I’m afraid it’s obvious: I love to eat. I like to go out and enjoy a delicious meal at a fancy restaurant where the waiter tends to your every need and the chef takes great delight in preparing a fantastic treat. But in recent years, I’ve also learned to enjoy cooking in the kitchen with Jan. Frankly, nothing beats a good home cooked meal.
Likewise, it is lovely to sit and listen to great Bible teachers and preachers. They are truly gifted, and they inspire me, but, just like the joys of home cooking, nothing is as rewarding as personal Bible study. So why don’t more people dust off their Bibles and search the Scriptures for themselves?
Perhaps it’s because reading itself seems to be falling on hard times. People don’t have time, or they can’t pronounce the names, or it just doesn’t seem relevant. People like multimedia presentations. Perhaps if we had the Bible projected on the big screen or the computer screen or even the tiny screen on your phone, it would be more popular. No, considering what Hollywood did to the incredible story of Noah, I don’t think that’s such a good idea.
Sometimes we just need to roll up our sleeves and dig in. Think about it. Gold is buried in rock and pearls are found in the deep, blue sea. The truly worthwhile things in life require hard work. The same is true with God’s word. He will reward our efforts a thousand times over, but it will need some work.
First, it will require setting some time aside on a regular basis. You can’t just sit down one day and drink it all in! Plan to study — perhaps only fifteen minutes — but do it every day. Next, sharpen up your pencil. The difference between reading and study is writing. Finally, and most importantly, pray. Ask God to help you!
Here is a straightforward, very easy way to begin studying the -Bible on your own. Read one chapter a day. (That’s usually less than a page!) Then think about it and chose the best verse. That’s the one that stands out to you. It might be a promise. It could be a warning or an example. You’ll know it. The Holy Spirit will speak to you. That’s exciting! So write it down on a post-it note or an index card and carry that passage with you all day long. Pull it out and read it. Smile and think about what God is telling you.
Don’t worry about the things you don’t understand just now. Later, in Bible class or from the pulpit or in conversations with other Christians, you’ll find the answer, but the important thing today is just getting started. Try this simple method to begin with. I guarantee if you use it for a month (that’s 30 verses in your pocket!), it will change your life.