First things first, we need to be saved. Then there are some key points that will determine how much you get out of your bible reading. In no particular order, we will go through each one. First up:
GETTING YOUR HANDS DIRTY.
We must have a willingness to not only read the scriptures, but to labour in them.
My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; Yea, if thou cry after knowledge, and lift up thy voice for understanding; If thou seek her as silver, and search for her as for hid treasures; Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God. – Prov 2:1-5
Simply browsing over the text won’t do much for you. Just like with a lot of fruits, the vitamins are just below the skin, so with Bible reading most of the treasure is just below the surface. That is not to say that it is hidden, coded or only something the ‘super spiritual’ can see, but simply that it takes a little bit of effort to grasp what is actually being said.
We need to study the text over, ponder it, memorise it, think it through and align it with other passages that speak on the same subject. When you do this, you’ll start to see the details of the broader context.
When looking for treasure, if you just gleam the surface, you may happen to pick up a coin or two, but it’s usually not until you start digging and panning that you find the gold. Gold mining is not easy work, neither is studying the scriptures, but studying God’s word is certainly more rewarding than finding precious metals.
The best thing we can do during and after reading is THINK. That may seem stupid, but too often our minds are on other things, when it should be on the text in front of us. Blessed is he who “meditates” in the law of the Lord, day and night. God commanded Joshua to “meditate therein day and night”. Meditation is not sitting with your legs crossed humming a mono-tone note, but thinking over and musing over it. What will profit your body more, just tasting vegetables, or chewing & digesting them. The same goes for bible reading.
Part three will be on desiring the word.