5 Keys to Unlocking Your Bible
When newborns enter the world, they depend on others for everything, particularly for nourishment because they can’t feed themselves. When a person accepts Jesus as Lord and Savior, he or she becomes a newborn Christian; and just as infants need physical calories to grow, new believers need spiritual calories. And those “calories” come from the Word of God.
The apostle Peter declared, “As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby” (1 Pet. 2:2). The spiritual food for all believers is the Word of God. Paul encouraged his protégé Timothy, “Be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished in the words of faith and of the good doctrine which you have carefully followed” (1 Tim. 4:6). Paul expected Timothy to immerse himself in the Word, which would supply everything he needed for his own spiritual life and those entrusted to his care.
All of us need a regular diet of God’s Holy Word so we can mature as believers in our walks with Him. Here are five keys to unlocking the storehouse of Scripture:
1. Read Your Bible in the Morning.
The best time to get alone with God is early in the morning. King David, the sweet psalmist of Israel, affirmed this truth when he wrote, “My voice You shall hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning I will direct it to You, and I will look up” (Ps. 5:3). God hears our prayers whenever we call on Him, but David was inspired to commune with the Lord in the morning, before life’s cares and struggles overtook him. His is a good pattern to follow.
2. Read Your Bible Systematically.
Structured study is better than haphazard study. Begin in a specific book and read through it. Let the Lord to speak to you through His Word. We speak to Him through prayer, and He speaks to us through Scripture. Read systematically. Some people like to read through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation in a year or two. The study needs to be orderly. Bible scholar Dr. Charles Ryrie suggested, “Whatever book you choose, read it in its entirety first, then do some detailed study in it before starting another one. Hit-or-miss reading usually misses more than it hits!”1
3. Read Until You Get Something From God.
This Book is limitless. The Bible is different from all other books: “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Heb. 4:12). No matter how many times you read a passage, the Holy Spirit can give you something you never saw before. Always begin with prayer, asking the Lord to fill you with His Spirit and teach you from His Word. Then read until He shows you something.
4. Record What You Learn.
Many people like to write notes in the margins of their Bibles or highlight verses that are special to them. Some use journals and record what the Lord showed them. All of these tools can be helpful to study the Word.
5. Memorize Scripture.
When we know God’s Word, He brings it to mind when we need it; and He helps us obey it. “Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You” (Ps. 119:11). Just as babies grow, mature, and often emulate their parents, our goal as believers is to be conformed to the image of Christ (Rom. 8:29). We can’t do that unless we know God’s Word.
- Charles C. Ryrie, The Ryrie Study Bible, NKJV (Chicago, IL: Moody, 1985), vi.