Lesson 07: Reading the Bible-The Relationship Begins
Objective: Develop a habit of reading the Bible daily so you know what God wants you to DO.
People often ask, “How do I know what God’s will is for my life?” Or “I’ve never heard God…how do I hear His voice?” Or “What do I do when I feel distant from God?” The answer, as simple as it might seem, is to Read the Bible. The Bible IS his will and his voice. To develop a relationship with Jesus Christ, and to feel connected to Him, a crucial responsibility of every Christian is to read God’s word…the Bible.
Here is an example of how reading the Bible can provide such answers. What is God’s will for your life? Read Romans 12:1-2. “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God-this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
God’s general will for your life is that you would offer yourself to Him, not conform to the pattern of this world, and
be transformed. Until you start doing that, why would you expect him to reveal anything more specific? Prepare yourself for use first, and then He will provide a way to use you for His purpose and His glory. Reading the Bible daily is one step in preparing yourself to be used by God. It’s the beginning of a life-long relationship with God.
Another great reason to read and understand the Bible is because Jesus Christ modeled such understanding for us. Jesus said many times, “It is written…” because he knew the scriptures. And so, we should know the scriptures too. Knowing scripture can also help us defend ourselves from being deceived by Satan. (Read Matthew 4 verses 4, 7, and 10. Read Mark 7:6)
1: Read Luke 10:25-28, “On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?” He answered: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'” “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”
Notice that Jesus Christ says “do this.” It’s not enough to simply read God’s word. It’s not even enough to just understand it. We must also live it. But we can’t live what we don’t know or don’t understand. So, an essential, lifelong spiritual discipline is to read and study the Bible for understanding. Then, seek to DO or apply what you are reading.
So, your job this week is to read the Bible every day. No matter how busy you get, read at least some of the Bible each day…even if that means you only read two verses. If you are already following a reading plan, keep going. If you and your mentor agree on a different chapter to read, then do that.
Otherwise, read James 1 and James 2 this week. Both chapters are very short and doable. Don’t feel like you have to read both chapters in one sitting. Just make sure you are reading God’s word each day. If you finish reading these chapters quickly, go back and re-read them. Continue reading and re-reading these chapters this week.
Remember, the Bible is unlike any other book. It’s not a book you just read, put down, and then move on to another book. It’s not a book you ever “finish” reading. So, don’t feel pressure to finish reading it. Just CONTINUE to read it.
Read the chapters above and keep reading them several times through. As you read, think about how you are DOING what it says. Ask yourself, “how do I need to LIVE these verses?”
2: After a time of reading, share with your mentor what chapter and verses you completed and what you learned about the text.
3: Share what you learned about God or yourself.
4: Share with your mentor how you can apply the verses to your life.