Reading the Bible is a daily necessity for true believers in the Lord. However, some brothers and sisters say, “I read the Bible every day, but I can’t feel the light. After some time, though I’ve read the Bible quite a bit, I don’t notice improvements in my life entry.” Then how exactly should we read the Bible to have growth in our lives? This article will show us three paths to reading the Bible.
- Focus on Quieting Ourselves Before God When Reading the Bible
The Lord Jesus said, “God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24). So, when reading the Bible, we should have an honest heart and quiet ourselves before God. However, most of the time, although we are reading the Bible on the surface, we are thinking about fleshly affairs or work matters in our hearts, unable to quiet before God to worship Him. This way, even though we read God’s words with a Bible in our hands, it can’t achieve good results. Therefore, when reading the Bible, we should consciously avoid the people, events or things around us, so that our hearts won’t be disturbed by them; we also should pay attention to withdrawing our hearts from events and things in the outside world and quiet ourselves before God with an honest, undivided heart, so that we can fully put our hearts into God’s words. This way, unknowingly, we will be able to understand the meaning of God’s words, gain the truths within them, and then grow in our spiritual lives.
- Do Not Read More Than We Can Digest, the Key Is to Focus on Pondering
Many brothers and sisters think that reading lots of Bible verses every day will make us progress quickly. So, we only lay emphasis on how many verses we read and memorize every day, but don’t focus on seeking and pondering their inner meaning. Often doing this only makes us familiar with the text in the Bible, and able to memorize it or understand some literal meaning of it. However, we don’t understand why verses say so and what the Lord’s will is. This way, no matter how many verses we read, our life growth is quite limited. Therefore, the key to reading the Bible every day is to focus on pondering. Take when we read the following verses, for example, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like to it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:37–39). After reading these verses, we should not continue to read other verses hastily. Rather, we should try to contemplate the meaning of these verses like this: Why does the Lord require us to love Him with all of our mind and soul? Why does He ask us to love others as we love ourselves? What is His will? By seeking and pondering, we understand that God is the Creator and we are created beings, so we ought to love and worship Him—this is one of the commandments we created beings should keep and is approved by the Lord. Besides, we also understand: The Lord came and preached, “Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand,” which means that only by repenting can we attain the Lord’s salvation. So the Lord requires us to love others as we love ourselves and to be tolerant and patient toward others, because this is also an expression of repentance. By constantly contemplating Bible verses like this, we will understand more and more why the Lord makes various requirements of us, and we will unknowingly gain more.
- Select Passages According to Our Actual Problems
Most of the time, when reading the Bible, we plod through chapter by chapter, verse by verse, without a clear purpose. This way, we won’t easily reap good results. Therefore, we should have objectives when reading the Bible every day: We can select corresponding passages according to our actual problems in real life, grasp God’s will from them and find a path of practice. Only by doing this can we derive good results and continually grow in our spiritual lives.
For example, when we serve and expend in the church, our relatives and friends urge us to do business to make a lot of money, saying that this won’t take up much of our time. If we don’t understand God’s will, we will be a little swayed and want to earn money. As a result, we will be disturbed by money when serving, unable to fully immerse ourselves in church work. At this time, we should look for Scripture about how God requires us to approach money and temptations. Let’s look at the following words from the Lord Jesus: “No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon” (Luke 16:13). “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26). “And again I say to you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God” (Matthew 19:24). From these verses, we can understand that we can’t attend to two things at a time. If we run business while serving in the church, we certainly can’t do the church work well and it will even affect our pursuing life; if we abandon our service for the sake of money, even if we ultimately become rich, will it be worth it if we lose the chance to enter the heavenly kingdom? Others’ roping in us to do business is Satan’s temptation, and God’s will is for us to defeat the temptation of money, be content with sufficient clothing and food, sincerely expend for God, and pursue life. Only by believing in God this way can we gain God’s blessings. When we understand God’s will from these verses, we will be able to overcome Satan’s temptation and our problem of being disturbed by money will be resolved.
As we can see, grasping the three points above will enable our spiritual lives to continually grow.