How to R.E.A.D.
A Guide to Daily Spiritual Disciplines
The goal of reading and studying the Bible is not simply to acquire a database of knowledge about God. The ultimate goal is to know God personally through a relationship that honors Him as we become more like Jesus. God gave us the Bible in order to teach us about Himself and our relationship to Him. The more we begin to understand who we are in relation to God and begin to grasp what God has done for us then the more we will begin to see our lives and the world around us differently. Spiritual growth is an on-going process, but unless we spend time reading and studying the Bible, we will make little progress in becoming more like Jesus.
The Bible is God speaking to us through written words! We should be quick to listen to what it says and committed to absorb everything it tells us. Can we truly believe the Bible to be the actual words of God and then not do what it says? Jesus asks,
“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord’ and not do what I tell you?” (Luke 6:46)
As we read the Bible each day, our time of study should consists of these basic practices to help us understand what God is saying and how we should respond:
- Read - Recognize what the author intended to compose and read it as such.
- Examine - Recreate the experience of the author to discover the intended meaning.
- Apply - Identify how this passage can reshape a specific area of your life.
- Devote - Prayerfully contemplate what the Spirit’s leading you to do and do it.
May we be encouraged to read the Bible with humility and a desire to be instructed and taught. May we study prayerfully and attentively as we ask the Spirit to help us understand and properly interpret everything we read. And may we humbly ask God to reveal to us plainly what we need to start doing in order to faithfully and obediently apply the truths that we discover through reading and studying His Word.