How Should We Read Our Bibles?
(Part 2 of a 2 Part Series on Reading the Bible. Read Part 1 Why Should We Read Our Bibles?)
But how do we read the Bible in order to receive this grace?
First, we receive the grace of God through the word of God by reading it everyday.
Why should I read it daily?
I like the way British preach John Blanchard puts it…
“How often do we face problems, temptations, and pressure? Every day! Then how often do we need instruction, guidance and greater encouragement? Every day! To catch all these felt needs up into an even greater issue, how often do we need to see God’s face, hear his voice, feel his touch, know his power? The answer to all these questions is the same: every day!”
American evangelist D.L. moody writes a similar argument when he says, “A man can no more take in a supply of grace for the future than he can eat enough for the next six months, or take sufficient air into his lungs at one time to sustain life for a week. We must draw upon God’s boundless store of grace from day to day as we need it.”
When you take in the word of God daily you will be receiving the grace of God you need to live as a thriving disciple of Christ.
Second, we receive the grace of God by studying the Bible.
If reading the Bible can be compared to cruising around a clear, sparkling ocean reef in a boat, studying the Bible is like snorkeling around that same reef. The boat crossing provides an overview of the reef and a swift, passing view of its depths. Snorkeling takes you beneath the surface of scripture for an unhurried look of clarity and detail that’s normally missed by those who simply read the text.
Practically speaking, the basic difference between Bible reading and Bible study is asking and answering questions of the text. There are times when you’re reading the Bible where you’ll wonder “what is going on!” Studying the Bible means finding out what’s going on. If you don’t have a good study Bible, you should get one. Bible study is reading the notes on the bottom that explain what’s going on in the text. It slows you down and allows you to enjoy the details that bring richness to soul. In many ways it’s like the joy that comes from the discovery when one snorkels.
Third and finally, we hear the word of God by memorizing verses and passages from the Bible.
Personally, I have found scripture memorizing to be the most rewarding in my efforts to receive his grace. The reason is that most temptations, fears, troubles will not come when your Bible is at hand.
What do you do when you have doubts or fears in your office your Bible is sitting in your car?
What do you do when you’re witnessing or counseling you won’t necessarily have time to reach for you Bible?
What do you do when you’re tempted to do something disobedient to God? It’s the word of God hidden in your heart that gives your power to overcome. David says in Psalm 119, “I have hidden your word in my heart in order that I may not sin against you.”
My point here is that scripture memory is the best way to hear from God because it’s always available to us!
But one of the best parts of scripture memorization is that is helps you meditate on the scriptures so that you can ring out the grace from every single word in those verses.
Allow me to conclude with one final illustration…
Evangelist Robert l. Sumner tells of a story of a man in Kansas City who was severely injured in an explosion. His face was badly disfigured, and he lost eyesight as well as both hands. He had just become a christian when the accident happened, and one of his greatest disappointments was that he could no longer read the Bible.
How was he to receive God’s grace to empower him through this difficult time?
He heard about a lady in England who read braille with her lips. But he tried it and discovered that the nerve endings in his lips had been too badly damaged to distinguish the characters. One day as he brought one of the braille pages to his lips, his tongue happened to touch a few of the raised characters and he could feel them. Like a flash he thought, “I can read the Bible using my tongue.” He can now fight depression, anxiety, despair, and lies! At the time that Robert Sumner shared this story, the man had read through the entire Bible four times.
Now if he can do that, can we discipline ourselves to read the Bible?
Written by Joe Gordon, Discipleship Pastor at LifePoint Church.