“But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.”
When I was a kid, I hated reading my Bible.
I found it boring and confusing, but everyone told me that I should be reading it anyway. So, every couple of days, I would guiltily dust off my copy of God’s Word and skim a few verses. Then, I would move on with my day and completely forget everything that I read.
It wasn’t until I was about 13 that I realized what I was missing out on. I was reading a book about being a child of God, and the author stressed the importance of reading the Bible consistently. Determined to try it, I set my alarm for a half-hour early the next morning and started to read my Bible. This was the beginning of a habit that I carry to this day-a habit that I can honestly say changed my life.
How do we learn how thrive as Christians?
It all begins with a solid root system. It does not take long for a plant with no roots to wither up and die. Christians, like plants, must develop deep roots in order to thrive. If we diligently develop our roots when life is going well, then we won’t collapse when life is tough.
While plants gain nourishment from water, Christians are sustained by the Bible. When we immerse ourselves in God’s Word, we will prosper. In the Christian community, we are constantly told that we should be reading our Bibles, but very few of us are ever taught how. Here are some steps to becoming someone who consistently delights in God’s Word.
1.Pick a time and a place.
Consistency is the most effective way to read God’s Word. If you make it part of your routine rather than trying to squeeze it in somewhere or just check it off your to-do list, you will reap the full benefits of reading the Bible.
2. Journal and/or calm your mind.
Before you read the Bible, take a moment to gather your thoughts and think about what is going on in your life. Some people choose to journal for this step. Whatever your method, be sure to keep the things in your life in the forefront on your mind so you are ready to focus on applying Scripture to your life.
Pick a book of the Bible to start with, and read just one chapter a day. Highlight what stands out to you and write down questions, but do not analyze the text yet. Take it at face value without bringing any presuppositions with you.
After reading the text, now you can analyze it more. Look up terms, ask and answer your questions, and consider how what you have read could apply to your life.
Take one thing from your Bible reading each day and phrase it in the form of a commitment. For example, if I were to read Psalm 1 (above), I might say: “Today I commit to meditate on a Bible verse.” Then I would choose a verse to be considering throughout the day. God commands us to be doers of the Word, not just hearers, so make your commitment something that you can feasibly apply to your life. This way, you put into action what God is teaching you.
Use what you’ve read in the Bible to pray for yourself and others. Use it to praise God. Use it to ask God for a need in your life. Reading your Bible should always be accompanied by prayer, because, like any relationship, your relationship with God requires two-way communication.
Now that we understand how to read God’s Word, we have no excuse not to do it! I promise that the Bible will change your life, just like it changed mine. Being someone who delights in God’s Word is the single most important characteristic of a thriving Christian.
Especially as the school year progresses, it is vital that we make reading the Bible a part of our lives. Only then will we begin to thrive.