Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Read the Bible Patiently

One of the greatest virtues you can possess in your life is patience. We live in an “instant” culture where we rush through fast food restaurants, place food in a microwave and within seconds have a meal, or sit before a television and flip through channels at the touch of a finger. We move easily from one activity to another. We want things right now!

It is no surprise that we approach our Bibles with the same mentality. We spend five minutes in God’s Word and we expect the same rush as we do with other things in life. When the Bible does not grant us immediate satisfaction, we are off to another stimulus. How does anyone expect to receive anything with substance in a short time? Whatever is of value, it will require sacrifice and patience.

In his book, Living By the Book, Howard Hendricks gives some suggestions to help us read the Bible with patience:

• Work with one book for a month. Spend every day in one book observing its structure, identifying the key terms, investigate the central characters, do some background work with secondary sources, and look for practical ways to live out what you have learned.

• Zoom in and zoom out. As you read and study the passages, examine each story and passage in its wider context to see the flow and argument of the writer. Read every word, verse, and passage in its context because the book is to be read as a unified whole.

As you spend time patiently and carefully reading God’s Word, He will bring peace and comfort to your life. “Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him…” Psalm 37:7.

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