At North Park we want to help people trust and follow Christ. A critical component to growing in your walk with Christ is God's Word. If we want to grow and mature as God desires we need to develop the habit of regularly spending time in the Bible. The Apostle pointed to the role of God's Word in our spiritual growth when he said, "Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation..." (1 Peter 2:2, ESV).
Below are two Bible reading plans that will aid you in reading through the Bible. One plan will take you through the Old Testament (Psalms twice) and New Testament in a year. The other plan will take you through only the New Testament in a year. These plans are provided by The One Year Bible.
Simply download a plan or a Bible reading app and get started today. If you get behind, don't get discouraged, just keep reading. It's not about marking off a to do list, but knowing God better through His Word and being transformed to be more like Christ.
How do you read the Bible and apply it to your life every day? There are various methods to help with the reading, interpeting, and application of Scripture. Below is a journaling method using the acronym advised by Robby Gallaty in his book "Creating an Atmosphere to HEAR God speak."
H- Highlight: Read through your Scripture reading for that day. As you read highlight any verses that jump out at you, when a verse really gets your attention hightlight it. God speaks to us through the Scriptures so when yo go the Scriptures go looking for God to speak to you. At the end of your reading pick a verse that you highlighted and write it down. Write down the entire verse with the Scripture vese.
E- Explain: Examine the text, think about the verse in the context that it was written in. Ask questiosn like: who wrote this? Who did was it written to? Why? What is God communicting through this passage. Write out a short explanation of what the verse means in its context. If you would like to delve into a better understanding of a text the ESV Study Bible is a great resource.
A- Apply: This is the part that you may be tempted to run to without first examining the text. It is here that in light of the Scripture viewed in appropriate context you seek to apply it to your life. Ask this question? What is God saying to me through this text? What is God asking me to believe or do? You may realize their is an attitude or behavior that needs your immediate attention, you may be encouraged to rely on a specific promise from God that day as written in His Word. God's Word has application for your life TODAY.
R- Respond: Write down a response in light of what you are applying. This may commonly be a written out prayer well you ask for God's help or guidance in applying the Scripture. It may be a prayer of repentance. Whatever way God leads you to respond to His Word, you can write it down here.
The great thing about the HEAR method is that it encourages you to come to God's Word with expectation to HEAR from God. We should read God's Word to know God better, to grow in our relationship with Him... and the good news is that God has spoken so today you can can hear from Him.