Scripture reading has been the single most powerful spiritual discipline in my life. I have gained more spiritual insight and had more heartwarming moments while reading the Bible than from any other practice, including corporate worship.
Yet there are other ways to use the Bible besides devotional reading. Have you tried these different ideas for learning form God’s Word?
Studying the Bible is different from simply reading it in that you may use secondary sources such as commentaries or study notes, and employ learning techniques like cross-referencing or discussion. This is what you do in a group Bible study, of course, and you can study the Bible on your own as well.
Meditating on Scripture is taking a small portion, such as a single verse or just a phrase,and let your mind work on it all day. You might read a verse in the morning, perhaps repeat it aloud a couple of times, and then let your mind come back to it over and over again. Like a cow chewing its cud (sorry for that!), you will pull out deeper and deeper insights into the meaning of the Word.
For many centuries, the only Bible people had was the one they carried around in their head. When you memorize a verse or passage of Scripture, you can instantly apply the Word to your life. Memorized Scriptures are a great source of comfort and a good defense against false teaching.
For centuries, most Christians learned Scripture by hearing it read aloud. In fact, most of the books in the New Testament were intended for public reading. While we still read some Scripture in worship services, it’s usually just a few verses. Try an audio version of the Bible. Or, with your family or study group, try reading extended portions of the Bible aloud, maybe even whole books. You will gain fresh insight as you hear the words spoken.