Monday, June 13, 2011

The Gift of God's Word

Reading the Bible without meditating on it, is like trying to eat without swallowing. ~ Anonymous 

I believe a vibrant spiritual life must include the reading and meditating on the Word of God.  Can we really enjoy reading God's Word?  I never read a book twice. What's the use when you know the end of the story?  I do re-read nonfiction once in a while.  But I read the Bible over and over and over.  The crazy thing is how "new" it seems each time I read it. And yet, in the newness there is a familiarity that touches a place of home in my heart.

I bore easily.  I really hate to admit it.  If my daughters read this they will laugh because I never allowed them to say they were bored.  I always had a chore for them to do if they were bored.  How can you be bored when life has so much to offer -- a book to read, a hobby to enjoy, a story to write, a picture to draw, enough to never be bored?

The reason I say I bore easily is that I don't like to do anything more than once.  Not reading, not a craft project, not even cooking. So I try to keep my Bible reading creative and fresh.  

To keep the freshness, I:

1.  Read a different translation.  RB bought the Zondervan's Comparative Study Bible for me.  This features four translations across the double page spread.  I don't get as far each day by the time I read four translations, but I feel like I grasp the verses and come away with a clear idea of the chapters.

2.  Listen to the Bible on CD or MP3.  I purchased The Message on CD for Shawn last year for Christmas.  The neat thing about the Remix version is the wide variety of voices, including Steve Green, Stephen Curtis Chapman, and Rebecca St. James.

3.  Use a Chronological Bible instead of reading Genesis-Revelation.  This publication begins with God creating the world and continues in the order the events took place.  Emily recently requested one, so I picked up on the idea and bought one for her (We have always tried to purchase study Bibles for our girls to keep their reading fresh).

4.  Record thoughts in a notebook. I like to read with pen in hand. (If you like to mark in your Bible, this is the best highlighter I've found: Automatic Crayon Pencil: 8 colors.)  Choose a verse to copy, memorize and read, and record some commentary on the verse.  Carry your notebook with you and while waiting on appointments, work on memorizing, and be ready to write down a thought God brings to mind.  It keeps you meditating on the Word all day long. In Psalm 1 we read of the blessed man who "delights in the law of the Lord and in his law does he meditate day and night."

5. Use a Bible Study to help focus on a subject.  I like the Women of Faith series.  It provides variety and practicality, particularly relating to the 21st Century Christian woman.  Another one I like is New Hope Bible Studies for Women. Studying with a friend is often helpful, too.

Long ago I read that we should pray, "Open my eyes that I may find wonderful things in your law" (Psalm 119:18), before beginning our Scripture reading.  This helps corral my thoughts, and reminds me  the reason I am reading is to learn more about God and His plan in my life.  I need the enlightening of the Holy Spirit for the Word to become alive and remain active in my life.

Be an Ezra.  The Bible tells us that "he devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law of the Lord" (Ezra 7:10).  Become passionate about the Book God gave to us. Read, study, meditate on it and practice it.  Let the Word saturate your heart and delight in it. "Can we really enjoy reading God's Word?" The answer is a resounding yes!


My daily walk in His grace! said...

HI Pam. I love this post. I was in my local Christian bookshop yesterday and I was looking at all the bibles. I did see something about a comparative bible. Because of your post I will definitely be going back and looking at it more thoroughly. I've never seen a chronological bible either - I'd love that so I will be checking to see where I can get one of those.
God bless

Elizabethd said...

What a very wise and helpful post. Thank you.

Fresh Garden said...

Wonderful! Absolutely wonderful!

Kristin Bridgman said...

I love the quote at the top. I was at a bible study last night, where we are studying the women of the Bible. I have read about Sarah for YEARS and yet, I still got new revelations, new perspectives of her. There is always something to learn from His Word, I just love that. And I use many colored highlighters too:)

Angela said...

I too have the same belief about reading books twice.Praise God we don't have that with His precious Word......It amazes me so many times how I can read it, have read it, BUT still find something so new and so amazing reading His Word again...Thanks for sharing all these wonderful ways we can dig deeper into the Bible..blessings dear one

Prairiemaid said...

Hi Pam, thank you for coming by, commenting and following.

You have a beautiful blog and I love your post. God's Word is amazing...because it is alive! And there are so many levels....I am forever in awe.

We will have to visit more and soon.


Jen said...

I don't re-read books either, but I so agree with you that the Word can be fresh each time I read it. I am always amazed how I can read the same story 10 times and still find something new to take away each time if my heart is looking for it.

Eileen said...

Great advice, Pam. I also love how we can read the Bible over and over and depending on what might be going on in our lives...we understand or appreciate a verse in a new way. It never gets old!

Ryan and Melanie said...

Oh, I too love how I can read the same passage over and over again, but still find something new. That chronological Bible would be fascinating to read!

p.s. thanks for your encouraging comment on my blog.

Joan said...

Love this post, Pam. I hunger for God's word - something I never dreamed of in my younger years.
I began reading the Bible chronologically a few months back - just finished reading 1 Samuel and it was so enlightening to read the Psalms David penned during his times of distress. Looking forward to getting in the the prophetic books alongside Kings and Chronicles.

We are so blessed to have a variety of translations and online study resources.


Anonymous said...

Amrita from India

Dear Pam, the reading and studying of God 's Word is so essential for our lives and spiritual growth. I am enjoying reading the One Year Bible which divides the entitre Bible into daily OT, NT and Psalms an d Provs. for each day. Its gives syuch a balanced view of the Bible. And the readings complement each other and bring about a coherence to the whole thing.

I have a book review on my blog about a book which speaks abiout how the Bible has impacted our world

Hands to Work, Hearts to God said...

Al your tips are great! I've never seen a Chronological Bible, I think I'd like to get one!

I have a prayer journal where I illustrate the bible verse so I don't forget it. I also bought a Bible with really big margins so I can write notes on it.

tinuviel said...

Amen to all this! The Scriptures and ability to read them are such a blessing; it does my heart good to read your exhortations.

I have that same colored pencil, acquired when I took Precept Bible study training. From your link, I discovered Amazon sells the refill lead, too. Yippee!

Thank you for stopping by my site and taking time to leave a comment. I'm glad I followed you back here to get acquainted. Grace and peace to you in Jesus!

sarah said...

I'm with you on this and I too bore easily but....reading His Word does something that is better than eating the best fills me up like nothing else can and it gives me hope. Thanks for this great post.

Rachel Asher said...

I love the quote at the top! Great post and full of wisdom! Thanks for visiting and commenting on my blog Loving Life. I'm your newest follower:)

Ginger~~Enchanting Cottage said...

All of these are wonderful ideas,thank-you for sharing them.
God Bless,

Shore Girl said...

Oh my - a kindred spirit that bores with the same old, same old all the time! Once I viewed it as a weakness, but now I try to use it for good. (P.S. just ask my friends and family how many times I change my house around in a year's time -- the benefits of course are that it's most always nice and clean behind my furniture! -- smile)

Rebecca said...

I too love how the God of Word is fresh and new every time I read it regardless of how many times I've read it. Love what you do to vary your Bible study time.

Tina Fisher said...

Thank you for stopping by my blog and the wonderful comment!

I have recently found a new love for reading books again. But they are non-fiction and always worth the read again. I think I rush through and so I pick up different things again and again. I also read with a pen(cil) and it's awesome to go back to the things I once thought I should work on, remember, etc.

I've heard about the color coded system. I'm heading over to check that out!

You have an awesome Bible that has four translations!!! :)

Wonderful blog! What a nice gift to experience together as a family!

God Bless!


MAG DURU said...

thanks for sharing, am inspired. God bless your ways and days!

Heather Nelsen said...

Pamela, I love the way you begin each of you blogs with scripture or a quote. You're blog is so inspiring and makes me realize I want to have more scripture and inspiration on my own blog! Thanks for stopping by- I'm so glad I got to see your blog too!

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