As we continue our overview of the principles and practices involved in following Jesus as members of His church, we come to the area of Bible reading. The Bible is God’s food for us (Heb 5. 12-14) which is sweet to the taste (Ps 119. 103), it refreshes the soul (Ps 19. 11), sheds light on our path (Ps 119. 105), makes us wise to salvation through faith in Jesus (2 Tim 3. 15-16) and is God’s manual for the whole of our lives (Matt 7. 24). The wise person builds his life upon it.
If all we need to know for salvation and a life characterised by following Jesus is found in this book, then surely we ought to make reading it a priority? Doing that is not easy but to have a disciplined approach helps us to get there. Let me suggest 4 things to assist our Bible reading:
We should read the Bible regularly: our lives revolve around daily routines and rituals and so there’s no reason why that cannot be applied to our Bible reading. Make time to read the Bible every day. If we relegate this to ‘finding’ time rather than ‘making’ time it will not be as easy.
We should read the Bible thoughtfully: It’s all too easy to read a part of the Bible and completely forget it within minutes! We can aid our understanding and retaining of what we read by asking 4 questions; what does this teach me about God and his character? What does this teach me about human nature, character and behaviour? What does this teach me about Christ and salvation? What does this teach me about the church or life in the people of God?
We should read the Bible prayerfully: ask God as you’re reading to speak to you through the passage.
We should read the Bible collectively: It’s good to read the Bible with others and study and pray together as well if you can. Jesus met with and spoke often to the Disciples together.
The Bible is a precious book, still the best seller in the world, still the Word of God assuring us of hope and a new life through faith in Jesus’ death on the Cross for our sins. Don’t miss out on the Good News. Read it.
Your friend and pastor
Rev Colin MacLeod