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A Successful Bible Reading Plan

All physical life-forms are governed mainly by instinct, except for human beings. We need a road map—a guidebook for life—or else our intellectual and spiritual interests will go in all the wrong directions.

It makes no sense that God would create His masterpiece and then leave us in the dark as to why we are here. God indeed did give us His revelation of what we need to know but could not learn on our own. It is a handbook for life that we call the Bible.

With that in mind, how can you get the most out of daily Bible reading and studying? The following are some important keys to a successful personal Bible reading plan.

Recognize that the Bible is inspired.

The entire Bible, both Old and New Testaments, is the inspired Word of God. During your daily Bible reading, keep in mind that He inspired the words you are reading; God is directly speaking to you through them (2 Peter 1:21 2 Peter 1:21For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
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; Philippians 2:5 Philippians 2:5Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
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; John 6:63 John 6:63It is the spirit that vivifies; the flesh profits nothing: the words that I speak to you, they are spirit, and they are life.
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). For further background information for your Bible study, please see our free booklet, Is the Bible True?

Plan time for Bible study.

It’s easy to let everyday concerns interfere, so schedule daily Bible reading time and try to maintain it. Over time you will look forward to this daily experience (Ephesians 5:15-17 Ephesians 5:15-17 15 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, 16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17 Why be you not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
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Pray for understanding.

Before you even begin, ask God to guide and show you His will. Remember that it is the Creator who gives true understanding through His Word. You cannot gain it on your own (Psalms 119:33-40 Psalms 119:33-40 33 Teach me, O LORD, the way of your statutes; and I shall keep it to the end. 34 Give me understanding, and I shall keep your law; yes, I shall observe it with my whole heart. 35 Make me to go in the path of your commandments; for therein do I delight. 36 Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to covetousness. 37 Turn away my eyes from beholding vanity; and quicken you me in your way. 38 Establish your word to your servant, who is devoted to your fear. 39 Turn away my reproach which I fear: for your judgments are good. 40 Behold, I have longed after your precepts: quicken me in your righteousness.
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; Proverbs 3:5-8 Proverbs 3:5-8 5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and lean not to your own understanding. 6 In all your ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your paths. 7 Be not wise in your own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. 8 It shall be health to your navel, and marrow to your bones.
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; Jeremiah 9:23-24 Jeremiah 9:23-24 23 Thus said the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: 24 But let him that glories glory in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD which exercise loving kindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, said the LORD.
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Keep an open mind.

Be willing to admit when you are wrong and change, even if it means letting go of a long-held belief or tradition. If you can successfully apply this one principle, you will be far ahead in the race for spiritual truth (Acts 17:11 Acts 17:11These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
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; Isaiah 8:20 Isaiah 8:20To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.
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Seek instruction and correction.

Approach Bible reading with a teachable, humble attitude. The Word of God judges our innermost thoughts. It can show us who we really are. It can reveal every flaw in our character. So be ready to heed its correction (Jeremiah 10:23-24 Jeremiah 10:23-24 23 O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walks to direct his steps. 24 O LORD, correct me, but with judgment; not in your anger, lest you bring me to nothing.
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; Isaiah 66:1-2 Isaiah 66:1-2 1 Thus said the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that you build to me? and where is the place of my rest? 2 For all those things has my hand made, and all those things have been, said the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembles at my word.
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, Isaiah 66:5 Isaiah 66:5Hear the word of the LORD, you that tremble at his word; Your brothers that hated you, that cast you out for my name’s sake, said, Let the LORD be glorified: but he shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed.
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; Romans 8:6-9 Romans 8:6-9 6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. 8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
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; Matthew 5:48 Matthew 5:48Be you therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
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Let the Bible interpret itself.

If something seems confusing or even contradictory, let clear biblical passages shed light on those you find difficult to understand. Scriptures do not contradict each another; they complement each other. Also, to properly understand a verse in the Bible, don’t force your personal point of view into it. Instead use the context and other relevant scriptures to find the correct meaning (2 Peter 1:20 2 Peter 1:20Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
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; John 10:35 John 10:35If he called them gods, to whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;
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; John 17:17 John 17:17Sanctify them through your truth: your word is truth.
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; Isaiah 28:9-10 Isaiah 28:9-10 9 Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. 10 For precept must be on precept, precept on precept; line on line, line on line; here a little, and there a little:
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Bible reading topics.

Concentrate, at various times, on one subject, doctrine or book. Use a concordance or other Bible study aid to put together all the scriptures relevant to a subject. This will allow you to see all that God has to say about a particular topic (2 Timothy 2:15 2 Timothy 2:15Study to show yourself approved to God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
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, KJV).

You can incorporate a meaningful daily Bible reading plan into your life by utilizing these keys and other such biblical advice on how to gain more knowledge and understanding from God, the source of all wisdom.