Reading the bible is something all believers know they should do and all new believers are told to do. When it comes to reading the bible, very few people actually do read it. When they pick it up and begin to look at it to read it, many thoughts start to enter their mind as to how to read it.
The most common way to read the bible is to think of it like any other book. How does one read a book? He starts at the beginning and reads through until he gets to the end.
One of the great benefits of reading the bible this way is that you can see how God’s plan for mankind unfolds, little by little. It starts with the creation of the world, and ends with the destruction of the world and the creation of a new heaven and earth.
The hardest part in reading the bible this way is when a person gets past Genesis and Exodus. The next two books, Leviticus and Numbers, come up presenting a great challenge for a new believer or one beginning to really read the bible. These books are very long on lists. One lists the genealogy of all the people, while the other lists all of the sacrifices required.
For most people these kinds of lists are very boring and many wonder why God put them in there. Many people stop reading the bible once they get to that point out of boredom. Only once a person has been a believer for a while, does he begin to understand the value in those lists and reasons why God may have put them in His word.
Other people begin reading the bible by reading the New Testament. It is common to hear of a person who has read the New Testament several times, but has never read the Old Testament.
The New Testament is where God’s love, grace and mercy is really shown for what they fully are. Life is offered in the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. Open talk about heaven and the future is presented. Practical ways on how to live for God is shown in the letters of Paul to the various churches.
While reading the New Testament is great, one must not forget to read or ignore the Old Testament. The Old Testament gives the background as to why Jesus had to come and die on the cross. It shows what His death on the cross means and why it was so important.
Another benefit of reading the Old Testament, is that it shows many people who followed God, but also made mistakes in their lives and, yet, God used them in mighty ways. It shows how many times Israel walked away from God, but as soon as they turned to God, God took them back. One can see the love, mercy and grace of God through many different stories.
You can also see how God had a plan to bring about salvation to all people from the beginning. One can watch as God unfolds His plan of salvation, as the entire Bible is read.
The first important thing about reading the Bible is to actually read it. Get into in and read it and see what God has to say.
As you begin reading the Bible, do not read it just as another novel, full of good stories. Each chapter you read, think about what it is saying and what it can say to you today. What message does God have for you in the passage being read?
The Bible is written in simple, plain everyday language that anyone can understand, if they want to. Some may try to say that you need to be able to study it in the original Greek or Hebrew, but that is not true. When Jesus walked on the earth, He spoke in the language of the people He was with, not some strange foreign language. In the same way, God speaks to you through His word, the Bible, in a language you can understand.
There will be passages that may not always make sense right away. Do not let that stop you from reading. Pray and ask God for wisdom each time you read His word. Trust that He will open your eyes to what He is saying in His word.
As you apply these few principles that I have given here, God’s word will come alive to you. The Bible is alive and active today. No matter how many times you read it, there will be more to learn.
Each time you read a certain passage, God may show you something different in it. You will begin to see new things about God and how He works as you dive into His word.
The best way to read the Bible is to actually get into it and read it. Do not keep putting off reading it. If all you do is read a few verses each day, that is more than nothing and God can do something with it.
Take time each day to read the Bible and learn from it.
“I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other!” Revelation 3:15
Jesus brings some harsh words to the church of Laodicea. This church was active in doing some deeds, but He calls them neither hot nor cold, but in the next verse lukewarm. God wants them to be either hot or cold.
Being hot, in God’s eyes, is one who is actively running after God. He will seek God in everything; try to witness to everyone; do all that his hands can do; and worship God at all times. He is a person who is on fire for God. He is exited about God. He lives for God.
The person who is cold is the one who does not seek God at all; has no room in his life for God; he even hates God; and does not try to do anything for God. His life is completely dead with no signs of a life with God in it.
What does it mean to be lukewarm? When you use water in a sink and it is only lukewarm it can cause problems. It is not hot enough to help kill germs when you wash something, nor is it cold enough to enjoy a good glass of cool water on a hot day. Lukewarm has little value, thus it is usually tossed out.
People who are neither hot, nor cold are indifferent about God. They will not get excited about God, but will not directly deny God; they will do some good deeds, but only when convenient for themselves; they will worship the three songs on Sunday morning, but never during the week on their own; and many other ways are not running for God. These people will be tossed out by God.
Today you need to be hot for God. If you are cold, you are against God and will die in your sins. If you hot, you will be doing what God wants for you to do and will have life abundantly.
Seek God in everything you do. Seek out ways to serve God and others daily. Give worship to God at all times. Be running after and for God. Let your light shine brightly for the world to see. These things are not to earn your salvation, but to give thanks to God for what He has done for you.
I pray that today God will stir your heart to be hot for Him; that you will choose to be hot for God; that God will not have to spit you out; and that God will use you to build His kingdom and bring Him glory.
***If you have anything you would like me to pray about please visit my Prayer Request page and leave a comment. May God bless you!
“I know your deeds, your love and faith, your service and perseverance, and that you are now doing more than you did at first.” Revelation 2:19
Jesus gives some good admonition to the church of Thyatira. He has His eyes on them and sees what they are doing. They are active in doing good deeds. They show true love and faith. They are staying strong despite opposition. They are doing more now then they did at first.
Many believers will pray for other people (at least in word), but few will take an active step in helping other people. James said that faith without deeds is dead. He stated that he will prove his faith by his deeds.
In every church there are many people who will go to the pastor to tell him of a need in the church. It may be the need for a new Sunday School teacher; or a new guitar player or background singers on the worship team; or someone to mow the lawn or clean the bathrooms; or one of many other needs. Many allow the other person to do the job.
Usually the pastor already knows of many of these needs. Instead of telling him of the needs, why not take on that need and meet it? You are the “other” person to do that job.
I have worked in construction of building a house. It is not done by one person. In fact it is not even done with just one talent. There are the foundation layers, the framers, electricians, plumbers, A/C installers, roof installers, flooring installers, painters and others. Each of these has a different task to do. Altogether they build the house.
God’s kingdom is His home. It is not built by one person. Each person has a different ability or talent. If each person does his part, God’s kingdom will grow.
May God be able to say to you today that He is watching you and sees what you are doing. May God say that you are doing more today than when you first started following Jesus.
Do not allow your actions to slow down or stop. Be active for God everyday. Seek God as to what to do next for Him. There is always something to be done. Until you step into heaven there is more of His kingdom to be built.
I pray today that God will strengthen you to do more for Him; that God will reveal to you what to do each day; that you will step up to do what God has for you; that you will persevere through the struggle of continuing to do His work; and that God will use you to build His kingdom.
***If you have anything you would like me to pray about, please leave a comment on what to pray about on my Prayer Request page. It will be my pleasure to bring your needs before God. May God bless you.***
“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12
At the beginning of all creation God spoke a Word and all of creation came into existence. Since then His Word is still alive and active. When a person starts speaking God’s Word things happen. The enemies of God will get angry and nervous because God’s Word has an effect on them. It will cut right to the heart, even though they will deny it. If a person is not speaking God’s Word the world will not care at all, but watch out as soon as you speak His Words.
God’s Word is likened to a sword here. A sharp double-edged sword will cut through everything. God’s Word will also cut through everything. His Word will even cut through the attitudes of the heart. How often do we do something God in the name of God, just to look good to others, to show others how “good” a Christian we are? Many rich people give millions of dollars every year for charity. On the outside it looks good, but many are doing it just for the sake of getting a tax write-off. Their giving to charity is for the wrong reasons and God’s Word will reveal it–remember: we are to do all we do for the glory of God…not ourselves.
Read the Bible every day and you will see it cut to the heart of the matter in every area of your life. Use the Word of God as a measure to see how you are living for God. Even though it was written nearly 2,000 years ago, it is still alive and active. God’s Word knows you right where you are today and how to deal with every situation in your life.
I pray that today God will give you a desire to read His Word more; that God will reveal more of Himself through His Word; that God will reveal any changes in your life that you need to make through His Word; and that God will give you wisdom in correctly using His Word in your life.