Get More Out of the Bible by Reading Less (Really!)

by | Dec 31, 2015

Word of God Speak sq 2I know it’s hard to believe, but it’s true…

Reading less scripture may be the key to a deeper, sweeter relationship with the Lord than you’ve ever known.

We need to know the whole counsel of God. Reading the entire Bible is an important goal for every Christian. That’s why, every other year, I host some type of “Thru-the-Bible-in-a-Year” reading program at my Facebook page.

But for me, it wasn’t until I was introduced to a “less-is-more” approach to Scripture as a 28-year-old pastor’s wife, that my hunger and love for God’s Word began to grow.

I’m so excited to see what the Lord is going to do in our hearts and our lives as we slow down this year and really soak in the Word. Thinking about and meditating on what we’re reading, rather than rushing through.

As we get ready to start “Word of God Speak 2016” tomorrow morning, let me encourage you to take a deep breath and allow yourself to relax into the reading.

For those of us who did last year’s Bible reading schedule of 3-4 chapters a day, it will be difficult not to rush through the 2-3 chapters we will be reading over an entire week. But I promise you, it will be worth it.

Here’s how this method works…

But first of all, here’s your very own copy of the schedule to print off and tuck in your Bible! (It goes along nicely with the “Word of God Speak” Bible Reading Journal – more about that below!)

Click on this link…

Each Sunday, we’ll post that week’s scripture portion at my Facebook page. For instance, beginning on January 3, we will start the book of Matthew. But we’ll only read the first three chapters over the course of seven days.

Read at your own pace – but remember, we want to linger over the scriptures, allowing our hearts and minds to really soak in the truth.

Each day, there’ll be a reminder post at Facebook: “This Week’s Reading Focus.” I hope you’ll leave a comment in the thread, sharing what the Lord spoke to you that day.

Here’s how to use this Bible reading method……

  1. As you sit down to read, invite the Holy Spirit to remove any preconceived ideas so that your heart is ready for the fresh revelation God might want to give you.
  2. Read slowly. Really think about what is being said.
  3. When something stands out to you (even if it’s just a few verses into your reading), STOP!
  4. In a notebook or journal, write down the “portion” you’ve read thus far (for instance, “John 1:1-9”)
  5. Write the “reference” (such as, John 1:4), then write out the “verse” word for word.
  6. Respond to what you feel the Lord is saying to you. Here are a few ways you can do that:
    • Write the verse as a prayer
    • Paraphrase it in your own words
    • Record insights and ways you want to apply it to your life
  7. The next day, pick up where you left off – and repeat the process above.

Note: If you’ve read through one chapter and still haven’t found something to meditate on, go to a chapter in Psalms or Proverbs. However, if after reading two chapters, you haven’t found a verse to respond to, go back through and choose a verse to reflect on. (It may not seem important today, but God may want to use it later or in someone else’s life.)

Throughout the day, allow your heart and mind to return to the truth the Holy Spirit has illuminated. Allow a holy dialogue to develop between you and the Lord concerning the things He’s shown you.

Remember, the goal is to read slowly and prayerfully, listening for what God might to speak to your heart. Don’t rush. Enjoy your time in the Word. For God longs to spend time with you. He wants to talk with you and walk with you.

“Word of God Speak” Bible Reading Journal

I hope you’ll consider using the special journal we’ve created to go along with this year’s reading plan. Featuring the format I describe above, it gives you room to record your “Bible Reading Highlight” responses.

You don’t have to write pages and pages – in fact, this journal doesn’t allow that. Instead, it gives you a third of a page to record your thoughts.

To be honest, that really helps me! The short format forces me to focus on one thing on rather than many things. Plus, I don’t get overwhelmed by a blank page and feel false guilt if I don’t fill it!

You can receive your “Word of God Speak” Bible Reading Journal by entering your email in the “Subscribe to Joanna’s Newsletter” box on my “Home” page.

When you receive the confirmation email, click on “Yes, subscribe me.” You’ll be sent to a thank you page that contains the JOURNAL link. (If for some reason you don’t receive the confirmation email, please let me know in the comments below.)

Looking forward to spending time with you this coming year… See you tomorrow!

“Word of God Speak” Prayer…

I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better.

Ephesians 1:17

[For more information, read the introduction to the “Word of God Speak 2016” Bible Reading Plan]

I’d love to hear from you…Will you be joining us for “Word of God Speak 2016”?

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