Wednesday, January 11, 2017

How to Read the Bible

Many believers don't enjoy reading their Bible because they read it the wrong way. I don't mean that they read it upside down, but that they don't really know how to feed on God's Word (Matt. 4:4). If you read just to get through a set amount, then you will race to be finished instead of savoring every bite. It's hard to enjoy a meal you are rushing to get it over with. If you read only for content, then you will learn a lot of truth, but it may not stir your heart or change your life in any way. You can be wise and still have a cold, dead faith. If you read solely for application, then you will be convicted of your sin and feel a burden to make corrections in your life, but you may begin to think of Christianity as merely a self-improvement plan. All of these ways of reading God's Word are good in their own right, but they are all insufficient in and of themselves and should be subordinate to the main way that we read the Bible.

Read the Bible to find out who God is! We can't forget that Scripture is the second greatest revelation of our God (Jesus Christ being the first and most perfect revelation) (Heb. 1:1-3 & 2 Cor. 3:14-18). So when we read Scripture it is fitting that we should ask of the text what it reveals to us about God. What is He like? Then once we have gotten a clear view of the greatness of God, all of the sudden praise becomes a part of our Bible reading regimen. Awe returns to our faith and we begin to worship at the throne of God every time we open His Word. All the other appropriate ways to read Scripture flow naturally from this starting point. Once Scripture has reminded us of God's greatness, then we will want to understand His plans for our lives. We will want to follow His commands meticulously and we will know that our only hope of doing that is through the indwelling power of His Spirit in us. We will want to meditate on His Word and think deeply about all its treasures so we can harvest them and call them our own.

Take a moment to read these three verses from Psalm 40 and as you do seek to answer the question "What is God like?" But don't just make a list of attributes, pause and praise God for each attribute you find. Take time to turn your Bible reading into bible-fueled worship! For your edification I am including the list of attributes that God revealed to me from these verses in my personal quiet time this morning.
I waited patiently for the Lord;he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,out of the mud and mire;he set my feet on a rockand gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,a hymn of praise to our God.Many will see and fear the Lordand put their trust in him.                               Psalm 40:1-3

  • God is worth waiting for
  • God hears our cries. He listens to me!
  • He turns toward us. He is eager to draw near.
  • He is our Savior in every sense of the word!
  • He is not afraid to get dirty in order to save His children. (Consider this in light of Jesus' willingness to take our sins on Himself in order to save us from God's wrath.)
  • He lifts up.
  • He turns lives around dramatically.
  • He gives us a firm foundation for life. He is our firm foundation for life. 
  • He is the reason we sing. He inspires us to praise and He is worthy of all praise.
  • He is trustworthy!
Praise the LORD!

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