make a list of possible stumbling blocks.
Make a list of how we can grow closer to Jesus through the reading and studying of God’s Word.
I am giving myself a score of "8.5" - and here's why.... If a "0" means I'm not reading the Bible at all, and a "10" means I'm reading the Bible all day long, I'd have to give myself a lower score. I'm letting a "10" mean "reading the Bible as much as possible, applying the Bible to your life and bringing the Word to others."
One of my co-workers told me last week he's Catholic "we don't read the Bible, we read the Bulletin." Maybe that sounds harsh, but I'm an Episcopalian (Catholic-lite) and I knew exactly what he meant. I've gone to Church my whole life and through the liturgy I thought I knew the Bible. I taught Sunday School for 15 years! I felt pretty comfortable in my knowledge. Then I attended my first Bible study (Beth Moore's "Believing God") and my life changed completely.
In the last year I've completed the "Stepping Up" and "Esther" studies by Beth Moore. I'm working my way through Tommy Tenney's study of Esther "Finding Favor with the King" and I'm currently participating in Beth Moore's "Daniel" study. I'm also reading the Bible In A Year and I'm often blown away by revelations.
If you are a regular visitor to this site, you know that I often tie scripture to life lessons (whether in reference to toilets or purses). I try to find ways to make the Word relevant to my world today - and it's not a difficult exercise. God speaks to us through His Word and He wants us to know the message is as meaningful today as it was yesterday and as it will be tomorrow!
Here's a list of how we can grow closer to Jesus through reading and studying God's word:
1) Accept that Jesus is the Word.
2) Seek discernment through the written words of the Bible. Daily devotionals that reference scripture are a powerful way to make the word relevant to life messages.
3) Make a daily habit of reading something (even if it's only one verse) from the Bible.
4) Make a commitment to study something (even if it's only one verse) every week. Reading is fine, but sometimes we need to really chew and digest the word if we're going to graduate from milk to solid food!
5) Don't limit your reading/studying to the New Testament. God's grace is far more meaningful if we understand the foundation and history. After reading Deuteronomy, the significance of the references to Jesus as the temple left me speechless, then evangelical!
Sometimes I get so excited I want to run around telling Bible stories. To everyone! And when I get to where I can make that practice integral to my life, maybe I'll bump my score to "9".
Praise God for His Glory!