Welcome back to my six part series on how to be transformed by reading the Bible. My thesis is that to be transformed by the Bible, we must Learn the Story of God and Live the Story of God.
Previous posts have dealt with issues that keep us from doing it. Today I will switch gears and begin to share helpful things we can do.
In part 1, I mentioned that reading the Bible wasn’t easy. You can’t just pick up Leviticus and “get something out of it.” This causes many people to not even try. I’ve said before that reading the Bible isn’t easy. Here are three things to help you.
1) Just Read It.
I’ll be running the Corvallis Half-Marathon in April. But right now I am nowhere near the condition I need to be in to do it. So rather than not running it or just giving it the ol’ college try on the day of, I am training.
12 weeks of training. I am doing three short runs a week and a long run on the weekends. This will get me in shape to run the 13.1 mile race 2 months ago.
Reading the Bible is no different. We have to train ourselves. We have to learn discipline. We have to get up and do it even when we would rather stay in bed.
I wish there was more to this one, but I don’t know how to be more clear. You can’t learn the story or live it if you don’t know it.
Just read the dang thing.
2) Slow Down
One reason I have learned so much from this blog about the story of God, is that I have read it slowly. Slowing down has been so helpful!
There is no law that says you must read through the Bible in 90 days, or a year. Heck, I’ll probably do it in seven.
But when you give each chapter and section and book the time it deserves, the story starts to come together. Places in Scripture you may have found dry and boring can begin to take new life. They might become, dare I say it, interesting.
You’ll miss it if you feel like you have to just burn through it.
3) Ask God to Help You Be Curious
When we want answers right away, we aren’t being curious. When we immediately dismiss something we’ve read as boring or irrelevant, we aren’t being curious.
But when we slow down enough to ask a question, we are exercising our curiosity muscle. And that’s good. And when you have a question, write that sucker down and ask it to someone!
When we read through that genealogy to see what might be there, we are being curious.
When we make a spreadsheet of how many animals the Israelites had to sacrifice, we are being curious.
I think we are born curious. And then I think our curiosity can get beat out of us by a whole host of things if we aren’t careful.
So when you sit down to slowly read through your Bible, say a little prayer that God will make you curious about what you read. Trust me, there is good stuff in there.
We’ve all heard the proverb, “Curiosity killed the cat.” Did you know there is a second line?
“Satisfaction brought it back.”
What have you found helpful in just reading the Bible?