1. Accept that the Bible is truth.
In order to really gain anything from Bible, you have to believe that it is all it says it is Matthew 5:18 (NLT). Just like you believe the science books you read in school. Just like you believe the documentaries you watch. Just like you believe non-fiction book you read. In the same way, you believe in the education systems of the world, you must also believe in the education system of God.
2. Let go of preconceived notions, and don’t be stubborn for the sake of being stubborn.
When reading passages that make you react negatively or that bring doubt, examine why you are reacting to it that way. Does your reaction to it make sense? Are you able to find a biblical explanation that backs up that reaction? Are you hardening your heart to the words because it doesn’t quite fit in nicely to what you want to believe or even how you feel? You won’t always be able to answer all the questions, but the point here is to take some time to examine your heart. After all the examinations, you have the free will to choose what you will do.
3. Pray asking the Holy Spirit for revelation as you read.
One big thing to understand is that the Bible is not just a book. The point here isn’t to read through the book for bragging rights. The Bible is sharper than any two-edged sword Hebrews 4:12 (NLT), it’s not only our guide, but also a weapon we use when battling our accuser and his minions Ephesians 6:10-18(NLT). So when taking the time to read it, it helps to speak with the Holy Spirit and ask him to soften your heart to be able to accept His word, and to reveal to you the mysteries of God. This also helps to put you in the right mindset as you move forward.
4. Meditate on a verse or passage
Sometimes instead of reading chapters at a time, the best thing to do is find a passage, or a verse and meditate on it. What I mean by meditating here is to ponder on it, to repeat it to yourself over and over like a mantra. Let your spirit soak in it, let your mind wrap around it, let your heart accept it. Sometimes you can even personalize the verse to be your own. As you meditate on it, you will find that it will stick with you. And when trouble comes you will be able to bring it back to memory and use it. One of my favorite passages in tough times is Matthew 6:25-34 (NLT).
5. Research anything you don’t understand
Whether it’s by reading other passages, asking your small group leader, your pastor, that friend that helped lead you into salvation, or even Google, find the answer to the questions you have or the bits of scripture you don’t quite understand. While there are certain things that can’t be fully understood, there is still plenty that can. Places like Gotquestions.org, Biblehub, BibleStudyTools, Bible Gateway, Rhapsody of Realities, and Ask Pastor Chris have some very insightful answers for when you’re not able to reach out to someone directly. Sometimes, even if you don’t have questions, it helps to talk about it with other believers, as this can really help broaden your understanding (Proverbs 27:17 (NLT)). I recommend attending bible studies if you are able, if not start a small one; it can be just you and one other person. I also encourage going to church, as pastors also shed more light on some of the things you’ve read, and churches usually have small groups that you can join, and many elders and leaders you can turn to. If ever you’re in doubt about what you hear from someone, question them about it, and study for yourself as well to make sure it’s biblically accurate.
6. Put what you now know into practice!
All those steps I just listed are meaningless if you don’t do anything with what you read James 1:22-25 (NLT). As you read, you must also apply it to your life. Grow your faith, expand your understanding, confess the word with your actions, acknowledge that God is who He says He is. It could be as simple as waking up and declaring “today is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it” — Psalm 118:24. Or acknowledging that nature and everything in it were ordained by God. When hard times come, practice peace, patience, love, joy, self-control. Pray in all things, seek God as much as you can. As you do this, watch how your life will begin to change.
Have any thoughts, concerns, or testimonies? Don’t hesitate to drop a comment below.