How can I invest time reading the Bible so my life is changed?
March 18, 2011
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At the Cross Where I First Saw the Light
Yesterday I wrote about the benefits of reading the Bible. The primary benefit of reading and understanding the Bible is that it has the power to change your life. Let me give you several guidelines for investing your time in reading the Bible.
- Read the Bible reverently, thanking God for it.
- Read the Bible prayerfully, asking God to help you understand it.
- Read the Bible calmly, knowing God wants to spend time with you.
- Read the Bible attentively, listening for God’s quiet whispers.
- Read the Bible systematically, endeavoring to discover all of God’s revelation.
- Read the Bible intentionally, seeking God’s help to change your thinking and acting.
Here is a series of questions to help you read the Bible for transformation and not simply information. They are based on an ancient pattern for reading the Bible called Lectio Divina (divine reading). Start by asking the Holy Spirit to show you what he wants you to learn from your Bible text. Read slowly through a passage that’s long enough to reveal a complete thought (for example, a chapter or a story). Read the text at least three times before you begin to work with the following questions.
- What word or phrase in the Bible passage stands out to you?
- What is it about this word or phrase that grabs your attention?
- What connection does this word or phrase have to your life? To your relationship with Jesus? To your relationships with others?
- Which of your ideas about God, self or others does this word or phrase challenge? How? Why?
- Based on your meditations on this word or phrase, how does God want to reorient you?
- What change in thinking, acting or relating will you need to make?
- Do you trust God enough to make this change?