The entire Bible is a record of God’s speaking in human history. (Klaus Bockmuehl) This book can also inform the story of our lives each and every day.
How can we do this?
Let [the student of Scripture] approach the Bible with reverence; bearing in mind that his (her) first and only aim and object should be that (s)he may catch and be changed into the spirit of what (s)he there learns. It is the food of the soul; and to be of use, must not rest only in the memory or sink into the stomach, but must pierce through the very depths of the heart and mind.
Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536)
With this in mind, pick one of the first four books of the New Testament, the gospels. I suggest you read through Mark, Luke or John to start. Read just a few verses or a paragraph each day and place a bookmark to keep track of where your next reading is.
As you read, ask yourself three questions:
- What does it say? Read it more than once to get an idea of this.
- What does it mean? Ponder: what did it mean to the person who first wrote it and those who first read it? Email me at email@example.com if you get stuck on this point. (If you are really keen, you can get a study Bible or find a study book – I’d be happy to help).
- How does it apply to me, my family, my work, my neighbours, the society around me? (This is the most important stage. It is when we see the relevance to our own lives that Bible reading becomes so exciting and we become conscious that we are hearing God’s voice and that we are growing in knowing God.)
Finally, we must put into practice what we hear from God. Jesus said , “therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock’ (Matt. 7:24) As the nineteenth-century preacher D. L. Moody pointed out, “The Bible was not given to increase our knowledge. It was given to change lives.’ from Nicky Gumbel, Questions of Life.