Here I plan to talk about reading the Bible…how to get started, what I have done, what tools I use…
I will post some videos about what has helped me, but in the meantime, let me get you started!
I used to struggle with reading my Bible because:
-I didn’t know where to begin
-I didn’t always understand what it meant
-I felt guilty because I hadn’t done it “enough” and I thought God was mad at me
-I read things that I thought were boring and not relevant to my life
Sometimes I still struggle with stuff like that, but I have grown to really LOVE reading my Bible. Here are some things I do that I really enjoy:
I colour my way though it. There are a lot of different colour ideas you can use, but I’ve boiled mine down to a pretty simple system:
PURPLE (royalty) for everything that tells me something about GOD
GREEN (growth) for things I can do that honour God-spiritual growth
RED for warnings or bad stuff. Don’t do this!
BLUE for salvation-what does the Bible actually say about people ‘being saved’?
YELLOW for lots of other stuff that I find interesting!
(PINK-sometimes I remember this for someone showing faith)
(A different RED for prophecies)
I also have a collection of “BUT GOD” and I make love those-I just write them out on the side. Usually it’s something like ‘Man, or Satan meant this thing for evil… BUT GOD did this instead’
I am trying to colour through the entire Bible. It takes a bit longer than a quick read! By the end of 2021, I should have finished up the entire Bible and have it colour-coded so I can look up things like what the character of God is, etc.
I also do something called ‘Chap-Ap’, which stands for ‘Chapter Application’. I usually read through one chapter a day, and pick out just one verse out of the chapter and write it down somewhere and write a couple of sentences about how it applies to me, or why I like that verse. I am in a weekly Bible Group where we each share what we wrote about one or two of those verses during the week. I love the encouragement from the others-and I need the accountability to STAY in the WORD!
I also use the best Bible App I’ve ever used before. I’ve been using it for about 5 years now. It’s called ‘Through the Word’ and it has an orange open Bible with an orange flame coming out. For every chapter I read, I try to listen to the 5-12 minute audio on it-and I have really learned a lot! I love this little app. You can also listen to the Bible being read, but I like to read it & colour it & make notes in my actual Bible. When I don’t feel like reading the Bible, I can press on the app-and I usually get out of my slump pretty quickly.
An older, wiser lady once suggested that I get a notebook and on one side write “What’s in this section that talks about God” and “What does it say about people-me?”
I’ve started writing about Bible Meditation. Elizabeth Prentiss, in her book, Stepping Heavenward, that has a reference on my ‘Audio Book’ page, suggests to not read a chapter for the sake of reading a chapter. Instead, read a very small section: a few words, a verse, a paragraph, and ‘suck all the marrow out of it that you can!’ It’s better, she says, to get a lot out of a small section of God’s Word, than to read a whole chapter, but retain nothing.
What works for you?