Last week, we challenged you to be a man of the Word. Whether you are new in the faith or have known the Lord for some time, being in the Word is crucial to the health and growth of your relationship with Jesus Christ. But many men are at a loss as to how to read and study the Bible.
Our motivations are a good place to start. Why read and study the Bible? Our motivation should be to meet with God. We want to know Him better and learn what it means to live for Him. We don’t read the Word merely to accumulate knowledge or facts about God. We want to know Him better. Always go to the Word with the intent to meet with God.
Also, the Apostle Paul wrote, “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.” (Romans 15:4) When we read about Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, David, Daniel, and others, we find encouragement and strength from their relationship with God and all they endured.
If you’ve never read through the New Testament, I suggest you start there. The first four books: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are the four Gospels written by four different men about Jesus’ birth, life and ministry, death, and resurrection.
Also, you may be wondering about which version to read, for we are truly blessed to have a number to choose from. The New International Version (NIV), The English Standard Version (ESV), The New Living Translation (NLT), and The New King James Version (NKJV) are among the most popular and are all great translations. They vary slightly in style or readability, so try each one until you land on one you like.
Be patient as you read. The Bible is like no other book. “The word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12) Let God’s Word permeate your heart. If you don’t understand something, ask your pastor or another follower of Jesus, or simply keep reading. The Bible is its own best interpreter.
Finally, “Do not merely listen to [or read] the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” (James 1:22) Couple your reading of God’s Word with faith and action. Understanding often follows obedience.
Scripture Reading: James 1:19–25
- If you’re not currently reading the Word daily, choose one of the Bible reading plans available on the internet or recommended by your pastor. Ask your wife or a friend to read the same plan so you can keep each other accountable and discuss what you’ve read.
- Pray for understanding and faith as you read God’s Word and put it into practice in your life.
Jim Grassi, D. Min.
We cherish any verse in Scripture that reminds us to keep focused and intentional about evangelism and discipleship. “But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.” 2 Timothy 4:5