If you are a Christian, you have probably struggled with reading the Bible at some point. Let's be honest, the struggle is real, but the good thing is that is most often comes in seasons. There are many reasons that Christians struggle with reading the Bible.
What is your biggest struggle with reading the Bible? Do you get distracted with all the things you have to do that day? Does what you're reading in the Bible make sense? Are you confused on what to focus on as you read the Bible? These are just a few of the many struggles what come with reading the Bible.
I didn't get saved until after college so I was really hungry for truth when I started reading the Bible. Psalm 34;8 say, "Taste and see that the Lord is good..." and I had "tasted and seen" a lot of what the world had to offer. It was not good! In those first few months, reading the Bible was so new and refreshing. I loved every minute of it!
I don't remember when, but eventually I got to a place where I felt so guilty if I didn't read "enough" or "long enough". Have you ever been there? The guilt made it hard to want to spend time reading the Bible. I knew I "should", but what if I didn't want to? Can I get an amen?!
How I learned to enjoy reading the Bible
Again, I don't know the exact point in time when this revelation came to me, but it transformed my life!
John 1:1 - In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God
John 1:14 - The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us
These two verses pierced my heart. The Word became flesh...that's Jesus. The revelation that transformed my life was that Jesus is the Word of God. Jesus is the Bible! The Bible is Jesus! I had proof right there in the scriptures. What was so transformational about this revelation? Well, Jesus is the Word of God and that truth makes the Bible a person, not a book. Reading the Bible became spending time with Jesus, a person, not reading a book full of text!
Jesus invites you and I into a relationship with Him. Once I realized that reading the Bible was spending time with Him, and not just preforming a religious duty it came alive. He is alive after all! Hebrews 4:12 teaches us that the "Word of God is alive and active". It's really true! Since this revelation I approach my time reading the Bible as a relationship with Jesus.
What does it look like practically
My first tip is take time and invest in the relationship. It takes faith to believe that you are speaking with Jesus when you read the Bible. It takes faith to believe in Him in the first place. If we simply believe He will speak to us as the Word of God He will. Just like any relationship, it takes time and investment to build a relationship with Him. You can't read for two minutes and give up.
My second tip is to ask questions. Yes, that's right. Asking questions is a form of prayer. Matthew 7;7 encourages us to "ask, and you will receive". Again, this takes faith to believe that Jesus hears our prayers and will answer. I can tell you from my own personal experience that He does answer! Often times I will even ask Jesus what part of the Bible He would like to share with me that day. On most occasions I leave our time together having encountered something profound. Other times that I've asked what to read I've heard books and chapters that don't even exist. As an example, it would be like hearing Ephesians 7 which doesn't actually exist. When that happens I celebrate trying to hear His voice and try again. Just like any relationship you don't throw it out the window over a minor mistake, right?!
Jesus died so we could live in relationship with Him. He wants to spend time with you and I!
For more practical tips for spending time with Jesus check out my book Encounter Jesus.