My previous two posts on enjoying the Bible can be summed up with these words, “You will never ‘enjoy’ the Bible if you read it as a discipline (‘a verse a day keeps the devil away’); you will get excited when you simply read the words that are written because they taste good for your spirit.” Remember Jeremiah, who wrote, “Your words were found, and I ate them, And Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart” (Jeremiah 15:16 NKJV). Let’s explore the ways in which you can read your Bible.
In the mid-1950s, before I went to Bible College, I purchased a 90-page paperback book titled “Enjoy Your Bible” by G.R. Harding-Wood of England. It cost me all of five shillings Australian (50 cents) and though it lost its front cover decades ago, I still refer to the book. I went through four editions (printings) in five years, so it was well received by those searching for help in enjoying their Bibles. In the second chapter the author makes four suggestions on turning your Bible reading from a duty to a joy. I am going to use his points as the framework for this discussion and add my own comments.
First, “How does a bride read a love letter? She read every word of it, that is, completely.” “God is love” (I John 4:8 ESV) and “God’s love has been poured into our hearts” (Romans 5:5), so the analogy is authentic. Yet “completely” is not how most people read their Bibles, our Father’s love-letter to us. I’ve made the point for many years that we should remember that each book of the Bible was written to be read from start to finish. It was not written with the concept of taking a sentence out of the middle and one near the end. When Paul wrote his letters to the young churches, I can see a gathering of believers sitting there listening carefully to every word, even though “there are some things in them that are hard to understand” (II Peter 3:16). Continue reading There’s more than one way to read your Bible