by Sarah Cox
I spent many of my early years as a Christian being inconsistent in the discipline of reading and studying the Bible, and I so wish I could go back in time and change this. I grew up in the church. I knew all the stories, but it grieves me that I didn’t understand the crucial point: that His Word is my very life.
Over the last several years, I’ve learned to love the Word, and that love has radically changed my life. I used to think the psalmist enraptured about God’s Word in Psalm 119 was a bit touched in the head or at least overexaggerating, but now I understand his exclamation, “If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction. Oh! How I love your law! It is my meditation all the day.” (Psalm 119:92,97).
These tips are not from someone who has arrived or has it all figured out – far from it. I share them as someone who has had my life (and eternity) forever changed by the person of Jesus Christ as encountered on the pages of Scripture.
Practical Tips for Learning to Love God’s Word
- Ask the Lord to cultivate a desire in you to read and study his Word
This is one of just a few prayers God promises to always answer with a “Yes!”
- Make it a priority
The easiest way to make it a priority is to make it a routine. Keep your Bible in a place where you can reach it easily so that you can work it into the flow of your day. Another tip for making it a priority is to get to bed earlier. This works whether you’re an early bird or night owl. If you’re a morning person, get to bed earlier so that you can wake up refreshed. If you’re an evening person, get to bed earlier so that you spend time in the Word and prayer before sleep.
- Shift your approach to the text
The Bible is not about you. The Bible is about God. Instead of reading and looking for yourself in the pages, search instead for what it reveals about who God is and what it teaches us about His character. The Bible Recap is so helpful for training you to do this.
- Surrender the idea that you always need a practical application
This is related to the above (remember, the Bible is not about you), but this is also a common pitfall because we often want so badly to apply everything we learn in Scripture. Many days, there will be something that the Lord is working out in your heart that will be revealed through the text, but the days when that is not the case are no less productive.
- Learn the difference between “descriptive” and “prescriptive” passages
Yes, “all of scripture is God-breathed and profitable for teaching, reproof, correction and for training in righteousness” (1 Tim. 3:16), but not all scripture is a command from God. Descriptive passages describe what happened; they give us the historical narratives and the stories of the events that took place. Prescriptive passages give us clear commands and instructions as to how we are to live our lives.
The more you read your Bible, the more questions you will have. There are tough passages where our first response may be to point the finger at God and assume things about His character that are untrue. Learning the difference between descriptive and prescriptive passages is enormously helpful in working through those tough moments.
- Obedience > Motivation
There will be seasons in life when you are completely enamored with God and His Word. You won’t be able to get enough. But there will also be seasons when it’s a slog to open your Bible, when you don’t feel any connection at all to the text or to Him.
Friend, I have to tell you that obedience and discipline always trumps motivation.
“If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” (John 15:10-11)
We can’t love a God we don’t know and we can’t keep commandments we haven’t read. But while there may be moments when our obedience feels like drudgery, Jesus promises us that our obedience to God’s commands will bring us abundant joy.
Keep going, friend. Keep reading. Keep studying His Word. God’s joy awaits you.
Hi, sweet friend. I’m Sarah Cox, a wife, mother, and critical thinker who loves Jesus. I am most interested in helping women discover who they are by discovering who God is. I long to help women engage their brains in worship as much as their hearts. I live in a big blue house tucked in a small town in Appalachia that is nearly always filled with friends and family. I’m a critical thinker, closet crunchy, and always ready to engage in a debate. I pray that I always remember the person asking the question is more important than the question itself. I’m so thankful you’re here. Let’s talk soon.