Reading the Bible is critical to your spiritual growth. The Word of God is our daily bread, and without it you’ll become a weak and ineffective Christian.
So it’s vital to spend quality time in the Bible every day. To improve your Bible reading, be sure to avoid these 3 big mistakes.
Bible Reading Mistake #1 – Not praying before reading.
Perhaps you are so eager to get into the Word, you forget to ask God for help to understand what you are about to read. This is easy to do.
What to do instead: Get into the habit of praying before reading.
Your prayer doesn’t have to be long or fancy. Here’s a good one to start with — Psalm 119:18 simply says “Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.”
Isn’t that a great prayer? Why not make it your own.
You have two sets of eyes – one is physical and the other is spiritual. And we need God’s help to focus our spiritual eyes so we can “see” (understand) His truth. Amen?
Bible Reading Mistake #2 – Not actually reading the Bible.
Here’s a question that may seem a bit strange: When you sit down to read the Bible, are you reading the Bible? Or are you reading a devotional book instead?
Now don’t get me wrong – I’m all for reading good books about the Bible. But a good devotional is no substitute for the Bible itself.
What to do instead: Make sure you are spending time actually reading the Bible!
A true believer has a love for the Word that compels him/her to hunger and thirst for God’s truth.
Again, it’s OK to read Bible study guides and commentaries and other books about spiritual growth. There are so many good ones out there! But don’t forget to simply open the Book and read the Bible every day.
Reality Check – Do you have an appetite for God’s Word? If not, ask God to give it to you. He would love to do that for you!
Bible Reading Mistake #3 – Random reading of favorite verses only.
When you read the Bible, how do you go about it? Do you have a handful of favorite verses or passages that you tend to read repeatedly?
Please don’t limit yourself to familiar passages. You are really short-changing yourself if you do. God wrote the Bible so that we would read all of it!
What to do instead: Read the Bible one book at a time.
Don’t forget that the Bible is a book of books. There are 66 books in the Bible, and each is part of the One Story that God is telling us.
But each book is also a complete story or message in and of itself, and each book was written to be read in its entirety, and even in one sitting (like the shorter books of the New Testament written by Paul, Peter, James and John).
So I encourage you to read one book at a time, each one in its entirety. One simple method is to read through the 27 New Testament books, one by one. If you read a chapter a day, it will take about 9 months. If you read 3 chapters a day, it will take 3 months.
So set a goal to read the entire New Testament within a certain period of time. Wouldn’t that be cool?
And you’ll cultivate a love for God’s Word that will have life-changing results. For as you spend quality time in the Word, you are spending quality time with the Creator of the universe, and you’ll find yourself caught up in the wonder of His love demonstrated through His Son Jesus.