A crisis may have prompted you to pick up a Bible, hoping to find quick words of comfort or guidance for the moment. If you have never spent time before reading through God’s word, chances are that you came up empty. The Bible is quite rich however with inspirational Bible verses to guide us through every circumstance we face. Scripture covers topics as diverse as finances, fear, sorrow, parenting, purity, relationships, and our responsibilities to God and man. Here are a few dos and a don’t to unlocking the treasure found in Scripture so you are better positioned in the future.
1. Don’t merely use the Bible as you would the yellow pages. Searching the concordance or the Internet to find a verse that speaks to your need will be of little help if you do not read beyond that specific verse to understand the context within which it was used. Promises will be of little comfort if you do not know God’s character. Several promises are conditional and may not apply in your case.
2. Do spend time reading the Bible on a daily basis, not just when you are in a crunch. When I committed my life to Christ, I was in a church that encouraged daily personal Bible study. The more I read through the Bible that previously sat untouched on my bookshelf for years, the more I developed an understanding of and a hunger for God’s word. Passages and verses that I had heard or read in Sunday School or church years before now came alive. I got to meet and know Christ through the Scriptures.
3. Do pray before you read the Bible. Ask God to help you to understand the Scriptures and to open your eyes so you can see wonderful things in His word. We need the Holy Spirit to help us to understand and receive the things of God (1 Corinthians 2:14-16). While you are reading, ask Him to teach you and help you apply the lessons to your life.
4. Do start with the Gospel of John then complete the rest of the New Testament books and then move on to the Old Testament. On my first attempt to read through the Bible I started with Genesis. When I got to Leviticus I lost the struggle. Someone shared this tip with me and my second and subsequent attempts to read through the Bible were successful.
5. Do try reading different translations for passages that are difficult to understand. My favorite translation is the New King James Version (NKJV) as it is a literal translation and it combines the beautiful poetry of the King James Version (KJV) with modern English. For a serious study of the Bible stick with the literal translations. Others include the English Standard Version (ESV) and the New American Standard (NASB).
6. Do memorize and meditate on Scripture. This will help to renew your mind (Romans 12:1-2) as you start to see the world from God’s perspective and develop an eternal mindset. The Holy Spirit will also bring a verse to your memory just when you need it most (John 14:26).
The Bible has been called God’s love letter to us. Reading through you will experience Christ and His love. If you start out without a personal relationship with Him, you will develop one as you will soon see your need for Him. God’s amazing love for us will be made evident throughout the pages of Scripture. As you spend time in God’s word, you will be changed. As a result, you will avoid many of those obstacles and pitfalls that would be consequences of your sin. In the next storm, you will know that the One who tells you to not fear is with you and will help you (Isaiah 41:10). You will know that He loves you more than you can imagine. You will know that He is sovereign. You will know that He is able and faithful. Inspirational Bible verses will then be more meaningful to you. Get to know the God of the Bible and make it a habit to spend time in the Word so that you will know these truths before you are faced with the circumstance.
By Barbara Grant
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