How we read the Bible informs how we respond to the Bible. With the Holy Spirit’s guidance, reading the Bible will help us understand more about God’s character and actions. When we take time to reflect on what we have read, He will help us to understand and respond to God in worship, trust and obedience.
The following questions are a guide to help you dig deeper into the Word. Use any of these to guide your time reading the Bible:
• What does this passage reveal about God’s attributes, activity or purposes?
God’s different names teach about his character. How is he at work here?
• What does the passage bring to light about mankind?
What is addressed to followers of Jesus? non-believers? Those seeking God?
• What key word, phrase or idea really “jumped off the page” for you?
What is the one main idea wanted to communicate through the author?
• How does this passage challenge my way of thinking and/or my actions?
What is Jesus wanting to say to you today? an encouragement? instruction?correction? calling?
• How should I respond to God’s Word today?
Does this passage call for rejoicing? repentance? trust? hope? love? forgiveness? Write out a simple prayer to God, then ask Him with whom you might share what you’ve discovered today.
• Where do I see the gospel in this passage?
What does this passage teach me about grace, and how should I respond in faith?
Reading, Reflecting and Responding to the Bible
Reading the Bible can be difficult at times. We encourage you to use a notebook or journal, and record your thoughts, prayers, and questions as you read. For reflection questions and general guidance on how to read the Bible, please visit our How to Read the Bible webpage.
Read With Others
One of the best ways to read the Bible is with others. We encourage you to take this journey through the Bible with a neighbor, coworker, or some friends in the church. Consider meeting regularly to discuss the readings and discover what God is speaking through his word.
If you are new to reading the Bible, or don’t feel confident to initiate discussions as you read the Bible with another person, we encourage you to read One-to-One Bible Reading by David Helm.
This short book not only explains the why of reading the Bible one-to-one, but also how to do it. Helm offers gentle counsel on how to initiate such a relationship (who to look for, how many times to meet, etc.) and how to structure a typical meeting. He also shares an easy method for reading the Bible called the COMA method: (1) Context, (2) Observation, (3) Meaning, (4), Application.
How to Read the Bible for Yourself – article by John Piper
One-to-One Bible Reading – book by David Helm
One-to-One COMA Questions – by David Helm