>In part one I talked about some of the obstacles of diligent Bible study; some of the reasons that I and others, have or have had difficulty engaging with the scriptures on a consistent basis.
In this follow up post, I’d like to look at what I think are some of the keys to breaking the boredom and/or apathy surrounding Bible study.
I committed my life to God at 19, but love for reading and studying the Bible didn’t hit me like a lightening bolt and turn me into a diligent Bible student. In fact, for the last eight years, I have struggled to be a consistent student of scriptures, in a way that I think a Christ follower ought to be, but I’ve grown a little and here is a short list of the top reasons: (not by priority)
1. Living for God. Reading the Bible makes perfect since when your desire is line your life up with God’s agenda and purpose.
2. Modern Translations. The NKJV but especially the NLT and ESV have been instrumental in shifting the text of the Bible into a more accessible reading.
3. Forcing the focus. The more train our minds to focus on the task at hand the more diligent we can be in study. You have to make yourself do it and it takes time to develop discipline, learn to love God in the process of getting your lifestyle where He wants it to be.
4. Realization that going deep in the scriptures is for EVERY believer. We sometimes leave Bible study to the pastors or the experts, but it’s for every believer. Many men have laid their lives down (were martyred), in times past, for the translation of the Bible into the common language.
5. Extra-Biblical books. Sometimes Biblical commentary, hermeneutical systems, and books related to biblical exegesis, are just the thing to get your mind and heart engaged with the material. Things like this will help you build historical context around the stories, or help you to understand more of what you are reading. Warning: Sometimes it only serves to kill the life out of it, so use discernment.
6. Multimedia. The Bible is on my phone, on my favorite Internet pages, on my twitter updates, on my ipod, etc. We use technology to get more of what we want. If you want more of the Bible in your life and you use multimedia, you can find multiple ways to incorporate it into your world.
7. Fall more in love with Jesus. The answer to going further in any Christian discipline is falling more in love with the God. Christians ought to pray and fast because they’re in love with God and they want to talk to Him, and draw closer. I pray and read the Bible because I’m in love with God. I don’t pray and read the Bible to fall more in love with God, though that happens too. My first prayer was “Help!” and ever since then, I’ve been growing to love the God that revealed Himself (and continues to) on that day. The Christian prayer is “let me see your face”, not “make me fall more in love with You”.
There are still days when reading the Bible is like eating my vegetables, but hey, I’ve learned to like that too! Your tastes will change over time, if you give them a chance to, and after a while, the Hostess cupcakes of worldly distractions with taste gross to you, and the broccoli of God’s word will be what you want.