Friday, July 26, 2013

8 Tips for Easier Bible Reading

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. James 1:5

God wants you to have his wisdom. In fact, there's no one who wants it more for you than He does.

Reading the Bible can be hard, especially if it's new to you. I'll never forget the first time I walked into a Starbucks. I wanted to try the coffee and see what everyone was talking about, but it felt like I was in another world. The menu was filled with new words like Frappuccino, Macchiato, and Mochas. The customers seemed to speak in a different language and say things like, "I'll take a Venti Dry Cappuccino, with a double shot."


I felt insecure - like I didn't belong somehow and might say the wrong thing to the barista (aka coffee girl). "Um, this is my first time here. Can I have a medium coffee please?"

Reading the Bible may at first make you feel uncomfortable, but God doesn't want you being a stranger in his word. He wants you to get cozy, settle in and find your spiritual place in him. I don't want you feeling like an outsider either, so here are the Bible reading tips I promised you in yesterday's post,  Book of Love:

1.  Before you do anything, pray! Ask God to give you spiritual understanding so that you
can comprehend what you're about to read. He's generous and gives to all without finding fault.

2.  Make sure you have a version that's appropriate for where you are spiritually. If you're new to reading, for God's sake, don't start out in the King James Version. Go easy on yourself and get a New Living Translation (NLT), a version written in every day language. A Bible with a study guide, such as the Life Application Bible, is even better because it has all sorts of handy explanations at the bottom of the pages.

3.  Set a timer and start with a small passage or even just one sentence of scripture. Set your timer for ten minutes and just read, while asking God for understanding. He'll give it to you and it'll get easier with practice.

4.  Many Bibles have a dictionary or concordance at the end of it. You can look up words or topics that might be relevant to you, words like "forgiveness" or "temptation." Use that to jump start your reading.

5.  When you read, try to put yourself into the story or passage and ask yourself questions. If you're uncertain about what you're reading, try to read several sentences below or above the passage to see if you can gain more clarity.

6.  Invite a friend to read with you. Sometimes having another person to hash out a passage can give you greater spiritual insight.

7.  Stick with it and be patient. Sometimes you won't have understanding right away; this happened to me often when I first started. But the great thing would be that I'd be driving in my car or at work later in the week, and a situation would arise, or a song would come on the radio and all of a sudden, I'd KNOW. I'd understand and it'd be like a great surprise from God.
                                          His timing is always perfect!

8.  End in Praise! Start in prayer and end in praise, always thanking God for whatever He gives you.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.
                                                                                                                                   Psalm 100:4-5

If you have any questions, just leave a comment and I'd be happy to help you.

                                                                                                  God is faithful and wonderful!

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