It took me a long time to figure out a Bible reading methodology that fit me. I’ve failed at a lot of them.
- A chapter a day keeps Adam’s Bible away
- Read it in a year means Adam won’t read it for a year
- Study it topical means Adam treats it like a tropical disease
- Skip around means Adam just skips it
- Read it in a group means Adam skips his group
You get the idea.
But I have found something that works for me. Something that I enjoy and gives me life.
It doesn’t have a name and it’s not really a technique. It’s kind of a half lectio divina on slow pills. Here’s how it works.
- I allow myself to dwell in a passage for a while, sometimes weeks. And by passage I don’t mean a chapter… it’s usually a paragraph or a thought from the author. (1-3 paragraphs at most) I’ll fester in this passage until it sticks in my ribs and I do something about it that I actually move on. It might be a few days and it might be a month.
- Read it fast. Read it slow. Stare at it. Write it out. Pretty much, I keep this passage on my mind. Maybe I’ll open my Bible and read it or maybe I’ll read it in 15 different versions on Biblegateway. Sometimes I’ll print it out and stick somewhere where I’ll see it all the time. And sometimes I copy it by hand in my journal.
- What 1 word pops out as the most important? As I get to know the passage, typically a phrase or even a word will pop out. God illuminates this to me. When I studied Bible study methods in college I hated that they tried to make this a science. Sometimes the most important part of a passage is not the main idea of the paragraph. Sometimes it the tense of a verb. Or the personal pronouns. I find that when I do this its like putting a roast in the slow cooker. It takes time to really become important.
- Ask God to reveal this to me in my life. Mantra-ize it. It FREAKS evangelicals out to see that word, mantra. All I mean by that is that I make that one word/phrase important. When it pops into my head it calls me to action or helps me see the world through the lens of that passage. I’ve found it so amazing how many times God reveals that phrase to me in my day. It’s like illumination on steroids.
God means what he says. What he says goes. His powerful Word is sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel, cutting through everything, whether doubt or defense, laying us open to listen and obey. Nothing and no one is impervious to God’s Word. We can’t get away from it—no matter what.
This is what works for me. Have you found a way of reading the Bible that works for you? I’d love to hear about it.
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