Read God’s Word
As was presented in the previous lesson, there are five basic ways for you to benefit from God’s Word: Hear it, read it, study it, memorize it, and meditate on it. In this lesson we will consider how reading God’s Word can make a big impact on your life.
What we are talking about here is not simply reading for the sake of reading. You want to read so that you might experience the “priceless privilege (the overwhelming preciousness, the surpassing worth, and supreme advantage) of knowing Christ Jesus My Lord, and of becoming more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him” (Philippians 3:8, Amplified).
With that in mind, it is important to remember that when you are reading the Bible, it’s best to read it slowly and thoughtfully. Have a good pen or marking pencil handy to write down your thoughts and underline key verses. Reading is more than “just reading” … you need to think as well! “Reading” is not as intense as “studying”, but you are doing it with the intention of gaining something from it!
What do you learn about God’s Word from these verses?
2 Timothy 3:16-17 tells us, “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It straightens us out and teaches us to do what is right. It is God’s way of preparing us in every way, fully equipping for every good thing God wants us to do” (NLT).
This is especially easy if you are using an online resource. You can simply type
in a key word and off you go! Record the references so you can refer back to them later.
Many people find it helpful to keep a journal. You can record what you are reading and learning from the Bible as well as any other insights God gives you about your relationship with Him, how He is working in your life, and what He is doing in and through you. A journal can be a great reminder of God’s blessings and strength!
If this is your first adventure in reading the Bible, it can be easier to start in the New Testament, reading at least one of the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John). Many teachers recommend starting with John. The book of Acts tells about the actions of the early Christians. Acts is a “must read” for all Christians. After Acts, you’ll find the letters to the first Christian churches, which give instructions and guidance for daily living. And finally, in the book of Revelation, you will see how Christ is going to end all things in this world, and begin ruling as “King of kings and Lord of lords.”
What in the Bible are you currently reading? What are you learning?
A:___________________________________________________One way to read the Bible is to simply open it and read whatever is in front of you. You can definitely gain from this approach, but being a little more systematic will be more beneficial to you in the long run. If you can actually write down some of what you are reading and thinking, that can also be valuable.
Start your reading time with two sheets of paper. On one you write down the things God is teaching you as you read, and on the second you jot down the inevitable things that come to mind that you need to attend to. That will allow you to stay focused.
What does this mean?
What caused this situation?
Why did God include this?
Why is this important?
Is this really true?
What difference does knowing this make?
What action should I take?
What am I missing?
What can I claim for myself?
Am I really trusting God?
the entire Bible in a systematic way. There are many plans available!
Here is one that you can easily manage yourself with just some scrap paper.
Instead of starting in Genesis and reading straight through all the other books, some people find it more interesting to read in different places each day. With the proposed plan outlined below, you read each time as much or as little as you wish. Remember, you are reading for understanding and with the intent of getting to know God better.
On a piece of paper that you can keep in your bible, draw a rough chart like the one below. You can start reading anywhere you like. One idea (the example shown) would be to start reading the Old Testament in Genesis and the New Testament in Matthew. Add any other books as shown.
|Date||May 5||May 6||May 9|
In the example above, this individual started on May 5 and read one chapter in Genesis and was ready to start in chapter two next time. This person read two chapters in Psalms and was ready to start on chapter three the next time. In Matthew, they didn’t read anything in that book on May 5, but started on May 6. This person didn’t read anything for a couple of days and then read two chapters in Psalms one chapter two in Romans. In this way, even if you don’t read for a couple of days, you can continue to systematically read through your Bible! And you will be reminded of how much or little you are reading!
There is no pressure. Simply read until God shows you something, then stop and think. Talk to the Lord about it and make some notes. Each day jot down the chapters that you read and then you will know where to start the next time. Modify the plan to suit your needs.
When you finish a book write in the name of the next book wherever you are in the chart, and continue on. When you fill up your chart, simply make another.
Whatever method you choose to use, get started! When you start to read God’s Word on a regular basis, you will find yourself growing in your relationship with your Heavenly Father!
What goal can you set for reading God’s Word?
How do you plan to achieve your goal?