If we don’t re-read any other book over and over again for our whole lives, why should we do this with the Bible?
“I have read the entire Bible. When I read it again, it’s “Ok, I remember already reading this.” And I don’t have much desire for reading the Bible anymore because it’s just re-reading what I’ve already read. Now, since you’ve been reading the Bible every day for decades, I’m sure there isn’t a verse you haven’t read 50 times over. How do you remain motivated to read? Any tips?” –Taylor B.
Your problem is that you are reading the Bible as though it’s an ordinary book. I’m sure you know that there is great treasure hidden in the earth—diamonds, gold, silver, emeralds, rubies, sapphires, amethysts, etc., and that if we want them, we have to dig for them. They don’t lie openly on the top of the earth. It takes time and effort to dig into the soil to find them.
The Psalmist said, “I rejoice at your Word as one who finds great spoil” (Psalms 119:162). If you want to find great treasure in this supernatural Book, it will take humility, time and effort as you dig into the soil of God’s Word.
Thomas Edison was a genius who acknowledged God’s existence. Look at his humble and teachable attitude towards the Maker’s creation. He said, “It’s obvious that we don’t know one millionth of one percent about anything.” Have that humble and teachable attitude when reading God’s Word. Every verse you superficially skim-read you show that you are not digging for treasure, so don’t be surprised when you won’t find any.
Take for example two words from a famous verse: “Jesus wept.” You can either skim-read the verse, or you can stop, stare at it and say, “Where is the gold? I’m not seeing it.” Then activate the Edison Effect. Say to yourself, “I don’t know one millionth of one percent about anything. The Scriptures say, ‘The entrance of your Word gives light.’ I need You to please switch on the light-bulb and give me understanding in my darkness.” Then prayerfully think about the verse. Think about His deity. This is Jesus of Nazareth—God in human form, weeping. He was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, and in that lowly state He was hungry, He was thirsty, was tempted, felt fear, slept, felt pain, and He wept. But why would Jesus weep? He was going to raise Lazarus from the dead. Why then shed tears when He knows the joy that that will bring? Was it because He was touched by the pain of others? Dig and think, then think and dig. There’s gold in there somewhere and when you find it, it will delight your eyes.
Once you’ve exhausted your own energy, take advantage of the labor of the great goldminers of the past, men like Spurgeon, Wesley, Matthew Henry, or respected modern-day diggers. I know that when I read a portion of scripture with which I’m intimately familiar, if there’s a familiarity the breeds contempt on my part, I know that it’s just my arrogant attitude in thinking I know it all. So, I quickly humble myself and make sure I activate the Edison Effect. Most of the time though, as I read Psalms or other portions of scripture and know exactly what’s coming next, I have a sense of humble gratitude and an appreciation that I’m getting to intimately know God’s Word, and that’s a very good thing.
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