Scripture reading: Psalm 19:7-11
“[Your word] is to be desired more than gold, yes, than much fine gold; it’s sweeter than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb!”
If you were asked how often you read God’s word, what would you say? Would you rather read Christian and spiritual-related books or Scripture? What are some of the reasons why you don’t read it? Is it too hard, daunting, or maybe even a little boring? In my very early walk in Christ, I found the Bible to at times be a chore to read or rather difficult. Over time, however, the more I read and desired to grow closer to God, my study of it became deeper and enriching.
When considering God’s word and deciding whether or not it should be read frequently, it is important to understand and keep in mind that God’s word:
Purifies and cleanses us (John 17:17)
Leads us to salvation (James 1:21)
Will judge us on the last day (John 12:48; Revelations 20:12)
Is absolutely pure (Psalm 12:6)
Is living and active (Hebrews 4:12)
Gives us information on everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3)
And, most importantly, God is literally speaking to us (2 Timothy 3:16)! How amazing is that? Our Mighty, Righteous, and Loving God wants to talk to us and allows us to see into a portion of His mind. As a result, His word must take top priority in our lives and we should be dedicating ourselves to feeding our faith by immersing ourselves in it. His word is our spiritual food, so we need to make sure we are well fed and nourished by it daily just like we would for our physical bodies (Matthew 4:4; John 6:27). I would like to share some tips on how to delight in reading God’s word.
Get a translation that’s easy for you to read but also sticks close to the original manuscripts.
So many people are adamant about the King James Version, but the reality is it’s difficult to read because of the syntax. No one speaks like this anymore and the sentence structure makes it hard, too. I go back to read the KJV from time to time, but my main version to do some serious study is the 1995 New American Standard Bible (NASB 1995). The translation is simple but absolutely rich. It stays true to the Greek and Hebrew manuscripts. I recommend this translation for anyone wanting to read God’s word. I also recommend the ESV and the NKJV. You want to make sure you understand what you read.
Make sure your Bible translation is “word-for-word” rather than “thought-for-thought.” The beginning page of your Bible should tell you what type of translation it is. Word-for-word means it strictly translates the Hebrew/Greek scriptures; thought-for-thought is the translators putting what THEY think the texts are saying or fluffing up the Holy Scriptures to make the reader “feel good.”
Prepare your heart to read and ask God to open it to give you understanding and to keep His word hidden there. Calm your mind from the troubles of the day or the tasks you have to complete; just focus on preparing your mind to come before the feet of the Lord and learn from Him through His word. Let these two scriptures be the basis of your prayer:
“Open the eyes of my heart, Lord, that I may behold wonderful things from Your law” (Psalm 119:18).
“Hide Your word in my heart so I may not sin against You” (Psalm 119:11).
Read the introduction and background of the book you’re reading in the Bible
If you want to make your reading rich and delightful and want to have a proper, contextual understanding of God’s word to easily apply it in your life, I recommend reading the background of why a particular book or epistle was written. Who the author was writing to and why, and the introduction of it to know what the overall theme of the book is.
When reading God’s word:
Stick to one book in the Bible
Try not to jump from book to book each time you open up God’s word. If you started reading Romans, stick to that until you’re finished with it. Don’t read a few chapters of it then jump to Philippians and not finish that either. Stay consistent.
If you’ve never read the Bible before and are looking for somewhere to start, read the Gospel of Mark first. This is the shortest Gospel account. Then read Luke, Matthew and John. Know about the Lord you serve before reading the letters to the churches. Read about the life of Jesus, His mission, His teachings, His purpose, His death for humanity, and His resurrection. Then start reading the letters/epistles.
During and after reading His word:
Think about what you’re reading
Each time you read His word, take it slowly and marinate yourself in it. Think about what you read and pray about it. Ask the Spirit to guide you into all understanding and to teach you. Ask questions like “what did I just read?” “What is it about?” “Why is this important for me?” “How can I apply this to glorify God and transform?”
There you have it, 5 simple tips to make you take delight in reading the living word. I hope these were helpful.
May God bless you all and keep you.
Hymn of the day: Ancient Words