Are You Reading the Bible?

I really enjoy reading the Word of God.

I know that can be an easy thing to say and not so easy to do but reading the Bible has become a vital part of who I am and in helping me become all that God needs me to be. How about you? How is your reading going? I was amazed the other day that in her class assembly while everyone else is talking about all kinds of other books my 8 year old is telling everyone how her favourite thing to read is the Bible ‘it’s God’s diary’.

Stuck on how to read the Bible. Here are some things that have helped me & might help you…

1. Get a version that is easy to read. NIV, Message, NLT, NCV. This year I am reading through the Message version.
2. Have it with you all the time. I use youversion on my phone which means I can read wherever, whenever.
3. Bookmark anything that speaks to you, makes you think, challenges or you want to study further. Use a notebook, underline or save on your phone.
4. Have a plan. No excuses these days as there are all sorts of reading plans available that can help you. This is my plan 180 Bible Plan. I miss days but I do my very best to stick to this for the first 6 months of the year.
5. Keep going. Let’s be honest, some parts of the Bible are just plain hard work (or is that just me) but just keep reading, ask God to help you.
6. Read a good chunk at time. I know some who just read a verse a day but for me, it’s important to read a good chunk so I get a better feel for what’s happening, to see things in a bigger context. With reading the Bible you have to remember there is only one golden rule…that you actually read it on a regular basis!!

A while I go I commented on something that J I Packer had said, that every Christian worth their salt should read the Bible through. It got quite a reaction. How can we say that? Isn’t that religion? Well maybe, but personally I think it’s more a case of why don’t you want to read all the Bible? I know it doesn’t make a you Christian or even a better one but from what I have seen in my own walk…when I’m in the Word on a regular basis life just seems to be better. When I’m not in the Word…it just seems easier to drift.

So the question to you as a Christian is…are you reading your Word?
Create some space to accomplish this one thing which I guarantee will enhance your walk with God!!

All This Talk About Books

My recent post included a list of books that I would like to read. I enjoy reading. I am always on the lookout for a good read. I don’t however read as often as I would like, which just means the pile gets bigger.

A friend of mine, Chezz, says that for those who find reading less interesting or difficult then audible books might be a great alternative. Don’t think that would work for me, I like to scribble thoughts in a book, underline stuff, highlight key points and ideas, mostly for easy reference. If I was listening I would need keep stopping, to make a note of everything I wanted to remember.

I never used to be a great reader. It is a discipline I have worked at over the last 10yrs. Here are some thoughts that might help you increase your capacity to read more…

1. Pick an interesting book. Choose carefully. Make it something that you are pretty certain you will enjoy.
2. Get a book that is recommended.
3. Choose something that is not so intimidating. For instance, you might prefer Next Generation Leader by Andy Stanley as a good first leadership book to read, rather than The Leadership Challenge by Kouzes & Posner.
4. Set time aside to read. Doing this will help make it a discipline.
5. Use the chapters.They keep me on track, helping to set a target date for completing the book. Larger books can often be easier to manage with this ‘bitesize’ approach.
6. Have it close at hand. Then you can read whenever. Some people have them in the car in case of traffic delays. Maybe even left by the toilet.
7. Have a list. And make it a BIG list.
8. Put it down. If you find it hard going then leave it for a bit. Don’t give it up altogether. This is where having a list helps. Move onto the next one then come back to it later.
9. Keep reading. It might be tough at first but keeping going always makes it easier next time.

So, what are you reading right now? And what other books are on your list?