In a world awash with so many forms of entertainment vying for our attention, there seems to be less and less time to read the Bible, the Word of God. Although it remains the bestselling book of all times, its importance in our lives is gradually slipping down the list of our priorities. Can we get back the passion for Bible reading?
I believe that Bible reading can be as enjoyable as anything we do under the sun. It should anyway because after all, it is the Bread of Life for our soul. But it takes a little extra effort, and perhaps investments, to grab the attention of say, the children, and make them see the importance of the Bible.
The Bible of course is not just any ordinary book. It is a rich resource of spiritual insights and wisdom that can only be understood with the help of th Holy Spirit. Paul argued this effectively when he said:
For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. (1 Corinthians 2.11)
Even then, the Bible should not be misunderstood as a puzzling book that only smart men can decipher. Indeed, God has revealed His plans, not to the wise, but to babes in heart. (Matthew 11.25) The Bible is simple enough for even the least educated to understand.
Here are my simple ideas that can help anyone get back their passion for Bible reading.
Decide to read the Bible for your own spiritual benefits. What do eating, working, playing, and watching TV have in common? They are actions that we decide to do every day. Why not reading the Bible? Why not read the Bible when you can learn so many things from God from its very ages? I'm convinced that unless we make a decision to step into a spiritual journey with the Book. (If you want to know what the Bible means to you and your faith, read this article.)
Set a time and a place for you to read your Bible. There is a saying that goes, "a place for everything, and everything in its place." In a world that's getting more crowded and noisy, God's Word requires that we set aside a place and time if we want to gain the wisdom It offers freely. Find your self a corner where you can focus on your reading. It can be any place in your house, in a park, or a coffee shop. In my younger days I used to bring my reading materials outdoors, usually under the shade of a tree, where I read for hours with nothing to disturb me (except the chicken in our back yard). When I moved to the city, my favorite reading hangout was any coffee shop that is cozy and quiet. (Starbucks!)
Now, one reason we cannot stand reading the Bible is because we usually reserve the time when we are most tired, stressed and totally spent. Why not give the most active time of your day to Bible reading? The early morning is also a good time to spend with your Bible.
Bring your tools with you. Consider Bible reading as a task as well as an adventure. Why? Because when you go on an adventure trip, you will want to bring tools with you to help you along the way. That's why. Read your Bible with a pen and a notebook and probably a dictionary and other reference materials that can help you discover and understand the meaning of words and things. You will also want to write down your questions, the ideas you discovered, the wisdom you learned, and things to do later. Now that's an adventure!
Decide which we to take the trip. There are a number of ways you can begin your Bible journey. Basically, the Bible as a book consists of biographies, historical accounts of places and records of ideas and cultures of the ancient days. The Bible is also a book of wise sayings, love stories, doctrinal expositions and prophetic utterances. Whichever way you start the path will surely lead you great adventures with God and His people, and will unravel spiritual riches that are definitely out of this world.
Write as you read. As I've mentioned earlier, write all your discoveries because it is one of the surest way of not losing them. Don't trust your mind.
Don't end your reading session without giving yourself an assignment. Having an assignment that you will work on helps you look forward to your next Bible reading session. You can take not of things that you might do to supplement your Bible reading. Is there anything you will need to ask to your Pastor or parents? You can use your friends, the library or the Internet to supplement and expand your learning.
Treat yourself afterwards. Better yet, bring your things to your favorite coffee shop so you can read and enjoy your favorite blend.
Also, you can try reading with a group of friends. This is very interesting when you have friends who want to read and share at the same time. This is exciting, I tell you.
Jonathan Togonon is a pastor of a small flock in Antipolo Philippines and enjoys sharing the word of God and leading people to the feet of Jesus Christ. You can read more of his articles at http://www.pastorjo.com and http://www.believerscommunity.ning.comAngels And Demons Are They Real