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7 Habits for Effective Bible Reading

7 Habits for Effective Bible Reading

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Published by cutshaw
A little booklet for getting big results from your Bible study
This ebooklet is for you, if:

You believe the Bible is the word of God

You sometimes struggle to hear God talking in it

It will show you a simple but powerful method for finding valuable lessons in you Bible. You can apply this method to any passage, chapter, or verse. Even if you are an experienced reader, it will make your reading more rewarding, profitable... and effective.
A little booklet for getting big results from your Bible study
This ebooklet is for you, if:

You believe the Bible is the word of God

You sometimes struggle to hear God talking in it

It will show you a simple but powerful method for finding valuable lessons in you Bible. You can apply this method to any passage, chapter, or verse. Even if you are an experienced reader, it will make your reading more rewarding, profitable... and effective.

More info:

Published by: cutshaw on May 07, 2007
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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7 Habits for Effective Bible Reading
 A little booklet for getting big results from your Bible study
This ebooklet is for you, if: You believe the Bible is the word of God You sometimes struggle to hear God talking in itIt will show you a simple but powerful method for finding valuable lessons in you Bible. You can apply this method toany passage, chapter, or verse. Even if you are an experienced reader, it will make your reading more rewarding,
profitable… and effective.
 If your reading is more effective, you will find you understand God more and find more lessons and guidance about howto really live the Christian life. Something we all want to do, but need help with. And that
’s exactly what the B
ible isthere for.
 Why is reading the Bible so hard?
Reading the Bible
is hard! It’s difficult to get into the habit of reading it, even if you want to. And when you do sit downto read it, often the words don’t seem to mean much.
But why is it so tough? Many people claim to believe the Bible and
love it, but don’t look forward to reading it! Why is that?
Let me suggest a few reasons:We see reading
as a duty or sacrament. God is watching us, and he’ll be pleased if we cast our ey
es over his
Word from time to time. He’ll be even more pleased, we tell ourselves, if doing so is a
real sacrifice
.There are lots of hard bits in the Bible. The Apostle Peter even admits that he sometimes struggles tounderstand what his fellow-apostle
Paul is trying to say. It’s human nature to focus on what’s difficult, so
 
David Barnes 2sometimes we
only
see the hard bits. We invest all our brains in working on those bits, and the obvious stuff slips by. And since
we don’t even feel like w
e understand the hard bits it ends up very frustrating.The English is hard. There are many
clear, modern translations out there now… but for many of us, the Bible is
still in the language of 
thees
and
thous
. Even once we get around that, we have to deal with figures of speechyanked out of three different foreign languages and rammed (often clumsily) into a completely different one.Translators are only human after all.We assume that the Bible
says a lot of things that it doesn’t. We’re brought up to believe that the Bible is full of 
all sorts of teachings and ideas that
aren’t really there
. Many of them are openly contradicted. We read these
things, and assume that we’re misunderstanding or missing some vital elements. Sometimes we are
(and weneed to keep reading to get a complete understanding)
, sometimes we’re not
(and we come to realize that wewere brought up with lots of wrong ideas about what the Bible said). All of this disappointment creates an
unvirtuous circle
. We read it, and
it’s
 
hard, and we don’t get much out of it. The
next time we drag our Bible out and force ourselves to look inside we feel a mix of guilt and foreboding.
We’re not
looking forward to it. Our experience tells us that we never benefit much. Approach anything wit
h a negative attitude, and you’
ll only get negativity out!
Which means that it’s hardly a surprise that we don’t read half as often or half as much as we intend… and that in
turn, of course, makes it all the harder.
 Promise 1:
 
None of the “seven habits” to tell you to pull your socks up and just read more. I’m sure you’ve
told yourself that before. I will make sure that you have the tools to benefit when you read, so that in theend you will want to read more.
 
David Barnes 3
It’s not supp
osed to be this way!
My goal is not to tell you to force down more of God’s word. I want to help you develop a taste for it – 
to taste and seethat it is good, to feel it benefit you, and eventually to actively hunger for its nourishment. If you follow these steps,
and it doesn’t work, then I have failed – 
not you.
Understanding is not the whole story
 A lot of people seem to treat
the Bible as a sort of puzzle. The goal, they reckon, is to understand it. Once they’re
finished, they will have a clear (hopefully beautiful!) picture of the whole thing. And then they will be finished. TheBible has done its job, the puzzle is complete.
If you’ve ever felt frustrated that you couldn’t understand some parts of the Bible, then you might have a shred of this
attitude in you.
The Bible is there to be understood. Reading it is mainly an intellectual exercise.
If I don’t understand then I’m not reading it well enough.”
 This view is wrong.
 Promise 2:
 
None of the “seven habits” tell you any particular understanding of the Bible… or encourage
you towards any particular interpretation.
The whole story is transformation
The most effective reading of the Bible is not the one that means you understand everything intellectually. It is the one
that helps you be transformed from what you naturally are, into somebody who’s far more like Jesus – 
and far morepleasing to God. This do
esn’t just mean you understand more, but that your whole mode of thinking is different. The
most effective reading will mean that over time, your thoughts, feelings, and actions will become closer to what Godwants them to be.

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