I used to think reading scripture was something to do to check off my "spiritual to do list." Now I think of it as an experience and an invitation into a conversation with Yahweh God. My thoughts on reading vs experiencing scripture changed when I came across this fantastic book; Meeting God in Scripture (forty guided meditations) by Jan Johnson. This book is a great introduction to the ancient spiritual practice: Lectio Divina. Grab the book if you can or ask Tamara from a copy. Here's an overview:
A FEW MORE TIPS AS YOU READ SCRIPTURE:
TIP 1: Try to read every day. But when you miss a day or two or five - don't give up! This is normal for everyone. Just start reading again. It's like eating, if you miss a meal, you don't stop eating all together. You have a snack or eat an even BIGGER meal the next time.
TIP 2: Find a regular time and place to read. A time you usually have free most everyday & a place (maybe a favorite chair) away from distractions. You'll want to put your phone in airplane mode - because it WILL distract you.
These are a few of the questions / comments I hear regularly about reading the Bible.
I'd be more than happy to sit down with you & talk about it further. But until then, below there's a few tips & video's that will help guide you as you start.
This afternoon, Ryan Gentles discussed how to read scripture using SOAP daily.
S - Scripture:
Write down the Bible passage you'll be studying. This can be just one verse or several verses. Read it aloud & / or write it out, which will help you focus on and absorb it.
O - Observation:
Examine the text and write down what you notice.
Who wrote it?
Who is it written to?
What word or phrases jump out at you?
Is there something that you've never noticed before? (write it down)
What's happening around the verses that you've read? (immediately before and after?
Are there any words, phrases, or ideas the repeat or contrast throughout the passage?
A - Application:
How does this passage work into your daily life? Re-read the text, take a few moments to think about it again. Close your eyes, breath in & out deeply, relax. What comes to mind?
What is God saying to you?
How does it apply to your life?
Is there an action you need to take?
Do you need to confess something or make something right with someone else?
If there's an action, try to make it SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time - bound.
P - Pray:
Spend a few moments silently listening before your respond to Yahweh God out of what you've heard from him. Learn more about prayer. Consider writing your prayers down to keep your mind from wandering.