Monday, February 18, 2013

Three Ways I Read the Bible

There are three ways that I read the Bible. I read for devotion, for understanding, and for preparation. Each way is vital to my growth as a Christian, as a pastor, and as a leader. Albert Mohler said this,
"Convictional intelligence is the product of learning the Christian faith, diving deeply into biblical truth, and discovering how to think like a Christian."
If you aren't spending time in God's Word, it will have a detrimental effect on your leadership.

First, I read for devotion. I typically read two chapters a day, utilizing a reading plan of some kind. I read through books of the Bible. This year I have read through Acts, Romans, Hebrews, and I am currently reading through the book of John. These are the the passages I meditate on and pray through. I am looking to grow when I read these passages. This is the type of reading I do every day.

Second, I read for understanding. This is where I read a lot of Scripture. I use Grant Horner's Bible Reading Program. This has me reading ten chapters or more a day. I read this way to help me become more aware of the overall message of the Bible. Reading this much helps me to understand the whole message of the Bible. Needless to say, I don't read this way every day.

Finally, I read for preparation. This is when I read for sermons or lesson. I read the text many, many times to get the flow and feeling of what is being said. I read the surrounding passages as well. I want to be very familiar with the passage. I look at cross-references and try to find parallel passages. This reading is very in-depth. It is also my favorite way I read.

One note to keep in mind: never allow one type of reading to replace another type of reading. While you may find sermon material in your devotional reading or your understanding reading (and you definitely should), if you are not careful, you may find sermon prep becoming the only reading you do. And that is a big problem.

How much time do you spend in God's Word? What reading style do you use most often?

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