I will delight in your statutes;
I will not forget your word. – Psalm 119:16
Did you ever notice that, if you’re reading a good book, your mind returns to it as you go about your day? You want to know what happens next. You think about ideas the author plants in your mind. A good book affects us.
The same thing happens when we read the Bible with open minds. With purpose, With understanding.
We don’t read the Bible to make us feel good. It might not.
We don’t read it because we are ‘supposed to’. Though the discipline of reading the Bible even when we don’t feel like it is a good one.
We read it to find what it reveals about God and his plan for this earth, for us.
We sometimes approach the Bible intellectually evaluating whether we think it is true,
deciding whether or not we will accept its directives or explain them away,
judging whether it is outdated or applicable,
concluding whether it is meeting our needs or not.
Or we expect it will give us information or direction or that it will provide inspiration or comfort.
Maybe the best way is to approach the Bible with curiosity. What does it say? What does it reveal about God? Or the universe? Or relationships? Or success? Or wisdom?
anticipating that it will have something to say to us personally,
willing to accept whatever message it gives,
willing to submit to its commands,
to claim its promises, and
to absorb its words until it changes us from the inside out.
“In our reading of this book we come to realize that what we need is not primarily informational, telling us things about God and ourselves, but formational, shaping us into our true being.” – Eugene Peterson
Those 7 approaches to reading God’s word are a task never mastered, but with great reward throughout the journey.
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“. . . never mastered, but with great reward” – agreed! Part of the draw to the Bible is that there is always more to learn or understand or be inspired by. Thanks for your thoughts!
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