I just finished reading a blog post another priest friend of mine sent me that truly blessed me and changed the way I read the Bible. It is truly a transformational way of reading the Bible. Imagine that, after over forty years of reading my Bible, I am still learning to read it. The blog my friend sent me goes in other directions and is more complicated than I am actually blogging, but what I am blogging has so blessed me that I want to share it with you, my friends.
Many Bible Reading methods that are taught out there or that you may find on the Internet, involve reading the entire Bible in one, two, even three years, in fact some Bibles have been created so that you can read the entire Bible in one year. Even the Lectionary at the back of our Prayer Books, whether for the Daily Offices or the Sunday Eucharist intend on us reading at least most of the Bible in a year’s time. A monumental job that requires a great deal of focus and commitment, not to say the least, time, more time than most of us can dedicate to it. It is very easy under these methods to get discouraged as you get farther and farther behind, some guilt can set in, the temptation to quit is ever present; Or worse, at times, a great deal of pride puffs you up that you are actually doing it, and then you boast, “I have read the entire Bible cover to cover;” but can you remember what you read? How has it transformed you? One of the greatest problems I see with these methods is that you read but not necessarily retain all that you should of the Word of God.
“I have read the entire Bible cover to cover;” but can you remember what you read? How has it transformed you?
How about trying this new method. Instead of reading for speed or to accomplish a goal, read for application. Do not move to the next passage, or chapter, or section of the Bible book you are reading until you Do It–until you apply the teaching, the commandment, the instruction of God to your life. Yes, it will take you longer to read the entire Bible, but isn’t it better to DO the Bible rather than just read the Bible. Isn’t that what James had in mind when he wrote in James 1:22-25 “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.” Would reading the Bible in this way not be much more transformational, which is the intent of the Word of God in the first place?