We all know and agree that reading the Bible is important, but how often do we actually do it? I don’t just mean while in church or Bible study. I mean just by ourselves, personally…
If we are honest (and I’m including myself here) it’s something that we all say is one of the most important things we should do every day, but that doesn’t happen as frequently as we would like. We all have good intentions…but life gets busy…and so on. So, here are some tips to help us act on our good intentions:
1) Establish a regular time when you read the Bible – eg. over your morning coffee or last thing at night. When reading the Bible with your children, maybe dinnertime or the time between bath and bed is a good time.
2) Start small! Don’t put it off till you have several free hours available, but try to read a small part of the Bible each day. Don’t stress if you miss a day, just move on and read your Bible the next day! Aim for several times a week. And especially when reading the Bible with children, regular and short is better than irregular and drawn-out!
3) Use a Bible written in language you can understand (no, I’m not referring to English here!). In church on Sundays we are currently reading NIV. There are many different translations available – eg. ESV, NIrV, NLT – so find one that suits you. On the back of the bulletin age-appropriate Bibles for children are listed.
4) If reading is not your thing why not listen to the Bible instead? There are several recordings available on CD, audio apps for phones/iPads etc, of both adult and children’s Bibles. Why not listen to God’s word as you drive in the car?
5) Read or listen to a few verses, then think: What does this tell me about God/Jesus? Is there something I need to change in my life because of what God says in this passage? Or use a devotional book or printed notes to help you think more about the passage.
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light that guides my path” Psalm 119:115.Go d’s word is available to us, to instruct us, to guide us and give us discernment in every aspect of our lives. Let’s delight in the Lord’s teachings and think about them day and night…(Psalm 1:2).
Some extra tips for reading the Bible with children:
1) Start when they are a very young age. It’s never too early to begin reading the Bible to children. Make it a habit, something that your family does! 2) Repetition is fine – children often want to hear the same story again and again. 3) Read a passage, then ask them: What do you like about that story? Do you have a question about that story? Also ask the questions in point 5 above. 4) Be creative – draw or dramatise the Bible story. Use dress-ups, Lego, playdough… 5) Books like The Big Picture Bible Story and the Jesus Story Book Bible are great at teaching the Bible’s big story and helping children see that the Bible is not just a collection of little stories but one big story, and that Jesus isn’t just in parts of the Bible, but that the whole Bible – OT and NT – is about Jesus!