Read Your Bible, Pray Every Day…
If you were a Sunday school regular, I’m sure the title reminds you of the song, “Read your Bible, pray every day if you want to grow.”
The Bible is known for its hard truths; some which are accepted by majority of people and others which throughout generations, continue to be a bone of contention even among believers. Some modern Christians resort to ‘Christian books’ on topics they find comfortable to replenish their souls. As resourceful as these books are, they should be seen as supplementary and not substitutes to the Word of God. No spiritual diet is as divinely sufficient as scripture.
Why should we read our Bibles?
• It’s only in the Word of God that we find the keys to living a fuller and more meaningful life. Contrary to what the world purports, one’s life doesn’t consist in the abundance of his possessions (Luke 12:15b). It depends on how much of God’s Word is filled in a person in order to live a godly life.
• For transformation and renewal of our minds (Romans 12:2)
God’s Word has the power to convict us of our shortfalls and cleanse us of all unrighteousness. Self-help books may motivate us to cultivate good habits but only God’s Word can feed our spirits. We are urged to let the Word dwell in us richly (Colossians 3:16) and we can only achieve that if the habit of Bible reading is instilled in us.
• For spiritual freedom.
As Rev. Enoch Thompson would put it, ‘We are all born dead on arrival.’ It takes exposure to the Word and faith to accept what it says to be free from the bondage of sin and death.
We all need to have a truth encounter with God through the Word such that the devil wouldn’t dare come close because he realizes that what we have inside us is greater than any attack he can launch against us.
How to study the Bible
It’s not rocket science to read and study the Bible. Some books are harder to read than others, that’s true and we could be tempted to be selective with which ones to study and apply to our lives. That’s why it is needful to commit to a systematic book by book reading.
Thankfully, a lot of Bible apps offer reading plans over a span of months and years so we can read the Bible consistently at a pace we are comfortable with.
Take advantage of Bible devotions as well. They tackle diverse life issues and you are most likely to encounter a message which is timely to your situation at that point in time.
Make it a point to memorize as many Bible verses as you can. They are very handy especially during moments when you are at the point of despair and you need to speak words of life and restoration into your situation with scripture.
You can also conduct biographical studies of the various personalities in the Bible. A lot of them led lives which have a lot of lessons for us today. E.g. Joseph, Esther, David, Abraham, Jacob, Ruth, Jacob, Mary, Abraham etc.
Topical studies are also encouraged. Every life’s situation you can think of has an answer in the Bible. You can take your time to study about the Holy Spirit, giving, love, wisdom, etc. from God’s Word.
Resources for effective Bible Study
• A dedicated time for personal devotions. Morning devotions have proven to be very helpful as it sets the tone for your day after having an encounter with God but you may choose any other time during the day that you see fit.
• Location. You need peace and quiet to fully meditate on God’s Word. If you’re planning to build a house, make allowance for a Prayer Room so any family member can go there and seek God’s face.
• Bible. Yes, you need the Bible itself. No Christian book can equal its value.
• Devotional guide. Get a good one and use it with your Bible.
• Bible dictionary, commentary, atlas, apps. A study Bible is a must-have so you can appreciate the reading/study better.
• Internet. Every resource is at accessible with just the touch of a finger. Let’s use our internet data wisely.
Take it one day at a time. Commit to it. Don’t just read; make an effort to apply it. You’ll see yourself renew into someone different. Just as you can’t afford to starve your body so you can have the energy to go about your usual duties, you can’t afford to starve your spirit. If you do, you become gullible to the whims of the devil. Sharpen yourself with God’s Word and go out there and conquer the world with His love!
Source: © Josephine Amoako 2018