Open to the Spirit
How to read the Bible
This devotional is written by Matt Coombs.
How to Read the Bible...
I think for many people the Bible is something of an enigma. Much of it can appear very complex, backwards or just plain boring.
When I studied university one of my Biblical studies lecturers spoke to us about the importance of reading the Bible devotionally. Of course, the Bible can be unpacked in great depth, and there is all manner of opinion regarding the context and tone with which certain phrases were used. But the Bible is still the first and foremost way that God speaks to us.
The writer of Hebrews says, "The word of God is living 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." Paul says, "Faith comes from hearing the message and the message is heard through the word of Christ" (Romans 10.17). The Bible is sometimes mistakenly viewed as a fusty old book but there's nothing remote about the change that it brings about. Through the Bible, God challenges people and brings to faith those who are seeking him.
The Bible's pages are full of ancient people's lives transformed. Today we see the same stories of transformation played out repeatedly amongst us. This is the excitement that this book brings. That through its message we see change played out not only in its pages but also in the lives of people that we know.
So how can we read the Bible devotionally?
This is called S.O.A.P. It's a way of reading the Bible that helps me to intentionally open and expectant towards God.
Open your Bible to your reading for the day. Take your time reading and expect God to speak to you. When you are done, look for a verse that particularly stood out, and write it in somewhere, perhaps in your journal if you have one.
What do you think God is saying to you in this scripture? Ask the Holy Spirit to teach you and reveal something of Jesus do you?
Personalise what you have read, by asking yourself how it applies to your life right now. Perhaps it is instruction, encouragement, a new promise or corrections for a particular area of your life. Write how this scripture can apply to you today.
This can be as simple as asking God to help you use this scripture, or even a prayer for greater insight on what he may be revealing to you. Remember, prayer is a two-way conversation, so be sure to listen to what God has to say. Now, write it out.
Try it with one of these:
2 Corinthians 5:17
John the Baptist prepares the wayJesus announces the good newsJesus heals manyJesus forgives and healsJesus heals on the SabbathParable of the sowerLamp on a standJesus restores a demon possessed manJesus raises a dead girl and heals a sick womanA prophet without honourJohn the Baptist beheadedJesus feeds the five thousandJesus walks on waterThat which defiles
Faith of the Syro-phonecian womanFeeding 4000Jesus heals a blind man at BethsaidaTransfigurationJesus heals a boy possessed by an impure spiritJesus predicts his death a second timeDivorceThe rich and the kingdom of GodJesus predicts his death a third timeBlind Bartimaeus receives his sightJesus comes to Jerusalem as kingJesus curses a fig tree and clear the templeThe authority of Jesus questionedPaying tax to CaesarThe greatest commandmentThe destruction of the temple
A Fellowship of DifferenceLove your neighbourLove your enemyNeither Jew nor GentilePray for PrideEphesians 6:10-13Ephesians 6:14Ephesians 6:15Ephesians 6:16Ephesians 6:17Ephesians 6:18-20LoveLove, for the day is nearLove is patientGod is loveCreationSabbathThe Lord does not grow wearyPsalm 23Come all you who are wearyBe stillJesus asleep in the boatQuiet you with love
Proverbs 1Proverbs 2Proverbs 3Proverbs 4Proverbs 5Proverbs 6Proverbs 7Proverbs 8Proverbs 9Proverbs 10Proverbs 11Proverbs 12Proverbs 13Proverbs 14Proverbs 15Proverbs 16Proverbs 17Proverbs 18Proverbs 19Proverbs 20Proverbs 21Proverbs 22Proverbs 23Proverbs 24Proverbs 25Proverbs 26Proverbs 27Proverbs 28Proverbs 29Proverbs 30Proverbs 31
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