Listen. The cornerstone of the life of a disciple or follower of Jesus is having a relationship with God. This relationship has a basic rhythm: we listen to God and we respond to him. We do this through daily prayer and we do this through daily Bible reading.
So how do we listen and respond to God while reading the Bible. James reminds us that reading the Bible without any intention of doing anything with it is to deceive ourselves (James 1:22). We are to read the Bible continually and carefully so that we might do what it says (James 1:22-25).
God speaks to us through the Bible and he calls to us to respond to it, to do what it says. We can respond to the Bible in a number of ways. Sometimes there is …
- a specific command to obey
- a challenge to trust God in a specific way
- a call to repent and confess our failures to trust and/or obey him.
- a challenge to pray for something specific
- a call to worship God, love him more deeply, and be thankful for him.
There is more response that we must keep in mind. Jesus says this in Matthew 5:19b “but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of God.”
Therefore, reading the Bible is a three step process: listen, respond, and share.
Reflection. How much is Bible reading apart of your daily life? What have you heard from God lately as you read the Bible? How do you responding to what God is saying to you? How are you sharing what you are learning with others?
Set Goals. See Bible Reading plan below:
Make Bible reading a part of your daily life
Choose a workable daily Bible reading plan. Here is a couple:
- Read through a book of the Bible. If you just starting out, try Mark. Read one section a day, which is usually separated by a heading.
- Follow the Connect: choose the Old Testament, New Testament or Gospel reading track.
Pray and ask God to help you understand, respond to, and share what you are about to read.
Listen. Write out the main points of the passage you are reading. Ask: what does it say about God? What does is say about us?
Respond. How does this Scripture move you to: Obey God? Trust God? Repent? Pray? Worship, love, and thankfulness for God? Be personal and specific. Not all may apply to you.
Share. What have you learned that you can share with others? Who will you share this with?