By Kristin Overman
An older lady in the church once told me, “I get bored with my Bible so I read Christian books instead.” It made me so sad. The God of the universe wants us to know Him and has communicated with us through His word. Yet many leave it sitting on the shelf in exchange for books of men. There is nothing wrong with reading Christian books but when we read them in the place of the Bible it is like me trying to learn more about my husband by spending time with his mom instead of just spending time with him. To learn about God we must be in His Word.
“Never underestimate a cursory reading of the Bible”. My youth pastor always told me this. Many people get overwhelmed with studying the Bible. The best place to start is to just read it. I like to organize information so I have found that when I organize my Bible reading it makes more sense and I begin to see themes and common ideas. I read by type of book, for example all the minor prophets, the gospels, or the wisdom books. I sometimes will read the narrative books and insert the books that fit chronologically with in it. For example, Acts is the story of the beginning of the church and Paul’s missionary journeys. I insert Paul’s letters in chronological order as they come up through Acts. Or I read by author, all the books of Moses, Luke, or John.
Teddy Roosevelt said, “Nothing in life is worth doing or having unless it means great effort, pain, or difficulty.” I believe you have to work some to gain some.
I record as I read. I organize what I learn by making timelines, outlines, lists, maps or charts depending on the book or passage. In Leviticus I made a chart of the different types of sacrifices. In the gospels I recorded on a map all the cities Jesus traveled to. In the Pauline letters I listed all the one anothers. In Proverbs I recorded what it said about wisdom and foolishness.
“What are you going to do with what you learn?” is my quote.
Reading the Bible is not about gaining knowledge but about transformation. I pray that my life would change to reflect God’s truth. I use the lists, charts, whatever I’ve recorded and learned as prayer points and application. I believe that as we learn about God in the power of the Holy Spirit, He will change our thinking and as a result our behavior. So if you’re ever bored with Scripture try reading it a different way, find one thing you can record as you read, and most important ask God to use it to transform you.