If prayer – at its simplest form – is talking to God, then reading the Bible – at its simplest form – is letting God talk to you.
When you really break it down, reading the Bible (like prayer) is communication. And communication is a crucial element in any intimate relationship…including a relationship with God. Without communication, relationships die.
Through the Bible, God speaks to the core issues of your life. He roots out the anger behind the depression many experience. He uncovers the insecurity behind your self-destructive habits. He tells you how deeply loved and accepted you are. He draws you to Himself by explaining the price He paid to know you and to be known by you.
For you to have consistency in your relationship with God, it is crucial for you to have consistent, intimate time with God through reading the Bible.
Here are five easy steps to allow God to rock your wold through the Bible…
- GET A BIBLE. Sounds weird, but I meet people all the time who do not own a Bible. Invest in a Bible. Download a Bible app (I highly recommend the YouVersion Holy Bible app for iPhone and iPod Touch).
- FIND A TRANSLATION YOU CAN UNDERSTAND. There’s the NIV, NLT, Message, TNIV, ESV, NASV, King James, NKJV, CEV, Amplified, NCV, etc…Here’s the point: there are options. Don’t read a Bible you can’t understand. Find one you can understand.
- CARVE OUT SPECIFIC TIME IN YOUR DAILY SCHEDULE TO READ THE BIBLE. Find a time that works with your schedule. I recommend either right when you wake up or right before you go to sleep. Be consistent with that time. Combine this time with your prayer time.
- ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS WHEN YOU PRAY. When reading a specific passage, ask yourself these four questions: What does this passage say? Learn to summarize the Bible in your own words. Why is this important? Understand why you need to know this fact or principle. What should I do about it? Learn how to specifically apply Scripture to your life. How can I remember this? Learn how to not forget what you learned. Memorize a verse, write a verse on a card, share a verse with a friend, etc.
- HAVE A PLAN. Don’t just blindly flip through the Bible. Have a plan. Know where you are going. I highly recommend 2 plans: Project345. The average time it takes a person to read a chapter of the Bible is 3 minutes and 45 seconds. Project345.com is a reading plan that gives you one New Testament chapter a day. If you stay consistent with Project345, you will read the entire New Testament in under a year. Proverb-a-Day. There are 31 chapters of Proverbs. The maximum numbers of days in a month is 31. In the Proverb-a-Day plan, match the day of the month with that chapter in Proverbs. Like my partner Michael Bergstrasser says, “A Proverb-a-day keeps the devil away.”