“Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path” (Psalm 119:105)
God shaped the entire universe by his word, and he shapes our lives the same way. Reading the Bible is not meant to be done just for information, but for formation. God uses the Bible to shape us to become more like Jesus - the one to whom the Bible points.
When reading the Bible it is important to understand that you’re not reading just an ordinary book. It’s actually a Holy Spirit inspired library of 66 books written by dozens of authors in multiple languages over thousands of years. At the same time, it is very readable and carries a consistent message from front to back. The message is about God’s love for humankind, and how he liberated us from our sins through Jesus, and plans to bring justice and peace to the whole world.
Sometimes the Bible is hard to understand, and some parts of the Bible may seem strange or even brutal. But the more you learn to love and trust Jesus - the central figure of the Bible - the more the rest of the it makes sense.
As you consider how to introduce, or strengthen, a practice of Bible reading try the following:
1. Set aside a specific time every day for Bible reading.
2. Consider using a pre-made Bible Reading plan. There are lots of options on the YouVersion Bible app, or the Bible in one year reading plan from the Bible Project.
3. Before you start reading ask God to help you understand and apply what you’re about to read, and to use the scriptures to shape your life.
4. Ask some questions about what you've read: What did this passage mean to those to whom it was originally addressed? What does it mean today? What should I do about what I've read?
5. Meet regularly with others to pray, read and discuss the Bible. The Bible was not meant to only be read alone. Consider joining a Connect Group.