How to Read the Bible in a Way that will Change Your Life

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Why I believe reading and studying the Bible is so important. But actually sitting down to read the Bible and letting God speak through His Word. #Bible #BibleStudy #BibleReading #Blessings

I get religion.

It’s always been a part of my life.

I grew up in church, attended parochial schools, became a church organist in high school, a parochial teacher after college, and I married a minister.

Like a piece of modeling clay, I was poked here and pinched there until I was shaped into what I call a “good little church girl.”

I’ve attended more Bible Studies and church services than I can count.

Some might say, I have been indoctrinated even “brainwashed.

And there was a time in my life when they would have been right. You see, everything I knew about my faith … I’d learned from other people.

Oh sure, I read and memorized the required parts of the Bible when I was in school and studied the verses that were listed in every Bible Study I’ve attended but through most of my life … I allowed other people to teach me their understanding of what the Bible taught and that greatly influenced what I believed.

Now please don’t misunderstand, I believed in Jesus as my Savior! This post is not about questioning whether or not I had faith.

It is about…

What I was missing in my life because I was sitting at the feet of people rather than sitting at the feet of Jesus.

So, I want to tell you why I believe reading and studying the Bible is so important. Not just reading what people say about the Bible. Not just attending topical Bible Studies. Not just listening to sermons and “messages.”

But actually sitting down to read the Bible and letting God speak through His Word.

In response to some of the comments I received at – You Need to Answer the Most Important Question about Jesus … I want to answer a few questions.

  1. What initiated my love for the Bible.
  2. Why I trust the Bible.
  3. Why I don’t read many books written about the Bible.

And tell you…

How to Read the Bible in a Way that will Change Your Life

Why I believe reading and studying the Bible is so important. But actually sitting down to read the Bible and letting God speak through His Word. #Bible #BibleStudy #BibleReading #Blessings

1. I love the Bible because…

I fell in love with reading the Word of God almost 15 years ago.

At the time, I was in a pit of despair … so completely broken that it was hard to function. I was having trouble getting out of bed and living my life. I didn’t want to see anyone or do anything.

By God’s grace, I picked up my Bible and a pen and I spent every spare moment reading and taking notes. Not a verse here and there but Genesis through Revelation … Creation through the Promised New Creation.

And as I prayed and asked Him to teach me through His Holy Spirit, God spoke to my broken heart…

He lifted me out of the pit of despair,
    out of the mud and the mire.
He set my feet on solid ground
    and steadied me as I walked along.

Psalm 40:2

Ever so slowly with each turn of the page, the Spirit filled me with hope, peace, and even joy. He showed me that even when others reject and forsake me … God never will. And I began to fall in love with my Creator and my Savior.

Like reading an amazing autobiography, I identified with the people of God’s Word. I could see myself…

  • taking a bite of the apple in the Garden.
  • depressed like Sarah.
  • grumbling like the wilderness wanderers.
  • broken like Job.
  • running like Jonah.
  • hiding and afraid like the disciples.

I’d love to see myself in the heroes of faith … but I identify more with the broken and needy. Because in their accounts, I see God’s constant and unwavering love.

And if He loved them like that, I can trust His love for me.

You see, I don’t see the Bible as a bunch of stories or a list of rules. For me, it is the greatest love letter ever written.

It is a message from God to His creation that He loves them so much He would rather die for them than live without them.

2. I trust the Bible because…

The Bible was written:

  • over a 1500 year span (from 1400 B.C to A.D. 100)
  • over 40 generations
  • over 40 authors from many walks of life (i.e. – kings, peasants, philosophers, fishermen, poets, statesmen, scholars)
  • in different places (i.e. – wilderness, dungeon, palaces)
  • at different times (i.e. – war, peace)
  • in different moods (i.e. – heights of joy, depths of despair)
  • on three continents (Asia, Africa, and Europe)
  • in three languages (Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek)

At yet, it contains one message … one truth from Genesis through Revelation.

“For this is how God loved the world: He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent His Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through Him.

John 3:16–17

Throughout history, as artifacts and historical documents have been unearthed and discovered … not one refutes the details of the Bible.

I’ve noticed through commenters online and conversations I’ve had in person … that most arguments against Christianity point to the failures and flaws of the Church – it’s leaders and members.

And you know what?

They’re right! People are messed up! Even people in the church. As much as we want to represent Christ well, we fail.

Paul wrote…

 I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. 

Romans 7:18b–19

And Paul’s right! But he’s not excusing bad behavior, he’s reminding the people reading his letter why they need Jesus.

A few verses later, he wrote…

What a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Romans 7:24–25a

For me, the message of the Bible – the truth I want people to trust … is that God’s love made evident in Scripture culminates in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. And a life surrendered to Jesus, no matter how broken by sin, will be transformed into a life of love that will live forever.

Why I believe reading and studying the Bible is so important. But actually sitting down to read the Bible and letting God speak through His Word. #Bible #BibleStudy #BibleReading #Blessings

3. I don’t read many other books about the Bible because…

Although, I used to be an avid reader of books written by Bible teachers.

Lately, I’ve observed that although there are, I’m sure, many books which are Biblically sound … there are also others that contain a culture pleasing bias.

I don’t have the time or the energy to join the arguments about what teachings are Biblical and true and those that aren’t.

I feel God has called me to tell people about His transforming love.

Jesus said…

So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”

John 13:34–35

I want to tell people and, to the best of my imperfect ability, show people the love of Jesus. I want them to know His power to lift them out of the “pit” and place them on a firm foundation built on His love. I want them to enjoy the freedom He gives to live with peace, hope, and joy.

So, I read my Bible and I write and tell my story.

Because I want people to know the One who says … I love you and I want to change your life.

Finally,

I’m often asked about my preferred Bible choice.

Rev once asked a theology professor, who was an expert in ancient Greek and Hebrew texts, what translation of the Bible he recommended and his answer…

The one you will read!

I agree.

My favorite translation is the New Living Translation.
My favorite Bible is the Life Application Bible. (The notes are so helpful!)

The past two years I’ve read it in the Genesis to Revelation – format. Next year I’m reading it Chronologically.

I always have a notebook, pen, and highlighter with me when I read … marking and writing the verses that speak to my heart.

If you’re struggling with any part of life or even if your not … if you’d just like to change your life for the better, let the Holy Spirit speak to you through the pages of the Bible.

You don’t have to spend hours a day. Just start with the time you have. Leave your Bible open on a counter and read a few verses here and there throughout the day. Read a couple of verses from Proverbs in the morning and a Psalm before bed.

If you want to fall in love with the God of the universe and His Son, Jesus, if you want to know the difference His love can make in your life … read the Bible!

Thank you so much for joining me today.
And a thank you to BibleGateway.com for sources.

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About Deb

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40 thoughts on “How to Read the Bible in a Way that will Change Your Life

  1. Thank you for this word. It was perfect timing and confirmation. I have been so hungry for the knowledge of the Lord that I spend hours reading books and watching YouTube sermons, only to find myself so confused. Sometimes I believe watching sermons is my laziness in reading the word, but the Spirit of God has spoken to my heart numerous times, ” take my yoke upon you and learn from ME”. He does speak.

    1. I’m so glad it blessed you, Colleen! Thank you for taking the time to let me know! I can’t imagine a better place than to be than sitting with and learning from the Lord Himself. God bless you!

  2. I’ve found that reading the Bible for myself has grounded me much more in my faith than any other influence possibly could, Deb. Everyone reading your words here today should take them to heart and take action. They will be enriched by those love letters from God.
    Blessings!

    1. Amen, Martha! I completely agree! I just want to spend my time “still and know”ing at Jesus’ feet! What an overwhelming blessing that we have a God who wants us to know Him personally! God bless!

  3. I so relate to this post. I remember when I was depressed and saw myself in the pages of the Bible as you did. It was life-changing and its why I live my life the way I do. The Bible is life giving and always points you to the giver of life.

    1. I think it’s in times when we take our brokenness and fall at Jesus’ feet that He uses His Word to lift us up. I love your last sentence – “The Bible is life giving and always points us to the give of life.” We are so blessed!

  4. Deb,

    “The Word of God is alive and powerful.”
    Hebrews 4:12
    A very deep verse of the Bible! One we should cling to and absorb.

    Each time I read one of your new devotionals I think it is the greatest! Then the next is great! And the next!

    Now today’s devotional is packed with so much information, guidance, inspiration, lessons, Scriptures, and helpful tidbits on opening our Bibles and getting into God’s Word.

    Years ago all I knew was to read the Bible. I read through the Bible not knowing to meditate on it, jot down Scriptures, take some notes how it related to me, and dig deeper. I still struggle a little on my note taking. I’m still learning how to get the most from God’s Word. Not only read and study the Word, but apply it to my life. I crave God’s Word.

    I loved all your examples of getting into God’s Word and the Scriptures you used.
    This was a wonderful devotional! Deb, thank you for sharing with your followers!

    Beautiful fall morning to all of you,
    Barbara

  5. It truly is a life-transforming book and process, Deb! My time in God’s word and learning how to pray to Him because of God’s word has in all respects saved my marriage and made my life so much more fulfilling and anchored. Great post, my friend! Will be pinning and tweeting!

    1. I love how He uses His Word to transform us and in transforming us He often transforms our circumstances. I don’t know if I would have ever gotten out of my pit of despair had in not been for God using His Word to lift me up and give me strength. Blessings!

  6. Oh, Deb, I cannot express to you how much I love this post! I’m going to be sharing this with my readers next week in my Friday Favorites collection. You’ve so confidently and convincingly expressed your passion for God’s Word. You have a way of simplifying things, and that is my heart – to encourage women to study the Bible for themselves, because THEY CAN. Every single person can do it. And it has the power to transform each life from the inside out. THANK YOU for this wonderful word!

    1. Thank you so much, Jana! I really appreciate your kindness. I have wanted to share this for a while. It’s hard to explain but I just love God’s beautiful love letter soooo much! And His Spirit has helped me fall more and more in love with Him as I read its words. Blessings!

  7. I loved this post-Deb, thank you! God’s Word truly is wonderful. I am encouraging a group of women to get into God’s Word because I know what it has done in my life. I am concerned as I have been speaking with Christin women and they admit that they are not reading the Word. I trust that this post will encourage all of us to make this a priority in their lives.

    1. I am joining you in prayer, Monica. It’s too easy to lose track of what’s important when we aren’t faithfully spending time in the Word. Thank you so much for your kind encouragement. God bless you!

  8. Deb, since I love God’s Word, I love this post! Thank you for mentioning how the Bible brings us hope, love, grace and more! And we should and do relate to the people in the Bible and their stories because we, too, are broken and needy. But the most important thing is how Scripture gives us truth and therefore life! The Bible is the best-selling book of all time and the greatest love story and love letter ever written in history. Because it’s His-story!

    1. Amen, Karen! I think it has been my search for Truth that initiated my first reading of the Bible … falling in love with the Way, the Truth, and the Life! It’s when I first realized that He was lovingly involved in my every day. Thanks so much for your kind encouragement! Blessings!

  9. Another suggestion is to listen to an Audio Bible. Whether you are listening as you fall asleep, or when you are up walking the babu in the middle of the night… 🙃📚 When you are driving, or whatever. It’s amazing what you’ll hear, especially when you vary your translation. Even if your mind wanders some or you fall asleep. Is there a better way to fall asleep than listening to the word?

  10. Can you recommend a Bible that is a good one for understanding and applying? I would like to get one for myself but don’t know how to choose. Thank you!

    1. Hi Jen, I really like the Life Application Bible in the New Living Translation. It has been my go-to Bible for the past several years. Thank you so much for visiting. God bless you!

  11. Such a great post, Deb. I always think of others as I read your posts. You have such a great way of sharing the Word of God that I wish my family would read your blog because they certainly won’t listen to me. Thank you for the pep talk!

    1. Thank you, Wendy! I really appreciate your kindness. I’m praying for your family … asking God to open their hearts and minds that they might fall in love with the Savior, Jesus. God bless you!

  12. Thank you for your message on reading the Bible. It has always been a bit overwhelming for me. I tend to end up jumping around and never feel satisfied with my attempts. Your words have inspired me to start at the beginning and try again. I have Jesus as my anchor daily, but I REALLY want to fully experience the Word from reading the Bible. I feel like this time I may have a real tried and true plan. Thank you!

    1. I’m praying for you, Pam … asking God to guide you through His Word, that it might come alive and bless you! Thank you so much for your kindness. You are a blessing! God bless you!

  13. Deb, You are so encouraging and always pointing us in the right direction. God’s direction. When I read your posts I am thinking she really gets it and knows how to inspire. Thank you so much.

    1. Barbara, I so appreciate your kind encouragement. I feel so blessed to be able to do this. I love it! Hearing from readers, like you, is an extra special bonus blessing. Thank you and God bless you!

  14. Just ordered the Bible you recommended. I have tried numerous times to REALLY read my Bible but always find other things to do instead.
    I plan to fall in love with the Word as you have.

    1. Hilda, I’m so glad! I’m praying that you are abundantly blessed as the Lord speaks to you through His Word! I truly believe you will be! Thanks so much for taking the time to let me know! God bless you!

  15. I can’t thank the Lord enough for helping me to accidentally fall upon what you wrote! I am at a place where I am struggling mentally, and I really needed the reminder that there is more people out there struggling to keep the good word. Also, that he is there full I’ve love, not just judgement. It makes me care a little more about what I am doing. Thank You for your service to the lord!

    1. Amen, Cecilia … the Lord is always faithfully calling to us with His love. Thank you so much for visiting and for taking a few moments to let me know and leave such kind encouragement. God bless you!

  16. Thank you so much for this post. It really spoke to my spirit and made me say “ouch!”. I keep “trying” to start reading and studying the Bible but get easily distracted and discouraged. Never follow thru. Your post was helpful for me. Please pray with and for me so that I find the desire and discipline combination I need to study God’s word.

    1. Hi, Tami, thank you for stopping by and saying “hello.” I am praying for you and asking God to help you fall in love with reading and studying God’s Word. And no ouches intended … it took me a very long time to simply rest in the Word and begin to love my time there. I love that you are determined to keep trying. God bless you!

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