Q&A 12/31/2017

Q&A.png

I know I should read the Bible but how should I do it was with a purposeful meaning. How do I read the Bible to get the most out of what I'm reading, not talking about plans?

Great question! I am suspecting that at the heart of your question is a desire to find deep satisfaction in the Word of God. You’re on the right track, simply by asking this question. This starts by having an active, communicative, and personal relationship with Jesus. Next, always pray as you get into the Word. For me, I’ll pray something like this: “God, open my eyes that I might see what You want to teach me from Your Word today.” Then, it’s about faithfully believing what the Bible says about itself. The Bible tells us that it is more valuable than gold and fine riches; it’s sweeter than honey; and, it has the authority to speak truth into your life and change you. When you begin to believe that God’s Word is a treasure to delight in--because it is the very Word of God-- that’s when you’ll begin to find purpose and meaning in what you read.

The other side of purposeful meaning is understanding. There are two really important things you can do to facilitate fully understanding of the Word: [1] Study the Bible with others and [2] Read a scholarly commentary on the text. A Life Group or Bible study is a great place to study the Bible with others. Check out Gateway’s Connect webpage to learn more about joining a Life Group. A commentary is also really helpful when reading the Bible. One simple way to do this is by getting a good study Bible, such as the ESV Study Bible. It provides the biblical text and some brief commentaries about certain verses throughout.

 

So I started reading..... After I read what is shown, what do I do? And can I keep reading or just follow the day to day plan? Is this all the reading I should be doing?

Bible reading plans are created to be guides that keep you on track. If you’d like to read ahead, feel free. If you’d rather slow down to spend time studying a particular text, please do. Although it can be good to challenge yourself, it isn’t wise to try to read so much that you get discouraged and quit. On the other hand, it’s not wise to only read a verse or two each day, because you will not read for context in the whole of Scripture, and you’ll miss out on appropriately understanding and growing in the Word. There are so many methods people use to read the Bible, but for me, I read it daily in a devotional sense, and then I try to set aside some time each week to do deeper study (in addition to my study for ministry with our church).