When it comes to reading the Bible some may find it intimidating while others may find it boring. Some say it’s confusing and difficult to understand. I can relate to all of the above. This is one of the reasons I am passionate about helping others grow in their faith. Early in my walk, a pastor, from a former church, offered help with reading the Bible by suggesting this method of asking and answering five questions. I’ve found this approach very helpful, so here they are:
- Who is the author of the scripture you are reading? While all scripture is God’s word and God inspired or breathed, He used prophets, disciples, Kings, and apostles to write or record it so we would have it. Simply identify who is doing the talking. For example, if you are reading in the book of Psalm, most likely it is from King David. Look at the subtitles underneath the title of the Psalm and it may tell you. Proverbs, King Solomon, and in the New Testament, the words of Jesus are recorded in red.
- To whom is the author, or the speaker addressing? Jesus is often speaking to His disciples, or teaching a crowd of people, or speaking directly to an individual. King David in the book of Psalm, is pouring out his heart to God in prayers. The Gospels are a recording of the life of Jesus written as each disciple witnessed the teachings and miracles of Jesus. Some are more detailed in their writings than others. The apostle Paul is often writing to a church, or individual or addressing a specific group of believers. Identifying the recipient of the message will help you answer the next question.
- What is the message? Simply put, what is being said? Is it a promise? Is it a command? Is it a prayer? Is it a parable with a lesson to teach? Is it a call to action? Once again, understanding what the message is, will help you answer the next question.
- Ask yourself how this message is relevant in today’s world? While we may be sophisticated with our technology, housing, tools and so forth, we aren’t changed at all when it comes to issues of morale and dealing with our human nature and sin. These are the things God is most concerned with. It’s not whether we know how to use the latest technology, but rather, how we are using the latest technology.
- What is God saying to me? The Bible is the Living Word of God. It speaks directly to us when we open our minds and our hearts to it. Is God teaching you something? Are you being asked to do something? Are you simply learning something new, you didn’t know or understand before?
This method or approach to reading the Bible is a good starting place, especially if you struggle with understanding it or even if you have tried in the past, but find it boring or feel it’s not speaking to you. I hope you will give it another try and develop a habit of reading the Bible for yourself. Don’t ever give up. Seek help from someone who can study with you.
My prayer for you is that God will give you a renewed desire to open His word and learn all He has for you. I pray God will give you the courage to reach out to someone who can help you and encourage you along your journey. God bless.