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I have many people ask me how to read their Bible. Or how to study the Bible. My first thought is, well, you have to open it, look at the words and begin reading the sentences. bible-and-coffee

It isn’t that people don’t know how to read it. It really comes down to we don’t really want to read it. Everyone knows how to read. We read each and every Facebook update perfectly and even respond to some. So reading isn’t really the problem.

We even read books on how to read the bible. Doesn’t that seem a little crazy ? To have a book on how to read your bible ? We have replaced self-help books with self-help read your bible books.

So, if reading isn’t really the physical problem, then what is it?

Desire. The ‘want to’ read it, but the ‘want to read everything else’ is stronger.

We are all on this journey, if we have chosen to be. And it is a progressive journey. Just like the Shulamite woman in the Song of Solomon, it may take us 8 chapters to fully comprehend this life we have chosen.

In chapter 1 of Song of Solomon, she asks –

Tell me, you, the one I love:
Where do you pasture your sheep?
Where do you let them rest at noon?
Why should I be like one who veils herself
beside the flocks of your companions?

Today that would be – where are the ones to look up too? Where can I learn to follow you rightly? Where do I rest in your presence? Why should I be like the ones who say yes, but never do yes ?

He responds:

 If you do not know,
most beautiful of women,
follow the tracks of the flock,
and pasture your young goats
near the shepherds’ tents.

If you aren’t sure follow those who are already living in my presence, eating my Word and are truly living the ‘yes’

So here is my suggestion; open your bible and begin to read. If you don’t understand, then try another version. Visit a bible study that helps keep you accountable with the reading, but make sure it really is a bible study, where the bible is read and shared. Where you are learning and growing in the Word, not in a ‘topic’.

Sit with someone who you see that really reads the Word and has a passion for it, not just trying to sell you a book or method. Methods are great, but we can focus on the method and all the colored pencils and still not be reading.

I encourage you to read entire books, not just verses. Start with James, read the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John), read ‘God Eats Pop Corn’ (Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians)

Just read.

The more you read, the more you will want to read and the more you will fall in love with the author. Which really is the point – reading the Bible is the way we begin to know God as our Father and how he talks to us.

I use a bible without study tools or added features for reading. Sometimes the added study tools, although awesome, can distract you from just reading. I do use a study bible, or several for when I want to dig into the Word at a deeper level.

I hope this encourages you to open the most beloved book from the most loving author.