Enjoying the Truth

When I pick up my boys after band, play practice, or 4H, I tend to ask pretty much the same questions on our ride home.  Nothing profound, mind you, just, “Who did you see?” and  “Anything exciting happen?” kind of questions.  It’s not that I really need to know that they practiced Smoke on the Water again or that Lam-bo is being more cooperative about walking with his halter.  What I really DO need, however, is to work on relationship with my boys, so asking questions is my way of being present to whatever they want to talk about.

According to Keith Ferrin, author of How to Enjoy Reading Your Bible, this is the reason we read the Bible — it’s all about relationship with God, and so begins the first of ten tips for becoming a more consistent and effective student of the Word.  The book has come along at just the right time for me, because I have recently heard a respected Bible teacher say that he absorbed much of what he knows about the New Testament by reading it in big chunks — whole books in sitting!  That’s fine for Jude or III John, but I’ve wondered how that would work for Hebrews and the Revelation.  Keith suggests approaching these longer books by reading for an amount of time every day (e.g. twenty minutes), rather than the usual “a chapter a day keeps the devil away” approach.  After all, I hardly ever stop at just one chapter when I’m reading other books, and I certainly don’t watch movies in four minute installments.  (That’s how long it takes, on average, to read one chapter of the Bible.)

This rhythm of repetition, returning to a passage every day for thirty days or more, is key to cementing the passage in your mind.  Keith also recommends reading out loud and holding off on the commentaries and other study tools at first in order to let the Bible speak for itself.  Most exciting of all is the suggestion to tackle a book of the Bible with a friend or in a group of fellow-learners, journaling and discussing major themes, favorite verses, and lessons for life along the way.  Dawson Trotman said, “Thoughts disentangle themselves passing over the lips or through pencil tips.”  Reading and then writing and discussing the truth closes a circle of comprehension, both mentally and spiritually.

How to Enjoy Reading Your Bible concludes with several suggested reading plans, so just as soon as I finish my current plan, I’m in!  And here’s the math:  If I devote 30 days to each book of the New Testament (27 books), I’ll have pondered each book in depth in just over two years.  But . . . it’s not about covering ground or getting information or checking something off my list.  It’s about keeping a relational mindset, getting to know the Author, and letting His Words transform my words, thoughts, actions, and all my other relationships.

This book was provided by Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group, in exchange for my honest review.


For more resources on reading and studying the Bible effectively click here and here.

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Published by

Michele Morin

I am a teacher, blogger, reader, and gardener who finds joy in sitting at a table surrounded by women with open Bibles. I have been married to an unreasonably patient husband for nearly 27 years, and our four children are growing up at an alarming rate. Nonetheless, two teens still remain at home, and along with an incorrigible St. Bernard, we laugh, make messes, clean them up, and then start all over again. I love hot tea and well-crafted sentences, poems that stop me in my tracks and days at the ocean with the whole family. I lament biblical illiteracy and advocate for the prudent use of "little minutes." I blog at Living Our Days because "the way I live my days will be, after all, the way I live my life." You can connect with me on Facebook or Twitter.

16 thoughts on “Enjoying the Truth”

  1. Five years ago I experienced a major turning point. I spent four months clearing my head and spirit of man-made doctrine by getting alone and quiet with Jesus. I found reading Revelation in one sitting, all preconceived notions set aside, to be a profound experience. I would begin with a specific question and end with more questions but what I know now prevents me from going back. It’s like being a sixth grader who would be bored in kindergarten again. I highly recommend it, the one gulp read. But before you begin you have to let go, empty yourself, expect that He has things to show you that you will likely not be able to share with others. It’s both exhilarating and lonely, if speaking of it in worldly terms. But it does make Jesus so much closer. And that’s the real goal, not the knowledge.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I really like this idea. I am currently reading through the Bible chronologically with a one year plan, but I may add this in, or at the very least do this next year.

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    1. Yes, I’m in the middle of a plan now too, and reading through chronologically in a year is a FULL year of reading, but I can’t wait to take on this recommended approach, and my only dilemma right now is: which book do I tackle first?

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  3. I love this, Michele: “It’s about keeping a relational mindset, getting to know the Author, and letting His Words transform my words, thoughts, actions, and all my other relationships.” Thank you, Michele, for sharing your heart and a great read on #IntentionalTuesday on Intentionally Pursuing. : )

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love this! Thank you for sharing! I’ve always read my Bible since I was a little girl, but the last 8 years has when I have really started enjoying it. I look forward to it each morning 🙂 First time to your blog, I am visiting with Women with Intentions where I also linked up 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Such an amazing way to think of this. It’s shocking to me how many Christians have not read the Bible in its entirety, or consider themselves “read and done.” The relational analogy is spot on, it’s about being in relationship through His word.

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    1. Yes, I’m always saddened when I sit in a room full of women and see their inability to find a verse or recognize the “big picture” of Scripture. Especially when we realize that it’s not just knowing a book, but knowing a Person that they’re missing out on.

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  6. Entering a relationship with Him! Yes! This year will be my first time reading the Bible straight through in a year. I’ve taken big gulps and I know there’s not a verse I haven’t read, but I’ve never done cover to cover. Admittedly sometimes the reading is meaningful and sometimes it’s profound – but at least always He’s on my mind!

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  7. Michele,

    I’m your neighbor today at Thought-Provoking Thursday : )

    Always enjoy your reviews! They are honest and helpful. I especially love how you outline what the books have to offer -some great ideas in this one!! Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Love your opening about talking to your boys. I can so relate! I have been in seasons where I read the Bible and seasons where I studied. I have the time right now to study and am daily amazed by how living and active God’s Word is … just like He said 😉 This sounds like a great book. Thanks for letting us know about it.

    Thanks for visiting me first from FaithFilledFridays and letting me be your neighbor!

    Embracing the Journey!

    Christi

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  9. A friend challenged me once to read through the books fully w/o looking at the headings, but to just read the Bible, like I read others books for the story. Now, I know that it is THE BOOK, but her words helped me to look at my daily journey through grace in a new way, enjoying His Word, resting in it, relating to it, and relishing it.

    Blessings,
    Dawn

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  10. Sounds like a good read, Michele! I use the reading plans at You Version (bible.com) as well as other little devotionals to keep me in the word. The reading plans are nice because you can find them with or without commentary. Have a blessed weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. This sounds like an interesting book and I appreciate you sharing it with us at Good Morning Mondays. I am doing a plan at the moment but I agree it is all about our relationship with God. Blessings

    Liked by 1 person

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