Bible Reading 101: Buy a Bible. Start reading it.
In all seriousness this is an important topic. God has given us a manual for life. He has given us endless wisdom and revelation. We need to take advantage of that amazing gift! The Word of God is our spiritual food, we can’t function properly feeding ourself one meal at church on Sunday. Church on Sunday should leave you hungry for more on Monday!
The Bible is not just a book, and it can’t be understood as a book, or a history textbook, or a scientific document. It is the living Word of God and you need read it through that lens. The Bible has 66 different books and can be intimidating for a number of reasons. There is no reason to worry, God wants to take all of us on an exciting journey with Him!
I could go on for pages about why the Bible is important, however what is even more important is the condition of your heart. In Matthew 13 Jesus explains the condition of people that hear the Good News, the Gospel, and how 3/4 people, (75%) are not able to fully receive it. There is nothing wrong with the message, but people have blockages in their heart that need to be removed. The problems in people’s hearts are not necessary their fault, you don’t have to plant anything for weeds to start growing, but we have the responsibility to recognize and take care of them.
I came into church with a heart like a field of stones and barely any good soil. Then I went through a process that did not happen overnight, and during the process God revealed more and more about His Word. If you’re not regularly reading the Bible take a look at Matthew 13 and ask God to reveal to you the condition of your heart.
Everyone is in different places and seasons of life, I believe that like prayer, our goal for Bible reading should be “often”. Jesus prayed often, see Luke 5:16. God does not command us to spend three hours every day studying the Hebrew word definitions in the Bible. It should be a priority in your life. If you’re spending time scrolling through Instagram then you have time to read God’s Word. Like I said, the goal is for improvement, consistency, and setting up proper priorities.
If you have no idea where to start I would recommend to every person the YouVersion Bible App. It’s completely free without any ads, it has every version of the Bible, a search tool, and great daily devotionals. They didn’t pay me to advertise, it’s honestly an amazing resource to have on your phone. You can take it everywhere and even set reminders so you don’t get lost in the business of life!
If it feels like the Bible is dry and boring do not give up! Ask God for deeper revelation, ask what you should be reading, and go back to check the condition of your heart- weeds sprout up more than once. I have read the same stories in the Bible over and over and over again and still receive new revelation from them. I know pastors that have read and studied the Bible for years and still find new information! God wants to reveal His secrets to you. He wants to show you things that you’ve never seen or heard before. Because the Bible is a living and active Word (Hebrews 4:12) it is always relevant to you!
I can honestly say that I read the Bible every day. That’s not to brag or claim I’m more righteous, but to show that God has ignited a passion inside of me and I know He will do the same for you! Not every day looks the same, there are some days where I only read a few sentences, and other days where I can spend a couple hours reading. My Bible reading goals are “often”, and “improvement”.
When you want to take your Bible study to the next level look at buying a concordance, it gives you all of the Hebrew and Greek words from the Bible, their meanings, and which verses they’re used in. Another tip is to read the same passage more than once. Doing this will bring you into a deeper revelation that can only come from God. God will highlight a specific verse to you and likely wants to expand the meaning of it to you personally.
If you’re having trouble with this area know that God is patient with us. Ask Him to fuel your passion, ask for eyes to see and ears to hear Him!