bits from bob....
This is not an article about how to read the Bible. That subject has already been treated in various books. This article seeks to address a problem we all face in our hyperactive, busy lives. Our world and the way we live works against a regular, meditative reading of the word of God. Thus we are too often out of touch with our spiritual guidance system. Here are some ideas to help you move toward regular, effective Bible reading.
First, get and use a good translation of the Bible. Use the same Bible for your main study and reading Bible all the time in your daily reading. This will allow you to mark key passages, make marginal notes, and keep track of your reading.
Second, use a Bible reading program in your reading and study. A Bible reading program, coupled with self-discipline, will help you develop a workable plan. Regularity with small reading sections is better than periodic reading of large blocks of text. There is a place for extended, focused Bible reading, but for regular Bible reading (which is the subject of this essay), the most desirable plan is daily readings, even if the sections read are small.
Third, schedule a specific, regular time for your Bible reading. The Bible is a big book, and it presents a very large challenge to those who would master it. If you want to know and understand the Bible, you must commit to sacrificially spending time reading and studying it. The ideal way to do this is to schedule it so it becomes a habit. A church member said to the preacher, "I would give my entire life to know the Bible like you do." To which the elderly preacher replied, "That is what I gave."
Fourth, have a specific place for your reading and study. Find a place conducive, generally free from interruptions, with pens, paper, highlighters, and study tools available as needed.
Fifth, pray about your Bible reading and study. Bible reading is like physical exercise: we know we need to do it, we generally feel better after we have done it, and we still neglect it. Regular Bible reading is a good indication of spiritual discipline in your life.
Sixth, seek to use God's word correctly. Read with an eye toward interpretation. Learn God's word with the purpose of understanding and being able to help those who misinterpret, misunderstand, or misrepresent God's Word.