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When Reading Your Bible Doesn’t Work

Reading your Bible doesn’t make you a better Christian, it just makes you a smarter one!

In the New Year many people start with good intentions of following a Bible reading plan. Somewhere along the way they get behind. They feel guilty for not keeping up, so they speed read their way through. They feel better when they can see the nice check marks next to every day in their plan.

They have missed the point!

Bible reading is not about checking a box, rather it’s about changing your life with the truth of God’s Word.

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. James 1:22

 

Without real life application your Bible reading will do you more harm than good!

The more you ignore the truth of Scripture the easier it becomes to read a text and completely miss how it applies to your life.

I’m not saying that Bible reading plans are bad. They are good tools but they are not the end goal.

Your goal in Bible reading should not be “to get it done”. Your goal should be “to get it down”!

You need God’s Word deep down in the depths of your life where it hurts a bit and makes you squirm. You need truth that gets between your fingers when you work, that slides off your tongue when you speak, principles that are embedded into the fiber of your being.

If you want your Bible reading to change you from the inside out here’s what do you need to do:

  • Fear God

Knowledge without the fear of God will only make you arrogant and proud. In order to fear God you need to get humble before Him and recognize Him for who He is; the Supreme Creator of you and everything that exists! Proverbs 1:7

  • Get wisdom

True wisdom comes only from God. It is the union of knowledge and life application. Proverbs 4:1-5 (Also check out what my friend Dan Black says about the importance of wisdom)

  • Ask God to change you

This is called “repentance”. God changes how we think through His Word and this results in a change of behavior. All Bible reading should lead to repentance. Psalm 51:10 

  • Write it down

Writing down our observations, reflections and ideas of how to apply God’s Word is a great way to help make changes effective and lasting in our life.


Resources:  I suggest trying the Life Application Study Bible NIV It can get you started to thinking through the truths of God’s Word in relation to your life.

Question: What other tools/methods do you use to help apply the Bible to your life?

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I am a pastor, missionary, and preacher of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Ukraine since 2007. God blessed me with a wonderful wife and 5 amazing children! My greatest passion is to teach, encourage, and exhort others to turn to Jesus, who is Savior, Lord, and God!

  • Great post and thank you for the mention. I write down passages on a flash card and place them in my car to read and memorize. I found this to be helpful.

    • Dan, that’s a great technique. I don’t really drive much so it wouldn’t work for me but I do the same when I’m walking to and from work. You should check out a recent post I wrote on the benefits of Scripture memory. https://sukofamily.org/?p=1434

      • Walking works as well:)

        • Yes, walking works too. I am trying to memorize larger portions of Scripture so I print it out on a regular sheet of paper (or several sheets) and then put them in a clear plastic sleeve. That way I can stick them in my bag and pull it out whenever I have a little free time. when I’m walking I’ll often walk with the sheet in my hand and work on my text that way.

  • Kathy Hall

    When I look at a passage, I ask four questions – 1) What does it say about God? 2) What does it say about me? 3) How does it point to Jesus? 4) What should I be doing? It’s when we step out into obedience, that our transformation takes place. Jesus obeyed the Father, perfectly. Our obedience will never be perfect, but as we surrender our will to God’s and then walk in that manner worthy of Him, we are changed into His likeness. As we mature, we will notice a quicker laying aside of our will, quicker repentance, quicker obedience. Your mom recently sent out an email that I loved. Basically – read the Bible to know God better. Our goal in reading the Bible is wasted if we are just trying to be a Bible encyclopedia. Rather, we want the beauty of who God is to sink into our hearts and flow out to other people.

    • Kathy, very well put. I like your process! Bible application is work and we need to discipline our selves into the habit of always asking ourselves good questions that will lead to life change.

  • Mary Hall-Rayford

    Amen! Getting a better understanding of God is really about our relationship with Him. The more intimate we become with Him, the more we realize how important it is to please Him rather than pleasing others. And we should be “doers” of The Word!

    • Mary, thanks for your comment, I think you said it well, we need to be doers of the Word! Blessings to you!

      • Mary Hall-Rayford

        I will always agree with, support, and promote Truth!