Tuesday, May 12, 2015

How to Read the Bible

 "For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope." Romans 15:4

In today's fast paced world, it can be difficult to actually sit down and read the bible. Just as it can be difficult to find time to exercise. Think about the correlation between these two. To lose weight, get healthy and truly have that lifestyle change that everyone talks about and so badly desires, you have to put in the work. 

Weight loss programs, diets and calorie counters help unless we get into a routine of doing what we were suppose to have already been doing and what we will have to do the rest of our lives to maintain that girlish figure we all seek...EAT RIGHT and EXERCISE. Daily we have to watch what we put into our bodies and feed ourselves the good stuff (or as I call it, rabbit food- salad). We also have to exercise. That's right we have to literally work what our mama's gave us...flab and all! We have to get our lazy selves out of bed and MOVE! Please don't think I am being mean or calling YOU lazy, actually I am totally preaching to myself right here in this very moment. 

We have to work our bodies and move our muscles because God never created or intended for us to sit behind a computer screen all day or allow our thumbs on our tablets and phones to get more workouts than any other part of our bodies. All the conveniences we have in this day and age should allow us time for working out, but what do most of us do instead? Fill up that time with other activities that still disable us from properly taking care of ourselves and our bodies.

The same is true for reading your bible. Reading devotionals, blogs and other uplifting books helps, but they can't replace the BIBLE. You get out what you put in, just like in your health. You eat right and exercise, you will start seeing results. You get up and read your Bible and really put in the work, you reap benefits as well. So here is a few tips to get you started and to answer the all time question: Where do I start reading the Bible?

1. Don't close your eyes and randomly flip through pages just to set your finger down on a verse and think "this is what God wants to speak to me today." You might find something like: "He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” 1 Kings 19:4

2. Start in the New Testament, literally anywhere...the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John those are great. You can randomly pick a book in the bible but read it through it's entirety. 

3. If you do start with a devotional, actually look up the scriptures that are generally listed at the bottom and instead of only reading those, look at it in it's full context. Read the whole chapter surrounding it, asking God to show you more and speak to you. 

4. When working through a book in the Bible, read only a chapter or two at a time, take notes, write down what YOU got out of what God was saying. 

5. Find a verse that sticks out to you and write it on an index card and stick it somewhere you will see it everyday- this helps with memorization.

6. I also love to take a picture of a highlighted verse in my bible and save it as a screensaver on my phone. If I look at my phone 20 times a day, I'll be reading over that verse too.

7.  Highlight verses in your bible! I love doing this because I know that certain verse spoke to me about something in particular in my life during that time. So when I flip through my bible even years later, I smile when I see all the messy highlighted and underlined parts.

8. Get a bible that has footnotes. So when you do come across a part that sounds a but funny to you, you can look at the bottom of the page for clarification.

9. When I find a verse I really like, I type it into my youversion app on my phone and re-read in several different translations to get a good feel behind the meaning and purpose of that certain verse.

10. For me personally, I try to not get on social media  AT ALL, until I have read my bible, prayed or had my quiet time with the Lord. I feel I have no business talking to anyone else unless I have talked to God first.

These are all merely suggestions on ways to help you get started or things that you can implement in the quiet time you might already be enjoying. 

There are no rules here. God wants to just spend time with you. He wants you to speak to Him and He will speak back to you and sometimes it's in His word. So I certainly don't want any of you ladies to miss out on an outlet for God to speak to you. 

Prioritze your time! Make room for Him in your schedule and routine. I am not saying anything to you I haven't had to figure out for myself also. I hope that through your own personal journey through God's word this year, He will reveal to you amazing things!

Enjoy this awesome song by Hillsong United called "Gracious Tempest". I love it because she stops singing in the middle to read her Bible.


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