Rule #1 is that you can’t speed read the Bible. It is designed for contemplation and reflection. You need to let the words sink in, in both your mind and heart. Don’t keep the words you read on the outside. Bring them into you.
Rule #2 is to be patient. Give reading the Bible time—and an open mind and heart. You have to believe that you will find something to actually find it. Just be open to it.
Don’t expect instant results the first time you pick up the Bible. It takes some work and time. Again, re-read Rule #2.
Some question the relevance of the Bible because it is so old and, therefore, think it is outdated. I think that because it was written in and about simpler times, when all the distractions of today’s life were not a factor, the Bible gets more at the core of being human and relating to God. Yes, you have to look past some cultural differences, like gender relationships. You have to consider the historical times (Roman domination when the New Testament was written, etc.). However, the bottom line is that the Bible is as relevant today as ever.
The Bible is about the essence of being human with all its inherent emotional baggage—but without many of the external trappings that bombard us today. It is about the pure simplicity of God’s lessons on life to us.
“Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it!” Luke 11:28
Again, you will never believe or experience the power of the Bible until you read it—a slow, thoughtful, and reflective read. Focus on individual words, read a passage repeatedly, stop, and reflect. Really getting into the Bible is an investment—an investment of time, reflection, and honesty. It is an investment that has a powerful return. It helps us navigate our life journey.
What is amazing about the Bible is the thoughts that will come to you as you read it. Any good book evokes thoughts and emotions. However, the Bible goes way beyond any good book. Because it is truly the inspired Word of God, the thoughts you receive in reading the Bible are a product of God’s inspiration. What else would you expect from a book that is the Word of God? However, understand that you have to let the words you read sink in—and you have to have patience.
The Bible is our written connection with God, always waiting for us. If you are trying to listen for God’s call in your life try hearing it through the words you read in the Bible. His Word is meant to have a powerful impact on our lives.
For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there until they have watered the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and succeed in the thing for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:10-11
Reflect on this passage for a minute. The rain from above doesn’t just fall upon the earth—it produces new growth. It produces and sustains life. In like fashion, the Word of God produces and sustains new life. It does not fall deafly, unless we let it. If we let the Word of God into our hearts and minds to germinate, it inspires and nourishes. It pushes us forward in a new, positive way. The Word of God has the ability to transform the deserts of our lives—what we think are our safe places—into the Promised Land.
Let the Word of God into you. Give it a chance to inspire you.
If you really want answers, I guarantee that you will find them in the Bible. It truly is the Handbook on Life. There is a reason that it was the first book ever printed and is the most often printed book in all of history. It is truly the inspired Word of God.
Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Proverbs 30:5
So, open up the Bible today and start reading. Or if you read it regularly and are not getting anything out of it, slow down, open up your mind and heart, and think about your life. Drown out the world around you and immerse yourself. Give this time and you will get something back. It may be slow but it will be sure. Here is where you have to trust me. Reread Rule #2 above.