Right away, that title probably intimidates
most some people reading it. Truthfully, I’m one of them. But this is something I’ve been thinking about over the last couple of months. We need to be reading the Bible in multiple ways for multiple purposes. Here are three ways I try to do this:
I read studiously. As a speaker and a writer, I often have to camp out in a passage for long periods of time. I need to explore the relationship between one text and another, do my homework on authorial intent, investigate the meaning of certain words in the original language(s), and so on. This can be slow, methodical work (sometimes unnecessarily so, but that’s a different discussion). But it’s necessary if I am going to effectively and faithfully teach and apply the Scriptures.
I read devotionally. That is, from a posture of worship. This is how I almost always come to the Psalms. For me, this often means praying through the words God inspired, praying in light of each verse. This, for me, fills my heart with joy.
I read extensively. Because the Bible isn’t a series of individual stories, but one story, I need to be reading in large swaths. It’s not to mine into the details, but to get a sense of the grandness of the story God’s been telling since time began. Yesterday, I wrapped up the Pentateuch and moved on to the Historical books. There are tons of details that I missed in reading it, but other elements that stuck out as though for the first time. But as I read, it’s such a glorious gift to be able to see how God weaved together the events of even just the lives of Abraham and his immediate descendants and how promises came to pass (and often getting chills because I know what’s coming next).
Be intentional about reading your Bible, friends. But also, intentionally try to read it in more than one way. It will do your heart good, I promise.