Reading scripture can at times be difficult. There are a lot of things that are going on in any given text. You are reading many times without context, historical understanding, or cultural understanding.
For today's post I wanted to break down four ways that I and others have found to simplify your scripture reading time to get more out of it.
1. Find What Time And Way Is Best For You
Everyone is built differently. Some people love the mornings, while others don't want to be up until well after the sun is. You need to understand the flow of your day to better understand when would be best for you to read through and study scripture.
Along with the when, is knowing how you learn best. Some people are auditory learners, they can listen to anything and retain it. Others need a quite place with a notebook or they won't be able to process anything they are reading. The key is to know yourself well enough to know how you learn best. If you're not sure yet, try a few different ways and see what works best.
2. Fluctuate How You Read And Study
Repetition can be good but it can also get very boring. When you find yourself losing interest in your reading time try switching up the style. If you are accustomed to reading chapters straight through, try reading smaller sections and comparing them between different translations and seeing what was translated differently. If you are used to reading in smaller sections, you may break it down further and really dig into your study Bible notes or commentaries.
The goal in fluctuating is to change up your study time enough to get you out of your rut and back into God's word.
3. Keep A Journal Of Your Study Time
One of the most encouraging things I've found personality in my study time, as well as when I speak to others, is having the opportunity to look back at where God has brought you. One of the ways to look back is to reread notes that you wrote a year or more ago about a particular passage. It isn't that the passage itself has changed. We know that the Bible doesn't change nor do the meanings contained within it, but we do.
It's a very encouraging exercise to look back and to see how you've grown in the Lord from where you were to where you are now. Do you better understand how scripture works together and how God used particular passages to draw you closer to Him? All the while you were oblivious to what He was doing.
4. Share With Others
Scripture isn't meant to be consumed and kept. Throughout the Bible we see communities of Jesus followers learning together, sharing together, and growing together. What you are learning in your own scripture time may be incredibly encouraging or helpful to someone else.
For example, I was speaking with a family member about some random topic. The conversation turned towards the Bible and they brought up that they had been reading through it again and taking notes. They went on to recount all the things they were learning and the details they had missed before. This is someone who has been a Christian for more than 40 years and has spent that time learning about God's word but still didn't realize how the Bible fit together chronologically until their most recent read through with note taking.
Though for them it was a simple retelling of their day, for me it was encouraging. It was encouraging to see someone still learning so much about how God works and has worked throughout time. They didn't know it but they absolutely made my day. Never underestimate how much encouragement and joy you may be bringing to someone by simply sharing the things you have learned from scripture.
Did I miss anything? What ways do you stay engaged in scripture? Share in the comments below!