People ask me all the time how I read my Bible. It usually stems from how strangely highlighted my Bibles are, or the journals that are always with me. Either way I thought I’d write about it on the bloggity-blog in hopes that my weirdo methods may encourage someone in their reading. As a kid I had trouble comprehending what I read. I could read incredible well, and fast, but I didn’t always understand what I read. This frustration allowed me to always appear as if I understood what was going on, but in reality, I was lost. So although I loved to read, I steered away from it, in school and in life. In my late teens my mother gifted me with my very own Bible, a Bible specifically for teenagers. It had context above each chapter, highlighted portions to help give context and real life stories in the margins to tie everything in. It was such a gift and it not only taught me how to LOVE the BIBLE, but it ignited my love for reading. As the years have past I’ve taken that need for
- historical context
- relevant tie in’s
- easy to read / understand
and made sure as I read the Bible now as an adult that I try to incorporate the above. How do I do that?
// I read books about the history of the early church, the Jewish faith, and those with secular perspectives on Jesus and Christianity.
Because I can’t live my entire life stuck in a Bible for teens I have to constantly push myself to understand the History and the context in which the Bible was written. If I understand the context then I won’t misinterpret the cultural references and I won’t feel like the disciples and Jesus are constantly referencing inside jokes that I don’t get. I long to understand the Bible, so I strive to learn all I can surrounding it, even the uncomfortable stuff ( I’ll write about this another day. )
// I write down everything & I read small.
I read various versions of the Bible at any given time and each version has a journal. I am currently unearthing the book of Matthew, section by section in the NKJV. I have a journal that has every thought, revelation, question, and story I can think of that helps me understand each portion. I am also reading through the Prophets in THE VOICE, there’s a journal with that journey as well. I find that I don’t forget the revelation if I write it down and I can always go back and use these journals as a reference.
// Highlighters are a must-have!
I highlight, circle, underline, and mark up my Bibles. Before it even hits my journal, its been noted in my Bible. Whether I use it in a sermon, or if I just want to remind myself that God spoke to me, I highlight it. I even write down the dates in which I read it, or alongside the word God’s downloaded to me. Many times I’ll read something I read YEARS before and the prophetic word God gave me in my reading will revive something in me. I am a firm believer that God speaks CONSTANTLY and CONSISTENTLY to us. We just aren’t necessarily listening or we are bogged down with the LOUDER things in life. If you HIGHLIGHT the TRUTH of God’s word then its will always stick out to you in moments when you desperately need it.
For me, the Bible is my compass. It helps me navigate the deep vastness of eternity that calls unto the deep vastness of the temporal and it’s our job to journey through it. If we do it well we will encounter God in amazing ways, and we can help others understand and experience our creator as well. Here’s to discovering and exploring WHO God is, WHAT He has in store, and the part in which we play.