Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash
Over the years I’ve had many people tell me that they just don’t seem to get much from reading the Bible. They want to be genuine followers of Jesus and believe the Bible is God’s Word. But they candidly admit that they read the Bible out of a sense of duty and not because they want to.
Believe me—I’ve been there and done that! I’d leave my Bible reading time feeling frustrated because I just wasn’t getting much out of it. I certainly didn’t feel closer to God.
Let me share what changed things for me. Instead of following a Bible reading plan and feeling compelled to read a certain number of verses or chapters, I went to God’s Word and picked a verse or two. Then I would make an appointment with Jesus. For me, that meant imagining Jesus sitting down at a small table across from me. We’d share coffee together and then I’d read the verse to Him several times. Then I’d say, “Jesus can you help me? I’m not sure what this means.” As I sat there, I pictured his face: smiling, caring, listening, understanding. His responses came mostly in the form of questions.
Let me give you an example. One day I asked Him about a verse from Psalms. “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” Psalm 46:10 (ESV).
Jesus asked me this question: “Scott, suppose you have a friend that you’ve met recently, and you want to get to know that person better. How would you go about that?”
My answer: “Lord, I would try to spend more time with that person.”
Jesus: “That makes sense. Would you like to get to know me better?”
“Yes”, I replied. “I would like that very much.”
Jesus: “Please read the first part of the verse again, Scott.”
“Lord, it says ‘be still and know that I am God.’”
Jesus: “What do you think that means?”
The light suddenly came on and a multitude of thoughts began rushing into my mind. “Lord, it definitely means that I need to learn to sit in your presence and be still—and I don’t do that very well. I always seem to be rushing into your Presence and then darting off to do something else. My visits with you are almost like a drive-by shooting. You know what I mean?”
Jesus: Scott, I’ve certainly noticed that. In fact, I can recall many times when I would be present with you while you were reading Scripture. Before I could speak, however, you’d charge off to your next activity. Those activities weren’t bad, but they did prevent us from having a very meaningful conversation.”
I must have spent well over an hour that morning talking to Jesus about Psalm 46:10. We had an awesome conversation! That verse has been very special to me ever since. Jesus is a very good teacher! He listens, He cares, and He understands. If you stick around long enough, He speaks!