how do you read it?

The weekend offers a little extra time to consider, to perhaps dive a bit deeper into the Scriptures. Schedules can slow down a bit and offer more opportunities to think. So here is a topic and several scriptures to consider. Please share your own thoughts or comments.

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Jesus is always asking really probing questions and it pays to take the time to consider what He’s asking.

On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”             Luke 10:25-26

 

“How do you read it?” What a great question to consider. The man asks Jesus what the Bible says about something and Jesus’ response is to ask how the man reads the Scriptures.

Typically, as Jesus followers we tend to focus on on this question, but with a little twist. We give importance to the question “Do you read it?” and “How often do you read it?” But Jesus takes us to a whole new level of spiritual exploration when he phrases the question “How do you read it?”

 

Perhaps we haven’t thought that much about it but when we open the Bible to read it we all do so with preconceived notions or expectations. We all have a certain amount of baggage that we carry to the reading.

 

What do we bring with us when we read the Bible?

Whatever it is, it will effect the way we perceive what’s written there. It will—positively or negatively—have an impact on how we respond to what we are reading. Sometimes when I read the Bible I just know what it is going to say. Sometimes I’m angry or worried. Sometimes I’m open. Sometimes not.

My mood has some affect on how I read it. But my values, my world view, my agendas and goals…now these really impact how I read it. What do I want out of reading the Bible? Answers? Comfort? Guidance? To be rid of guilty feelings? What I’ve realized is that I’m always looking for something when I read the Bible.

And it’s not wrong to be looking, expecting, wanting certain things when I read, but how does that affect my ability to receive whatever the Spirit might be saying? How does my personal agenda enhance or detract from what God is saying in his Word?

 

When we open the Bible, how do we read it? Or maybe a better question is how should we read it?

Here are some other Scriptures to consider:

For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.    Hebrews 4:12-13

 

Oh, how I love your law!
       I meditate on it all day long.

Your commands make me wiser than my enemies,
       for they are ever with me.

I have more insight than all my teachers,
       for I meditate on your statutes.

I have more understanding than the elders,
       for I obey your precepts.

I have kept my feet from every evil path
       so that I might obey your word.

I have not departed from your laws,
       for you yourself have taught me.

How sweet are your words to my taste,
       sweeter than honey to my mouth!

I gain understanding from your precepts;
       therefore I hate every wrong path.

Psalm 119:97-104

 

Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.    Joshua 1:8

 

So…how do you read it? How should we read it?

 

Please share your thoughts!

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4 thoughts on “how do you read it?

  1. Wonderful post..so glad that I was led here. Instead of getting a read that I assumed would go hand in hand with my preconcieved notion.. I got something that instructed me to do just the opposite. Ouch. Thank you, Jesus.

    • MP – I am also so glad you were led here. Thanks for joining us on this exploration of what following Jesus can look like. I hope it isn’t the last time you find your way here. And I hope it isn’t the last time you find your preconcieved notions surprised! God seems to like challenging the things we cling to with greater, clearer truth. I pray he will continue to surprise us all with greater and different insight than we expect.

  2. Reading Gods word should be a habit that no one should break and no one wants to break. God’s word is fulfilling and it can either make you or break you.

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