Devouring The Bible

Love God

In order to grow we need to eat

3. Devouring The Bible

What’s your experience with the Bible? Ask your Growth Coach what their experience with it is. 

Training

Why read the Bible? Why wake up 15 minutes early each day? Why go to all that trouble?  After all, sleeping is better than reading, right? Sleep has its place, but so does the Bible. Here are 10 reasons to read the Bible:

1.  Reading the Bible shows us God’s character. The Bible is our definitive source for the answers to our questions about God.

“In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven” (Hebrews 1:1-3).

2.   Reading the Bible teaches us to imitate God.

“Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children” (Ephesians 5:1).

3.  Reading the Bible helps us discover our next step.

“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path” (Psalm 119:105).

4.  Reading the Bible keeps us from sin.

“I have hidden your word in my heart  that I might not sin against you” (Psalm 119:11).

5.  Reading the Bible helps us to renew our minds so we can know God’s will.

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:1-2).

6.  Reading the Bible allows us to be certain of what God said. The Bible is our final authority.

“Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth” (John 17:17).

7.  Reading the Bible allows us to receive the desires of our heart.

“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you” (John 15:7).

8. Reading the Bible is how we learn about the gospel.

“You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life” John 5:39-40.

9.  Reading the Bible gives us courage.

“Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:8-9).

10.  Reading the Bible helps us to be fruitful.

“… but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night. That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—   whatever they do prospers” (Psalm 1:2-3).

So how do you read the Bible? We have a 50-day reading plan to get you started. It’s not just about checking off the read column – although that can be satisfying. We want the Bible to read us. We allow that by asking the questions we outline below. 

Application

Pick a time: 

  • Morning or Evening: Jesus and the psalmists are often found praying in the morning (e.g., Psalm 5:3; Luke 4:42). The evenings less so, but choose a time when you are at your best and most attentive. 
  • Lunch Break: If you have time during your workday to read during your lunch or another break, this might be a perfect way to spend your time.
  • Anytime: Some of you may have such busy lives that you need to fit it in whenever you can. This is totally normal! Make sure that whatever time you decide to read your Bible that you are in a place where you can focus and reflect on God’s Word.

Pick a strategy: 

  • Study Bible: We recommend the NIV Life Application or NIV Study Bible. If you want to get even more in-depth, look at some of the commentaries in the NIV Application Commentary Series. 
  • Bible Reading Plan: Choose a plan and work the plan. If you miss some days, do not try to catch up. Simply pick up where you left off. 
  • Journal: We recommend using a simple journal that’s easy to use. You can find these at just about any store, especially bookstores or online. 
  • Pen: To take notes within your Bible or a journal.

Put it to work:

  • Pray: Ask God to speak to you through his Word. And then expect God to speak. Your approach to God’s Word will greatly impact your times of personal worship. Ask God to search your heart and to transform your life. 
  • Read: Mark up your Bible as you read. If you have an interpretive question, use the study Bible notes to explore answers. It may be helpful to join a Bible study or home group to get further direction by your peers and leaders in the church. 
  • Journal (try to limit it to one page per day to start): Start a new page and record the date and Scripture you read on the top line. Write down a verse or two that stood out to you, word-for-word. Stay focused on what God is saying through his Word that intersects with your everyday life. This is not about speculation, private interpretations or manipulating God’s Word to say what you want it to say. This is about bringing Christ to your everyday life based on the truth of God’s Word rightly interpreted. Ask yourself and answer in your journal What does it say? How can I summarize each passage into two or three sentences?What does it mean? What does each passage teach me? What is the spiritual truths or principles in these verses? How can I apply this? What is the Lord specifically leading me to do in response to this passage?

If you have any further questions about studying your Bible or finding resources that are right for you, please ask your Growth Coach or use the form below.

Application

Read the Bible everyday. Reflect on what it says and how you can apply it. Write down any questions you have about what you’ve read to ask your Growth Coach next time you meet.

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