Wednesday, January 13, 2016

How Can I Read the Bible and Get Something from It?

These are just tips or ideas. This is actually my own question that I've been asking, as I've realized my Bible reading has not been so great lately. But I hope these ideas are helpful to you, too.

1)Have a Plan
Make a Bible Reading plan that will work for you and stick to it.
Lately I haven't been reading in a particular place in my Bible and it's not the best! Although God can use any verse in the Bible to speak to you, it's definitely better to follow some kind of a plan rather than trying to decide what to read every time you open your Bible.
I decided to use a plan in the back of my Bible which reads through the Bible in two years. So that means 2 chapters every day, one in the Old Testament and one in the New.
But there are different ideas:
Book by book
Bible Characters
Proverbs--1 chapter per day, as there's 31 chapters
A chapter in the Old and one in the New
'Read the Bible in a Year' plans

2) Make a specific time and place
Find a time that will work best for you. It's nice to do it first thing in the morning, but if you're more awake at night than in the morning maybe the evening would be better. What time do you concentrate best? 

3) Use a journal
Have some type of book that you can write down things you learn, verses that speak to you or a passage that stands out. It will help you remember.

4) Keep track of what you're reading
You could write down which chapters you've read in your journal so you remember where you're up to. Or else use bookmarks.

5) Pray first
Before you start reading, pray for God's help. There is a prayer in the psalms that says "Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law." Psalms 119:18 That's a good prayer to pray.
6) Ask questions as you read.
Here are some ideas:
What does this passage teach me about God? and about myself?
Is there a command, promise, warning or fact/truth in here? What can I apply to my life and how?

If reading a story about someone, you can ask...
What can I learn from this person?
What did they do right?
What did they do wrong?
What consequences did they get for their sin or what reward did they get for doing right?

7) Underline verses that speak to you.
I have found this really helpful. It makes the Bible more personal for me. It helps me concentrate and it helps me to find verses that I know.

8) Write down a prayer in response
In your journal you could write a short prayer as a response to what you've read. A prayer that is somehow appropriate to something you've just read.

9) Mix the hard with the easy
If you're not familiar with the Bible, it would be best to just start somewhere easy, like Genesis or Matthew, Mark, Luke or John.
But if you're more familiar...if you read a difficult took, read an easier book at the same time so you don't get discouraged and give up.
I remember hearing an Israeli telling my mum he had started reading the New Testament for the first time. He was reading Revelation! Mum told him that Revelation isn't a good book to start with. He replied, "What's wrong with it?" Mum explained that there is nothing wrong with it, but it's just a very difficult book!"

10) If possible, read aloud.
You have to concentrate when you're reading aloud!

11) If you have time, read it twice.
Sometimes you can miss things when you only read it once.

 12) Read a paraphrase/easy version/ or commentary alongside your regular version.
I have the Living Bible which is a paraphrase. My regular Bible is a KJV, so I sometimes find it handy to read the chapter I've just read in my Bible in the Living Bible, especially if what I'm reading is difficult to understand. There are some verses I never understood until I read them in there. Now I know what those verses are talking about!

13) Listen to the Bible being read.
My Dad isn't a very good reader, so ever since he's been a Christian, he's listened to the Bible on tape. Now he can listen to it on his phone. It's also quite handy if you're doing something quiet, like scrapbooking or cleaning. You can listen at the same time!

I have just downloaded the whole audio Bible from It's free and I got the dramatized one which is good if you don't concentrate very well when listening, like me! You can choose which version and language you want. It's quite amazing really!

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