Digging Deeper into the Bible is important to us and the health of our soul.
Last week we kicked off this series of posts by examining more than nine reasons to dig deeper into the Bible. If you missed that post, I encourage you to go back and check it out.
Now continuing the series, we will look more closely at HOW to Dig Deep beginning this week with – READ IT.
Read the Bible Alone
Carve out time to simply sit alone and read the Bible. Read it however you choose – cover to cover, one Testament at a time, one book at a time, chapter by chapter, immersed in the letters, surveying historical accounts. There is no right or wrong. Just read and let God’s words wash over you.
Schedule times of deeper focus where you read smaller passages – books, letters, chapters, events, sermons, prayer. During these times, read much slower and with more thought. Ask yourself questions. Make connections to other passages. Consider journaling your thoughts, questions, and insights.
Read the Bible Publicly
Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. 1 Timothy 4:13
Reading the Bible privately is important. However, it is not the only way we are to engage in reading God’s Word. In 1 Timothy, Paul instructs young Timothy to devote himself to reading the Scripture publicly.
Public reading of God’s Word was not a new-to-Paul-and-Timothy practice. We first see it mentioned in the Old Testament as Moses read Scripture aloud to the recently rescued children of Israel. It appears again when Joshua gathers the Israelites and reads it aloud upon entering the new land. Then there’s King Josiah who calls Israel back to observance of this practice, long forgotten. And in the New Testament, we see it as a core part of Jewish life and culture. Jesus, Himself, participated in public reading of Scripture and, in fact, launched His ministry during the practice.
Why is it so important? Because public reading of the Scripture reminds us where we came from and who we are. It helps us remember our story and teaches us how to keep living within the story’s ever-unfolding pages.
Reading with others helps reduce distraction. And, as Paul was certainly aware, the simple acts of just listening to the Scripture as it is read aloud and talking about what you heard, unleash mighty power.
Where do I start?
When reading to soak in His Word, begin anywhere. Start at the front and read straight through to the end. Begin with the Old Testament. Then move to the New. Choose a book, letter or favorite historical account.
For times of deeper focus where smaller passages work best, consider these options. Use:
- Scripture Plans. A quick Pinterest or google search will turn up a multitude of Reading Plans. Here are a couple to get you started:
Knowing the Father in the Psalms by Alisa Nicaud at flourishingtoday.com
- Sermon notes. Does this scenario sound familiar?
You faithfully take notes every week as your pastor delivers his sermon. At the closing, “Amen,” you stuff the notes in your Bible. After a month or two, when your Bible is bulging, the notes are filed or trashed.
Instead, try pulling your notes out during the week and using them for deeper-focus passages.
- Family devotions. Dig deeper into Scriptures your family is already reading together for devotion time.
- Current Bible study. Do the same with passages from your organized Bible study time.
- Favorite passage or event. Spend some focused time in a beloved passage.
However you choose to do it, dig deeper into the Bible by READING IT!
Read a physical copy. Read it via audio book.
But read it – The Bible. The source.
Don’t be satisfied with only reading what others say about the Bible. Read it for yourself – ad fontes (go “to the source”).
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. –Hebrews 4:12