Have you ever been bored by the Bible? Back in high school, I’d make grand plans to read the whole Book, and I’d open to page 1 of Genesis. After 5 minutes, I’d start yawning, and that would be the end of it. Then a month later, I’d start again on page 1 of Genesis. By the time I got to the genealogy of Noah, I was snoozing.
It’s easy to get into a rut with Bible reading.
We get into a rut when we approach reading the Bible as something to check off our list because that’s how a good Jesus girl is supposed to start her day. We sit down to read the written Word without really expecting to meet with the Living Word.
Then some days we wake up tired or distracted by worry. Our eyes glaze over as we stare at the page. I don’t how to handle those mornings, but I do know one thing:
I’ve got to get God’s word into me if I’m going to let my faith spill out. I’ve got to get God’s word into me if I’m going to make a positive difference to my family, friends, and community. That’s why I’m always looking for new approaches to God’s word.
Ten Tips for Fresh Encounters with God’s Word
1. Expect God to speak to you. For real.
We have an amazing opportunity to meet with the living God through His written word. Before you begin, ask God to make his presence real and to speak to you. Here’s a good start:
2. Read it out loud.
If you’re having trouble focusing, read scripture out loud. Speaking out God’s the word increases our faith.
3. Pray the Word
As you read through a passage, use it as fuel for prayer. Stop every few verses and turn the truth you read into a prayer for yourself or a loved one.
4. Write it on an index card.
Choose a verse to write on a card. Carry the card around in your pocket, and get it out to read it. Set it on the dashboard of your car while you drive or on the counter while you cook.
5. Read shorter passages
When a whole chapter is too much, I read just the verses under a sectional heading. For example, instead of reading Colossians 3, I read “Living as Those Made Alive in Christ” one day and “Instructions for Christian Households” the next.
6. Read it twice:
Try reading a passage twice to see what new things God shows you the second time around.
7. Take a short book and read it through several times
Spend two weeks reading through a short book several times to really internalize the message.
8. Memorize it.
Last spring our family memorized John 1:1-18 together over breakfast. We worked on one verse at a time, repeating it 5 times and adding a new one every few days. Each day we started by reciting the verses we’d already learned.
9. Listen to it
Listen to recorded scripture in your car or on the walking trail.
10. Read together with your husband
A friend of mine reads scripture out loud with her husband every night before bed. Reading together can bring freshness to God’s word and increase spiritual intimacy in your marriage.
I hope these ideas encourage you as you seek to get God’s word into your heart and mind. What ideas do you have for a fresh approach to the Bible? Is there one on this list you’d like to try?