Most of us desire to read the Bible to gain the treasure that lies in it. The problem that we usually face is we don’t know how to read and where to start and what are the steps that we must follow in order to gain valuable things from the word of God.
Though the Bible was penned by human beings, they did not write their own messages. The words which are found in the Bible are from the Lord who sent his messages to the fallen mankind.
Before reading we need to keep in mind that all the words came from the living God and the scriptures are living and powerful (Hebrews 4:12). It is known to all of us that God has revealed himself through his words. Apart from his self-revelation, we are unable to know about his works and existences.
As we can see that the Bible is not a product of man so, we need to take special care while we read it. There are some ways that should be followed to understand the meaning of the scripture. Let us learn those processes by which one can read the word of God to understand its internal message.
The first key of studying the Bible is the most important part and that is a revelation. The scripture is God’s breath which means all the scripture came from the Holy Spirit. We cannot know the truth that is hidden in the word of God without the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is not a separate person from God rather God himself. John 4:24 teaches us that God is a Spirit. We need to welcome the Holy Spirit as our teacher to guide us in understanding God’s word.
John 14:17 says that the Holy Spirit leads us into all truth. So, we are to depend on the Holy Spirit to be enlightened with the right purpose of the scripture. It would be a foolish act to try to understand the scripture with our own human brain which is limited in knowledge.
Before his ascension to heaven, Jesus taught his disciples to wait for the Holy Spirit until they receive it as their teacher and guide. Jesus told them that the Holy Spirit will be teaching them everything about the kingdom of God (John 14:26).
The Spirit of God leads us into the truth of the scripture. If we begin to read the Bible without the presence of the Holy Spirit then very soon we will give up reading it. Our abilities are of no use to understand the truth of God’s word. We must have the Spirit of God which will guide us into the right way to receive the wisdom to get the meaning of the scripture.
2 Peter 1:20-21 says that all the scripture and prophecy does not come from man but all these God spoke and the prophets and writers were moved by the Holy Spirit. 2
Timothy 3:16-17 says that all the scripture is God’s breathe and is useful for teachings and training for the children of God. God has given these words for the equipment of his people so they can know the truth and live their lives according to the direction of God.
The revelation of the Holy Spirit is essential to have a proper understanding of scripture. Apart from the revelation from God what we read would be just information. And the information has no power to transform us. But the revelation from the Lord has effective power to change us from our sinful acts towards the ways of God.
We can gain nothing with the revelation alone, we must show our dedication to understanding the word of God. Dedication means a regular basis reading and hearing of the scripture. In simple words, we have to give ourselves to reading the scripture daily to get the proper message from the Bible.
The Lord called Joshua to lead his people after the death of Moses. At that time God asked him to study the book of law continuously and meditate on it in order to be successful and prosper in his leadership role (Joshua 1:8).
In Matthew 4:4 Jesus teaches that man shall not live by bread that we eat every day. But man will live by the word of God. Here, Jesus compared the word of God as bread. To sustain our body we need to take food daily. If we take food irregularly then we will not be able to move and walk, after a few days, we will get sick, and eventually, we will die.
Such can happen to us if we fail to read the scripture on a daily basis. The word of God gives us the energy to live a godly life.
When we read the scripture from the Bible on a regular basis, we become familiar with the facts of the Bible. Thus we can understand the connection of the incidents that took place in the world.
The consistent study of the scripture will enable us to understand the exact cause of war in the Old Testament. We will be aware of every single incident which was performed according to the instruction of God.
Observation And Interpretation
We the human beings are a product of soul, spirit, and body. The Lord has created us with a developed brain by which we can understand the existence of God. With our Spirit, we connect with God and thus we can learn the secrets of God’s amazing works.
In 2 Timothy 2:15, we see that Paul asked Timothy to be diligent in the study of God’s word to prove himself worthy before the Lord. We should give our best to study the word of God so we can find out the important message from God’s word.
As long as we are on this earth, we need to be the students of God’s word. Don’t ever think that we are too old and it’s not time to read like a student of school and colleges. But we must view it that we are a student of God’s kingdom and it’s our time to prepare so we will be able to pass the judgment which is waiting for each of us (Hebrews 9:27).
During our reading, we must observe the scripture which will help us to know the matter well. We need to take notes while we read the Bible. It will help us to understand the Bible deeply. Our observation of the scripture will lead to the right interpretation. If we fail to observe the scripture according to its order then we will come with a wrong interpretation.
We need the exact observation to get the right interpretation and to bring out the proper interpretation of scripture we need to identify the book that we are reading. There are sixty-six books in the Bible and we must know the books well before we read them.
When we read a historical book in the Bible we will see how God dealt with his people and what he has done for them. In the epistles, we will learn what we need to do as a believer. So this way we must observe the book first then we will move inside the book.
Apart from this, we must note that there are three groups mentioned in the Bible. They are Jews, Samaritans, and Gentiles. We must know to whom the author has written the book. This will help us to interpret the Bible correctly.
In the book of Acts, we find how and when the church began. This book is called the historical book in the New testament. We can learn how the missionary works began after the ascension of Jesus in heaven. But if we try to search all these in the gospel books then surely we will make mistakes and come to an incorrect interpretation.
Meditating the Word of God Is essential in our Christian life. After the right observation and interpretation, we must move ahead on meditation. This will guide us to apply them in our practical life.
Those who make practice meditating on God’s word are like a tree that is planted beside the river which gets water every season and it brings fruit. There are many false teachings in this world and if we just simply believe then we will commit a great mistake.
Our meditation on scripture will lead us into the right teaching of God’s word. We must fill our mind with the word of God and if we keep it empty then the teachings of this world will occupy the space and force us to work against the will of God. If we fail to feed our minds with the word of God then we have to pay the cost.
The more we meditate upon the scripture the more we will gain about the kingdom of God which is real. Our mediation has a great impact on our spiritual life.
Finally, we must apply what we learn from the scripture. Only meditation will not help us to become true followers of Jesus. The scripture that we read and observe and meditate on must be applied in our life.
1 John 5:3 says that obeying the commandments of God shows our love towards God. If we only love God but do not apply His teachings in our regular life then we are the ones who are cheating ourselves from the truth.
The world will know Jesus through our works and lives. Many people in this world do not know Jesus and they never read the Bible. But looking at us they can see Jesus and learn about him thus we can present Jesus in the world by applying his words to us.
Jesus says to love our enemy and if we just read it and fail to apply it in our life then we will receive a curse from the Lord as we neglect his word to apply. Our knowledge of God will give us no profit until we bring them into the application. God seeks our heart so we need to have such a mind to put the word of God into the application to gain its importance.