The life-giving power of God’s Word causes us to delight in opening that precious Book. We want more. But if we don’t understand what we’re reading, it can be anything but delightful.
I think I was about seven years old when I first became excited about the Bible. At a church children’s club I attended, we heard the story of Joseph. It was told over several weeks, and it seemed that every installment ended on a cliffhanger. I had never heard the story before, and I could hardly wait to find out what would happen next!
I remember going home and picking up a Bible that I’d received as a baby and trying to read it, but it was impossible. The font was tiny and the language archaic. I only got a few lines into it before I gave up, thinking it would have to wait until I was older.
But then one day, in the church, I began flicking through a Bible in a more modern translation. It happened to open to the story of Joseph, and as I read the now-familiar story, I realised that I could understand most of it. I asked for a Bible like that for Christmas that year, and I never looked back!
Diligence & Delight
Shortly after that, at the church club, we were given daily Bible reading notes with the challenge to complete them every day for three months. Once we finished those we were supplied with more, and so began a practice that has continued through most of my life. I’m grateful that I was encouraged in this at such an early age.
Of course there have been times when I’ve drifted – when I’ve missed days or even weeks, or when it has become something to rush through as a matter of routine, merely another item on my to-do list.
And yet something has always drawn me back.
I never fail to be amazed at how words written so long ago can still be so relevant to life today, or how even when I read a Bible passage I’ve read many times before, it can reveal fresh insights about who God is and how to live for Him. It truly is living and active, and I so desperately need the truth and wisdom it contains.
4 Things That Help Me Get Into the Bible
There are many methods I’ve tried over the years that have helped me to get into the Bible, but four things I have found particularly helpful are:
Following a plan that goes through a whole book of the Bible
Rather than plucking verses or passages at random or jumping from one book to another, I find it helpful to focus on one book at a time, to read it in context and understand the book as a whole. For the last few years, I have appreciated the reading plans at She Reads Truth.
I like to journal as I read – whether that involves jotting down the main points of the passage, journaling about how it applies to a particular situation, or writing out prayers, I find that writing slows my mind down and helps eliminate distractions.
Music has always been one of the ways I most easily learn, so I often listen to a song that ties in with what I’ve been reading in the Bible. Not only is it helpful for reflecting on at the time, but it also remains in my head, allowing me to carry God’s truth with me into the day.
This is when I find it easiest to pray – talking with God as I walk along as if I was going for a walk and a chat with a friend.
Passing It On
I’m privileged now to be in a position where I have many opportunities to share the Bible with children, often introducing them to it for the first time, and I love to witness their reactions as they hear the stories and realise that the Bible has something to say to them. I’m grateful to have the chance to do for others what the leaders of the church club did for me, because I know God’s Word is powerful.
I love how Paul’s words to Timothy sum it up:
“You have been taught the Holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus.” (2 Timothy 3:15 NLT)
Lesley lives in Scotland and works for a Christian charity. In her spare time, she enjoys music, theatre, reading, writing and walking in beautiful places, enjoying God’s creation. She blogs at Life in the Spacious Place and writes to encourage people that, whatever their circumstances, there is always hope to be found in God. You can also connect with her on Facebook or Twitter.