How to Read the Bible
One of the great truths of the Christian faith is that we have a God who wants to communicate with us through His word, the Bible. 2 Timothy 3: 16-17 [NLT] tells us that the whole Bible…’is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realise what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.’
Young people we want you to be equipped to follow Jesus but in order to be equipped by God you have to spend time in the Bible and reading it once a week at YF isn’t enough. Now we know it can be difficult to motivate yourself to read the Bible, as it is often hard to understand and there are so many distractions, but that is no reason to give up. After all many of the things that are worth having in life require discipline and the Bible is no different. In fact, I can promise you this – If you read the Bible regularly you will grow to love it and you will be amazed by how much God changes you.
The video below gives some really practical tips for reading the Scriptures:
Set aside a time when you can read the Bible — if you are a morning person get up half an hour earlier or stay up a bit later, it doesn’t matter when you read the Bible but it won’t happen unless you are intentional. Find a place where you won’t be distracted by your family/friends and turn your phone off. Also plan what part of the Bible you are going to read — if you have never read the Bible you may be tempted to start from the beginning in Genesis but you will probably end up feeling confused. Start with the Gospel of Mark, this is the shortest account of Jesus’ life and ministry and will give you a great overview of the things Jesus said and did while he was here on earth. After this you could move on to Acts or a letter like Ephesians/Philippians.
The Bible is God’s Word and this is the same God who created absolutely everything including the things that excite us. Reading the Bible is often difficult but it shouldn’t bore us every time we open the Scriptures, one way to avoid this is to be creative as you read the Bible — draw pictures if you are arty, highlight key words/phrases, write the verses out in your own words, go for a walk and pray, listen to Christian music to help you focus, memorise key verses — the list could go on but the key here is to be creative!
God never intended for us to do this on our own, we are made to be in community and to learn from/encourage one another. You might think that older Christians find it really easy to read the Bible but the reality is that we are all the same and we all struggle with engaging with the Scriptures. Read the Bible with other people, ask questions, challenge one another and learn from older, more mature followers of Jesus.
The bottom line — I have never met a mature, strong Christian who doesn’t read the Bible every day and I have never met a weak Christian who does.