As a pastor, I continually encourage people to read their Bible. If you have been a follower of Jesus for very long, you know that the words of scripture are a vital part of your faith. While I want you to read the Bible, I also want everyone to know how to read it accurately.
Here are the two primary ways to read the Bible:
1. For Personal Information. You need to read to educate yourself on the works of God and his most precious creation. The collection of information will allow you to develop some big picture concepts about faith in God and following Jesus. It will inform and instruct you on the ways of the believer.
2. For Personal Transformation. The information you gather should motivate you to live in the way you are taught. In the sermon on the mount, Jesus ends with a parable of a wise man who built his house on the rock and a foolish person who built their house on the sand. The setup line for that story is, “Everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like …” (Matthew 7:24).
The goal of all Bible reading is linked to these two concepts, and they are intimately connected to each other. You read and listen to the scriptures to gather information that will be transformational. The two questions to ask the next time you are reading are “what?” and “so what?” To only ask one of these is to miss the whole point of God’s words to us. This all sounds so basic, but it is literally the key to everything.