Infinity Goods blog

A blog for God’s People

Key To Happiness By Reading & Understanding The Bible: Chapt. 24 Purpose Driven Life

Posted by infinitygoods on March 4, 2008

Walking Inside The Painting by Araleya from Flickr public files

“Truly happy people are those who carefully study God’s perfect law that makes people free, and they continue to study it. They do not forget what they heard, but they obey what God’s teaching says. Those who do this will be made happy.” James 1:25

Rick Warren tells us in Chapter 24 to read the Bible daily and apply God’s words to our daily lives.

When we read the Bible or listen to a sermon or a homily, do we have a closed mind? Do we read it superficially? Or are we distracted? Or do we really understand and accept God’s Word?

I read the Bible, but I admit I am one who skips around the various books. I have studied the Bible in small study groups and I have even taken college religion and Bible classes including a Jewish studies class where we read the first five books of the Old Testament almost line by line. Yet I have never read the entire Bible from cover to cover. Over my lifetime I have more than likely read the great majority of the Bible, but never from start to finish in a linear fashion.

We wouldn’t take other books and hop around back and forth within those books. I have no idea why we do that with the Bible, but that’s the way I’ve always been advised to do it. That’s the way my church has always done it on Sundays picking and choosing verses from the Old Testament and from the New Testament. The Bible studies at church have never followed a linear path either. One day it was Acts, one day it was women of the Bible, another time it was Psalms and Proverbs. We’ve never done it from cover to cover, one Bible study at a time.

Warren tells us we can read the entire Bible in one year if we only commit to 15 minutes a day. I’m a slow reader because with any book I like to fully appreciate each and every single word and their full connotations. So maybe it would take me 30 minutes each day. That’s not difficult. I love to read and I’m sure most of you do to since you spend time reading blogs. I often spend several hours reading books, including the Bible so if just minutes can get me to read every single word of God, then that’s something I am eager to do.

What about you? Perhaps you have already done it, but did you fully appreciate the meaning, the nuances, the connotations? Perhaps it is time to read the Bible from cover to cover another time and truly study its meaning by asking questions and writing down your insights. Pastor Brian at our son’s former school always encouraged that we have a study Bible where we highlight and write in the margins. He even gave each second grader their first adult Bible with a bright yellow highlighter. He told them to highlight every verse they ever memorized and to highlight all the verses that meant something to them. He told them to write in it and keep writing in it all their lives. He made a great ceremony of it. It was like a graduation ceremony, receiving a Bible and highlighter instead of a diploma.

That was not the way I was brought up. When I was in college we had to write in our Bibles and because I could not bring myself to do that in a pristine copy, I got a used hardcover study Bible complete with full-color pictures and commentaries. It was already highlighted and written in, but not much. It is still the copy I use to study my Bible and the one I bring to each Bible study even though it is bulky and heavy, but over the last couple decades, it has been thoroughly highlighted and written in. It has been a great blessing and I fully agree with Pastor Brian. If you haven’t experienced this blessing yet, perhaps you too were taught that you should never write on the word of God (or any book), then go ahead and jump right in. Perhaps you’ll want to get a used copy as I did. The white page will not defend itself with a used copy.

What are your thoughts? I would have a lot more to say about the word of God, but this blog post is already long. Let all of us know how you feel. Or just think about it to yourself if it is easier, but do reflect on it. Take the time to ponder on the subject.

Tomorrow we will move on to Chapt. 25.

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4 Responses to “Key To Happiness By Reading & Understanding The Bible: Chapt. 24 Purpose Driven Life”

  1. Gina said

    I am reading the Bible online at Bibleshared.com. It seems easier somehow to read it every morning while I sit at my computer. I have always written in my Bible but I know some people at church think that is really not good. I really don’t see anything wrong with it.

  2. Gina, thank you so much for sharing that site. It’s great and I’m signing up!
    I hope they will add additional bible versions in the future too because I know some people are picky about which version they read.

  3. Nick said

    Hello,

    I actually created BibleShared.com. We’d really like to add as many versions as possible. Unfortunately, the owners of the copyrights of some of the translations don’t like to work with people that aren’t going to be able to pay them a lot of money. The Lockman foundation (owners of the NASB) were the only ones that responded to the initial batch of letters I sent out while starting to make the site.

    My personal favorite translation for reading is the NLT, but Tyndale refused to have their text available in electronic form for just anyone to read. Zondervan hasn’t even bothered responding to copyright requests.

    That said, I hope you enjoy BibleShared.com, and take advantage of everything it can offer. If you ever have a suggestion for a feature, or an idea that would make your time of Bible study better for you, just stop by http://www.bibleshared.com/bugit.asp and write it up.

    More on topic — I loved this blog entry because it really spoke to my experience with reading the Bible. Until the last few years of my life, I’ve felt weird about writing in my Bible, but then I found so much value in it. Having BibleShared.com has added to that because writing in your Bible can become a ministry, and reading others’ insights helps me as well. Truly iron sharpening iron. And I’m also a really random reader, I don’t like to stay in one place too long.

    Keep it up!

    – Nick

  4. Nick, thank you for taking the time to post a comment. I’ve only used your site for a couple weeks so far, but it is great and I thoroughly enjoy it. Hopefully as your site grows more Bible publishers will see how beneficial it is to people and how they too will be able to gain from the exposure. Free advertising and goodwill is hard to come by and I hope they will recognize that.

    It is so good to see your own insights about writing in your Bible and sharing those notes with others. It truly is a ministry. Thank you for BibleShared.com and best wishes to you for its continued growth.

    I hope you will become a regular commenter on this site as well.

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