Wednesday, September 18, 2013

How To Read Your Bible Part 4

Seven Steps to Successful Study 

Read Systematically


1. Of, characterized by, based on, or constituting a system.

2. Carried on using step-by-step procedures.

3. Purposefully regular; methodical.

"It is astonishing what an effort it seems to be for many people to put their brains definitely and systematically to work."

--Thomas A. Edison

The problem with many people who maintain that they tried to read scripture and that it did not work, did not read passages slowly or sedulously. I have also discovered that they did not read bible passages systematically. 

You cannot pick up your bible on intermittent mornings, allow it to randomly "flop open" and then begin to read where your eye falls on the page. Nor can you close your eyes, allow the bible to flop open and stab a place on the page with your eyes still closed and your extended finger.

In order to effectively read the Scripture you must have a plan. But don't become confused when I say a plan. Most of you know that I do not recommend that you use an "annual reading plan" during your morning devotions.

Reading plans come with an inherent danger, particularly to morning devotions. Most reading plans have large sections or multiple chapters to be read in order to complete within a year's time. This is too much material to effectively meditate through. You need to take 8-10 verses and certainly no more than a chapter at a single sitting.

When using a reading plan it is easy to fall behind and then read like "the dickens" to catch up. Also it is tempting to read without thinking or understanding in order to check off the box of the current day's assignment.

Reading plans are great at some other point in your day. They are not very good during morning devotions. Try to refrain from using an annual reading plan during your devotions or quiet time.

However, do develop a system. I advocate you take time to pray and ask God to lead you by His Holy Spirit in an orderly or systematic plan.

For example:
  • You can read chronologically through either the Old Testament or the New Testament. 
  • You may desire to begin in the gospels. 
  • Perhaps you wish you read about justification, sanctification, adoption, or the end times. 
  • Maybe you want to read one of Paul's letters. 

There are no wrong places to read. Just wrong ways!

They key is to choose a book of the bible and read through it systematically. 

Where ever you choose to read, take a small section and work through it until you have mined all of the golden nuggets and exhausted all of its valuable treasure.

So, read slowly, read sedulously, and read systematically!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good advice on reading THE most important book ever written.