Today we tackle the Means of Grace: Searching the Scriptures.
But is it really?
Many that are already believers start their journey by learning as much as they can about the Bible. They study it. Memorize it. Absorb it.
But at some point our reading gets stale. We realize that no matter how many times we read it, David always beats Goliath, Peter always looks away from Jesus, and Jesus’ end is always just a new beginning. Its a great bunch of stories that have a message of hope. And we often gloss over them. Or we skip right to them because they are our favorites and we miss the lesser known nuggets that we didn’t catch the first time.
So how does one read Scripture? Is there a magic formula? Can you give us some bullet points to help us out?
I’ll tell you. No. And Yes.
How to read Scripture:
1) Focus: there are times when you need to get through an entire book of the Bible in one sitting. Seminary comes to mind. Forgetting to do the daily reading the night before your Bible study meets. Or perhaps you lost a bet. But if you are just sitting down to read for some quiet time with God, really focus on the words. It will mean that you don’t miss the argument between David and his brother before he defeats Goliath. You won’t miss the one word Jesus says to Peter to get him to walk on water. And you will realize that the book of Revelation actually has a happy ending.
2) Pray: If you are reading scripture knowing that it is a means of grace, then how do you expect to encounter God in this moment? Will God answer a prayer? Give you direction? Send you an a-ha moment? Whatever you expect, it’s best to center yourself to focus on this. Plus prayer will make 1) from above a bit easier.
3) Use a Bible you can understand: Are you still using great-grandma’s family Bible? Not that there’s anything wrong with me-maw’s Bible. It worked for her but it may not be the best choice for you. Pick a media and translation that you can use comfortably. Biblegateway.com is great for online study. Youversion.com has a great app for your phone. And of course I hear there still are paper versions around. Find one that works for you and get to it!
4) Variety. Just as I gave you some great bullet points to get started, now I’m saying to shake things up every so often. Sometimes you need to just listen to the Bible (you can do this at youversion.com) or Sometimes Scripture will give you a message when you weren’t planning on reading it. And sometimes you need to read from a different translation. Changing things up keeps your Scripture Searching fresh and lets you see things that you may not have seen before. Or perhaps it wasn’t important until such a time as this.
So get out there and read! Not sure where to start? I’ll list a few of my favorites here. Just click and read.
Until Everyone Hears,