In all honesty, that last question is something that many Christians and non-Christians alike seem to struggle with. Personally, I find it to be pretty amusing that this belief or rumor was even created, not to step on anyone's toes or anything. Look at it this way, do you really think that God, who is love and compassion at it's purest, would put a condition like that on your salvation? I'm sorry my child, but if you don't read the Bible everyday for the rest of your life, I won't allow you into my kingdom; of course that's not true! Salvation is available to every person on the face of the planet, and upon accepting Jesus Christ as their Savior and being forgiven of their sins, they don't ever even have to open a Bible, much less read one!
But here's the thing, is that really where you want your relationship with your true Father to end? Let's say you adopted a child into your family, around the age of 13 or so, would you want them to simply become a part of your family and then never desire to get to know you? Of course not, in the same respect, God yearns for us to get to know him on a closer and more intimate level, which is done by spending time in the his Word, the Bible. Well, how do I go about studying the Bible and growing closer to God? How can I be sure that I'm doing everything correctly and what I'm doing is worthwhile?
These questions my friends, along with how to actually study the Bible, are the reason that I'm writing to you now. First and foremost, I want you to understand one thing, God knows everything! He can see your heart, your motives, your desires, and I can promise you this, if you're truly seeking to gain a closer relationship with him, you cannot fail; and here's why. When you spend time in the Word, I would suggest starting in the book of John, preferably using a Life Application Study Bible, which has fantastic notes for understanding the scripture, you'll begin to learn about God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. When you begin to learn more about the Three, you'll start to see areas of your life that you can change, when you begin to see areas that need changing, you'll begin growing as a Christian.
This is what it's all about people, growing as a Christian and building an everlasting relationship with our Father. It's impossible for us to become perfect, but as we continue to grow and learn about Christ and our Lord, we will find areas of our lives that can be given over to him. In my personal and honest opinion, this is what the Bible was written for, spiritual growth for intimacy with God. Well you still haven't told us exactly what we need to do to get the most out of our reading time, I know, I'm about to lay all that out for you right now.
How To Study The Bible
- Pray for God to fill you with his Holy Spirit, that you would understand all that you read, be shown areas of your life which need to change, and how you can continue to grow as a Christian.
- Open up to whatever section of the Bible you would like and read it slowly. The Word is an interesting and complex book, if you read it too fast you could easily pass over something important or miss a small detail. Yes you could always come back and read it again at a later date, but why not get the most out of each Bible Study? So be sure that as you read you pay careful attention to what you're reading and search for things that stick out to you.
- As you're reading and come across verses which really stick out to you or apply to your life, write them down in a notebook. Taking notes not only allows for you to take them with you where ever you go, but also impacts how much you retain, or commit to memory.
- After you've finished up with the selection you chose, it's time wrap up your study session with a closing prayer. This time around you'll want to thank God for the things that he allowed you to see which apply to your life. It there's a problem in your life or an area that needs to be changed, ask for forgiveness and strength to overcome it, offer this area of your life up to him, ask and allow him to change it. If there is a virtue or gift that you would like to become stronger in, follow the same principles, ask that God would continue allowing you to grow as a Christian, that the gifts he's blessed you with would continue to grow and develop, enabling you to further his Kingdom and your relationship with him.
That's it? That's right, however, as you begin to spend more time in the Bible, you may find it hard to pay attention to what you're reading. Don't simply shrug this off as a passing "brain fart", the Devil seeks to distract us and pull us away from our righteous ambitions. Remember this, he wants us to remain as far from God as possible and turn us back to sin if possible. Stay strong, be wary of Satan, pray for protection from his spiritual attacks, and pursue your relationship with God with all your heart.
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