God's Word you will get in touch with the Author Himself, and it will make you strong, wise, and equipped for service.

I was saved at about age 18. I'll never forget the reaction I got from people at my church the first time I came in carrying a Bible. Some of them gave me strange looks, like I was from another planet. One of them actually said, "What did you bring that thing for?" I wanted to say, "What should I bring? A coloring book?"

George Müeller said, "The vigor of our spiritual life will be in exact proportion to the place held by the Bible in our life and in our thoughts." A consistent, daily exposure to the Bible will do more for you than anything else in your Christian walk. It will teach you everything that pertains to life and godliness (see 2 Peter 1:3). As you know God's Word you will get in touch with the author Himself, and it will make you strong, wise, and equipped for service.

There are some prerequisites for receiving and understanding the truths of the Bible. You have to have a new heart; you have to be saved. If you don't have the Holy Spirit living within you, it's foolishness to you. Secondly, you need a hungry heart, because God rewards those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6). Third, you must have an obedient heart. You should be like Samuel, who said, "Speak, Lord, your servant hears." Pray that whenever you open the Bible.

Let me suggest a Bible reading method, if you don't already have one. This is one of several that I use.

On Sunday, read the portion that the congregation will be going over that day. On Monday, read from the books of Moses, Genesis through Deuteronomy. On Tuesday, read from the historical books, Joshua through Esther. On Wednesday, read from the poetical books, Job through Song of Solomon. On Thursday, read from the prophets, Isaiah to Malachi. On Friday, read from the Gospels. (That means you'll be reading much more from the Gospels than from any other book, which is good because the emphasis is on the life of Christ.) On Saturday, read something from the rest of the Bible, Acts to Revelation.

You can read long or short portions, as much as you want. Just put a bookmark where you stop, and pick it up again there on that day the following week. My experience is that this method gives you enough variety that you won't feel you're "stuck" in one book. Instead, you'll find you can't wait to get back to it the next week.

Whatever method you use to read the Bible, read it devotionally. In other words, read it so that your own spirit is nourished by it. Don't approach it academically as much as "applicationally." Read it, meditate on it, and then pray about how you should apply it to your life. Don't examine it as a textbook, but to encounter God, to find out what He is saying personally to you.

Let me restate that: You must have a consistent desire to obey it. If you have no desire to put it into practice, it's a very boring book! Instead, you should treat it as a guidebook for living. Let it bring "vigor" to your spiritual life. "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom..." (Colossians 3:16).


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