Guidelines for Reading from God’s Word
Congratulations! You have been given the opportunity to read from God’s Word, the Holy Bible. What a wonderful and awesome responsibility you have to share in a centuries old tradition that even Jesus had.
Here is some information for you:
· background on why the Holy Bible is so important,
· reasons why reading it is critical to the life of the Church, and
· guidelines to help you as you prepare and read.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work.”
From this we learn several things:
· Scripture is given by inspiration of God: men wrote it, but the inspiration came from God, the Creator and Sustainer of life.
· Scripture is valuable for knowing and understanding doctrine or principles by which we live.
· Scripture is valuable for training and correcting us as we learn God’s ways.
· Scripture is useful to help perfect us for God’s use.
Proverbs 30:5 says that “Every word of God proves true; He is a shield to those who take refuge in him.”
Hebrews 4:12 says, “Indeed, the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing until it divides soul from spirit, joints from marrow; it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” It is very clever, powerful, and sharp.
Reasons Why Reading Scripture Is Critical to the Life of the Church:
Luke 4:4 says it brings life: “Jesus answered him, ‘It is written, one does not live by bread alone.’”
Romans 10:17 says that we receive faith as a result of hearing God’s Word: “So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the word of Christ.”
Luke 11:28 says that we are blessed when we hear and do the Word of God: “But he said, ‘Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it!’”
Because this Scripture is so important to God and to His people, we should prepare ourselves for reading carefully. Some ideas for preparation include:
· Read it over several times to make sure you understand it and can pronounce the words.
· Try to understand the context of the passage by looking before and after to see where it is placed.
· Pray for understanding, guidance, and clarity.
Think about these things when you read:
· Practice it, learning to place emphasis where it is needed.
· Thank God for the opportunity you have. Ask God to open your mind and heart to hear what He has to say.
· Try to learn and do what God wants to teach you from this Scripture.
Thank you for serving the Lord. (The Board of Elders)