There are few things more important in the Christian life than reading the Bible. It is God’s primary way of speaking to us. The Bible is one of a kind. It has authority, it is inspired, it is alive with the very breath of God. And it is crucial that we know it so that we can be effective witnesses of God’s activity on the earth. The stakes are very high as we get closer to the end of this age. Imagine the tragedy of being saved, even filled with the Holy Spirit with gifts and graces, but you cannot walk people through the truth of God’s plan and purpose because you have not studied God’s Word.
There are no short cuts. It takes time and commitment. I believe God wants us to wrestle with His truth. It’s good to listen to others talk about the Bible. It’s important to read how others interpret the Bible. But do not be satisfied with pre-digested food. Open your Bible daily, it is a banquet set for you and the special guest at your table will be the Holy Spirit.
Below is a simple plan for your Bible reading. Would you spend this next year asking the Lord to help you engage the Bible in each of these five ways? It’s a SMART thing to do.
S – Study
Read the Bible systematically. Go online and find one of the plans to read the Bible through in a year. (The website for Discipleship Journal has been my favorite. I used it for 10 straight years and the Lord blessed my study.)
M – Meditate
Read the Bible prayerfully. Realize that you are not alone. The same Spirit that inspired the words is with you. Talk to Him about what you read.
A – Apply
Read the Bible expectantly. It really is your source for faith (what you believe) and practice (how you should live).
R – Respond
Read the Bible actively. Before you close the cover, ask Jesus to give you a heads up regarding how you could walk it out that very day.
T — Teach
Read the Bible generously. Believe as you read that the Lord will reveal truth that is meant to be shared. Everyone of us should be looking for ways to invest what God gives us in the lives of others. Your kitchen table could become an altar where the presence of Jesus comes for a friend as you open the Word of Life.