Last week’s post – Are we taking the “RunPee” approach to the Bible? – generated some interesting feedback both in the comments and in person.
The basic gist of it was this….it’s all well and good to say we need to read and embrace all of Scripture, but we don’t want to just go through the motions.
How do you actually DO this?
To answer that question, I’m going to give you a brief rundown of what I do to help me through the more challenging parts of Scripture. It’s not the only way, but it works for me.
1. Pray about it. I know that sounds like the Sunday School answer, but it’s the most important and very first step. If you’re a believer, the Holy Spirit lives in you. He is more than willing to open your mind and eyes to the nuggets tucked away in random Old Testament passages. Ask Him!
2. Don’t panic. When you read three chapters in Leviticus and have absolutely NO IDEA what you just read…That is OK! Some days you’ll close your Bible and say, “Well, God, um, that was, um, well, I have no idea what that was!” Don’t let days like that make you feel like you’re missing something. Again, the Holy Spirit will show you what He wants you to see. Keep showing up and giving Him the chance!
3. Bible in Five videos. These videos, produced by Blackhawk Church (the people who developed the Eat This Book program we are doing this year) are fabulous. They help you get the big picture of the entire book, which makes it easier to see how it all fits, especially when you have a day where nothing makes sense!
4. Study Bible. I prefer to read out of a Bible with minimal notes, but I’ve recently pulled out our massive ESV Study Bible as backup! I usually read out of my Bible, but keep the study Bible nearby so I can check the notes when something is confusing. You can get a “personal size” ESV Study Bible from Amazon for $15. It contains all the notes in the regular ESV Study Bible and then moves some of the longer articles on-line where you get free access. I haven’t purchased the personal size yet, but it’s just a matter of time. :-)
5. Patience. Depending on your background, some of this stuff may not only be dry, it may be brand new. Think of it like building a house. You are laying the foundation right now. It’s not flashy. It can be downright boring. But you’ve got to have the foundation before you get to see the masterpiece the architect has designed.
I hope that helps! I’d love for you to share your favorite Bible study tips in the comments!