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; Philippians 2:5; John 6:63). 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).
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 (Psalm 119:33-40; Proverbs 3:5-8; Jeremiah 9:23-24).
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; Isaiah 8:20).
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; Isaiah 66:1-2, Isaiah 66:5; Romans 8:6-9; Matthew 5:48).
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; John 10:35; John 17:17; Isaiah 28:9-10).
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, 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.