Pleasing God, Making Disciples of Jesus Christ

Learning To Read God’s Word

PROVERBS 2:1-5 –1 My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, 2 making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; 3 yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, 4 if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, 5 then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.

THEME OF THE DAY. LEARNING TO READ GOD’S WORD. Probably at one time or another, Christians are faced with the “how to” when it comes to reading God’s Word. Questions might arise like, “How do I read God’s Word? Should I start like any other book at the beginning? What about those middle chapters like Psalms? They seem pretty cool. And the Gospels? Looks like nice biographies of the Lord, maybe that is a good place.” And there are other questions we face when approaching the reading of the Bible, but allow me to offer three suggestions.

First, don’t do the “open book and read method.” What I mean is don’t hold the Bible, close your eyes, and just open it and off you go. Don’t laugh, the “fall wherever it opens method” does happen among uninformed Christians. And don’t do that seeking direction from the Lord on making a decision. Disastrous. Like the story of the man who did this. He prayed, “Lord direct me.” And then let his Bible fall open on the verse, “And Judas went and hanged himself.” That didn’t work so the man closed his Bible and opened it again. This time his eyes fell on the verse, “Go and do likewise.” Yikes! That is not the way to seek guidance or read our Bibles. Now a couple of suggestions . . .

Adopt a plan on reading the Bible. Yes, a plan. There are a lot of good Bible reading plans available. Find one that suits you and stick to it. Most will take you through the Bible in a year. And we can do it. It takes about twenty-minutes a day to accomplish this noble pursuit. I strongly suggest a “read through” the entire scripture. It gives us the “big picture” of God’s work in human and redemptive history.

Another suggestion is make reading the Gospels a regular discipline. A person may read three chapters of the Gospel daily and cover all four in a month and it doesn’t take much time. We need to be immersed in God’s Word but all the more so in the Gospels. There we watch Jesus in action. There we see Him with people. Incorporate Gospel readings in your schedule and “meet” Jesus along the way.

A third thing to consider in reading the Bible is spend regular time in the Psalms. No book in the Bible so details the whole of the human experience. From lofty heights of joy to deep depression to gripping fear to exalted worship, the Psalms are the windows into the human soul. It is also a great place to learn the attributes of God.

Yet, when it comes to reading God’s Word, all that I shared are good suggestions but not the main issues. Today’s scripture is the best preparation and practice a person will ever pursue when it comes to approaching God’s Word. I call this section “The Best Method for Reading the Bible.” As we ponder Solomon’s instructions, notice the elements we are to incorporate into our hearts and minds when seeking the end goal of all Bible reading – the fear and knowledge of the Lord. He mentions a receptive heart in verse one; a high value on the Word also in verse one; a commitment to alertness (no distractions) in verse 2; diligent and dependent prayer in verse 3; and the best of efforts in seeking its truths in verse four. Start here with the mind and heart being prepared, and then “execute” the plan to systematically, orderly, and profitably be in God’s Word. And make it daily!!

PRAYER: “Father, help me to approach Your Word with purpose, order, and passion to know You.”

QUOTE: “God gave us His Word with the expectation, even command, that we would seek Him through it with all our hearts.”