I Love God, Why do I Struggle to Read my Bible?

bible study how to read the bible Sep 23, 2023
How to Read the Bible Consistently

Have you ever wondered... "I love God, why don’t I like reading the Bible?"

I know, I know...

We are all super Christians, and we never have days were we just don't feel like reading the Bible...

But... we are asking for a friend :) 

 

Honestly though, this is a big question that we need to cover.

 

How can we love God and yet not want to read his Word?

I want to dissect that this morning over a cup of coffee. 

Afterward I'll give you 5 things that have helped me in my own journey to grow in my love for the Word.

And please remember...

I am not perfect at this yet.

I am simply sharing the journey as I go along... and pray we can go further, faster... together.

So if you are ready I'll break this down into two sections.

Section 1: 5 Reasons Why we struggle

Section 2: 5 Steps to overcome the Struggle

Let's dive in.

 

Why do so many Christian’s struggle to read the Bible…  

Probably many reasons, but here are a few that come to mind.

 

1. They feel it should be like eating chocolate cake… not broccoli.

We have it in our mind that once we are saved, reading the Bible should be a never ending Joy!

And truthfully, there are days when that is the case.

But just as truthfully, there are days when its not.

There are days when reading the Bible feels more like work than worship.

But are those two things antithetical?

Nope.

We can show our worship to God by putting in the effort to study and meditate on the Word. 

Even when we don't feel like it.

 

2. They don’t know the proper way to study, so it feels like a waste of time

It is hard to do things we don't know how to do.

I know that sounds obvious when I say it that way...

But its true...

When you don't know how to do something... it. is. hard.

And often fruitless...

That last line is what murders the most magnificent motivation of mankind. (try to say that 5 times fast)

Fruitless study seems pointless... pointless actions soon disappear.

 

3. They have a hard time taking abstract truths and stories from the past... and Turning them into concrete decisions in the present… 

Life then was so different than life now.

How are we supposed to relate?

What does the Bible have for my life in 2023 and beyond?

 

4. They don’t prioritize it

The things of this earth seem more important than eternal things.

This often keeps you from study.

To make it practical... Earthly things that distract us could be:

  • sleep
  • work
  • entertainment
  • social media
  • almost anything else...

Mike Winger had a quote I enjoyed this week...

He said,

 

and lastly...

 

5. They don’t have a solid base of Bible knowledge (the more you know, the more you see)

This is often not known by Christians.

But it is so true... the more you know the Word... the more you see in the Word.

This may sound circular (and may be just a tad...)

But hear me out..

The Bible is both wide and deep.

And the more you become accustomed to the basics of the Bible... the more nuances will begin to surface.

But you can't see nuance and connections until you first do the hard work to lay a foundation.

This is why systematic teaching is so helpful. (think courses, Bible College, or Everything Church Pro University wink... wink..)

Getting a broad understanding of the Word helps you see more from the text.

The more you know, the more you see...

- and that never ends!!

Your understanding of the Word is never complete...

You continue increasing in understanding (and hopefully equally in obedience.)

And that increased understanding leads to other observations... so on and so forth.

This is key!

And may deserve its own article one day.

But I'll leave it here for now.

 

So on to section 2

How can I begin reading the Bible Consistently  

Here are a few tips to get back into the Habit of Bible reading and study.

 1. “Standardize before you optimize” - James Clear

James Clear is the author of Atomic Habits. He is a master at helping people establish habits that make their life better.

He wisely encourages to, "standardize before you optimize."

What he means is... do it consistently before you worry about doing it perfectly... just do it.

Great advice for getting your Bible reading routine started again... 

  • Don't Stress about perfect timing, perfect setting
  • Just start
  • And do it every day.

Then once it is a standard part of your day, focus on getting better (optimizing).

 

2. Invest in your Bible Education (Time, courses, Church attendance)

It is wise to invest time, energy and even finances into your education if you want to improve.

The best way is your own local church.

  • Get seriously plugged in.
  • Ask your pastor for book recommendations.
  • Attend every service possible.
  • Get mentored
  • Takes voracious notes
  • etc.

The Local church is the Pillar and Ground of the truth... and there is no better place to invest your time and effort.

This the best way to get a broader view of the text which will lead to greater insights in your personal study. (the more you know, the more you see...)

 

3. Begin sharing what you are learning with others  (in church, with friends, in our community).

You may have heard of something called "The Dead Sea Principle."

If not, here is the skinny...

The dead sea only has inlets... no outlets... hence it is dead.

(definitely oversimplified, but you see the point.)

And this is what happens to many Christians.

They stagnate.

  • Not because they aren't receiving the Word (many inlets)
  • But Because they aren't sharing (no outlets.)

Get some outlets.

Now this doesn't mean you tell your pastor you should be a teacher... no...

  • This means you share your findings with friends in church while you chat. (And if you are wrong, they or your pastor will correct you. And be willing to admit you were wrong :) )
  • You Get a study buddy.
  • You Do the Homework assignments in our university if you are a member.
  • You write a "Doctrinally Sound" Inspirational Instagram Post or tweet...

No matter how you do it, find a way to take what God is pouring into you, and pour it back out for others. (not for recognition)

 

4. Commit to Use what you Learn (this gives purpose to your study)

Don't just study for head knowledge...

Study for application.

What you learn should change your life.

This adds a dimension of suspense to your study time..

"What will God do with me next!"

and finally... 

 

5. Don’t feel you need to rush and keep up with a schedule… 

The goal is getting to know God and become like Him… 

Not getting through a plan (though getting through a plan is better than not reading at all)

Feel free to soak in a verse or a chapter for some time...

  • days or even weeks.

Let God make that verse a part of you.

You will enjoy it.

Here is a final challenge... 

 

Today's Hokmah Challenge  

Today: Get started today no matter what (standardize)… then get better (optimize).

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