A question that I frequently run into are people who want to know how to love the Bible. They feel stuck spiritually and they truly want to desire God's Word each day, but they find that after a little bit, disconnect happens and they are back in the same place after awhile. Another reason this happens is because many aren't aware of how to the Bible is meant to be read.
This is my favorite kind of question because I've been reading the Bible since I was a teenager. I remember sitting in my very first Bible study ever in youth group and thinking, "God, I want to love you like that. I want to love the Bible like that."
Jen Wilkin has a brilliant quote regarding this subject:
"The heart cannot love what the mind does not know." - Jen Wilkin
Being a student of the Bible at Dallas Theological Seminary, here is a basic framework you can use the next time you seek to read the Bible. Ask yourself these 4 questions in order:
- Observation: What do I see or observe in this passage? (Pretend like you don't know anything about the Bible and just answer based on what you see.)
- Interpretation: What is happening in this passage and why is it significant? (You won't be able to answer this unless you read the book as a whole as well as the surrounding books.)
- Correlation: Where does this passage take place in the grand narrative of the Bible? (The Bible is a story, not simply a book of rules. When you read a book or a story, place it in the grand timeline of the Bible and find out where this takes place.)
- Application: What do I need to believe or do in light of this passage? (Be careful with this step. Sometimes application isn't something to do, but rather something to live in light of.)
Don't be discouraged if this takes a while to get used to. Reading the Bible isn't a destination to be reached, it's a journey to be embarked upon. The Bible is the only book in your life that you will never finish reading. Don't let your emotions fool you into thinking that God isn't working in you. When we draw near to God, He is faithful to draw near to us (James 4:8).
Simply put, the best way to fall in love with the God of the Bible and the Bible is to simply read it and keep showing up. As you gain more insight into the story of the Bible, you'll begin to recognize how God is glorified through every page. You'll see how the story culminates in the arrival, death, and resurrection of Jesus. And lastly, you'll see how much God truly loves you and why He is worthy of your trust and worship.