How To Benefit From Reading The Bible
Chris Moeller - Worship Pastor
People delay getting into God’s Word because it’s hard to know where to start and how to do it correctly. And I get that. The Bible is a big book and parts of it are really complicated. But here’s a thought: just do it! Just grab your Bible and read it! Even though it might seem intimidating, it’s really not that hard. One method of Bible reading and study that I’ve found helpful is the REAP method. It consists of four simple steps — read, examine, apply, and pray — and I unpack each step below. Continue reading to learn how to REAP the benefit of reading God’s Word on a daily basis.
1. READ IT - “What does it say?”
It’s not complicated, just start by picking a manageable passage, and read through a portion of it. Don’t feel guilty if it’s not a whole book of the Bible — maybe it’s just a chapter of Scripture, maybe it’s just a part of that chapter; regardless, just read it.
There are so many helpful resources out there to help you with just reading God’s Word on a regular basis. My favorite is the YouVersion Bible app by Life.church. You can set up reading plans and even have the app read to you!
Remember, the goal here is that you do it without the pressure of thinking you have to look at it like a bible major in seminary. When you read it, when you listen to it, when you soak in God’s Word, you will eventually train your mind to hone in on it. However, to start, just do it — and allow God’s Word to speak to you. You have to start somewhere, and that somewhere is right here — read it.
2. EXAMINE IT - “What does it mean?”
The next step in the “REAP” model is diving a little deeper into the passage. Re-read the portion of Scripture that you picked and examine it. Take notes on the things that stand out in the passage — the similarities, the confusing parts — and then as best as you can, write a short paragraph of what you understand the passage to mean.
If you’d like, you can go into greater depth and use an actual Bible commentary to help inform your thoughts on the passage. A helpful online resource for this is www.blueletterbible.org.
Start small at first, with your own thoughts, and as you get more experienced with studying God’s Word, dive deeper into it with other resources and examine what the passage means.
3. APPLY IT “What should I do now?”
After reading it and after digging a little deeper into what it means, now you need to ask yourself, “What is God telling me to do in my specific season of life right now through this text?”
This is where you allow God’s Word to read you! We know that God’s Word goes forth and does not return void (Is. 55:11), so take a moment to humble yourself and see if there is something you need to do or a truth you need to hold onto in your life right now.
Get real, get honest, and write it all down to keep yourself accountable. This also allows you to be able to look back over the years of your study to then see how God was moving and even answering your prayers in the process.
4. PRAY IT “What should I say?”
Lastly, based on what you have read, examined, and now applied to your life from God’s Word, take a moment to write out a prayer. Get specific and make sure it’s not only asking God for things, but thanking him for what you’ve learned. Appeal to God for help in the specific areas that his Word convicted you of and get as personal as you can to be able to go back and celebrate answered prayers in the future.
Following the REAP model of reading God’s Word is a great way to get more out of reading it. I’d encourage you to get a nice journal or even use a program on your computer to archive what God is teaching you through his Word (I use the Notes application on my devices). Remember, the goal is to view God’s Word for what it is — life-giving and life-sustaining! It is living and active and has the ability to read us and get to the heart of our lives, and in turn, we will see fruit and faithfulness as a result.
It’s not complicated, just do it!