How to get more out of the Bible
Words By Katie Haldane
I have a passion to liberate the Bible from the nightstand and see it used in its God given destiny! I have seen so many Bibles stuck on shelves pressing flowers, I have seen people with Bibles on their bedside table that have been there for so long the cover is stuck to the table (you know who you are..).
But NO! The Bible is not irrelevant or boring, it is supposed to be living and active.
Hebrews 4:12 says: The Word of God is alive and active.” So how do we make it come alive? If you would allow me I would love to share with you three suggestions that I share with my students, hopefully they will bless you and add some creativity to your Bible study time.
1. Have a Bible you can trash.
The first rule of my New Testament class is no ‘Display Only’ Bibles. You can have ‘Display Only’ towels at home but no ‘Display Only’ Bibles. Something incredible happens when you are interacting with the Word of God, it stops being just a book and becomes a life-changing tool. Hebrews 4:12 says the Word of God is: “Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
So my first encouragement to you is buy a Bible that you don’t mind getting worn and in your study time write all over it. It’s OK to be as creative as you like. For me as I read through my Bible I use different colours to highlight parts that really impact me, I write questions and comments in the margins. I circle things that don’t make sense so when I have time I can come back and study it. Having a Bible that you can do whatever you like to it helps you to dive into the pages of the Bible, becoming part of the text rather than skimming across the top as a spectator.
2. Be Creative with your Bible time
I am easily distracted, one study time I ended up cleaning the whole room with sugar soap because I was so distracted by all the marks on the wall in front of me. I learnt really quickly that I needed to engage my hearing into my Bible study time. So now when I read my Bible I have movie soundtracks playing in my headphones, it makes for a really creative way to read the Bible. I know it sounds ridiculous but try it! We are so used to being engaged visually and audibly with movies that sometimes we find it hard to just sit and read, so engage your ears when you read the Bible and see how you go. I once read the book of Revelation with the Passion of the Christ soundtrack in my ears and I was so involved in reading that when Christ came down from heaven on his White horse in Revelation 19 I was cheering and crying! My flatmate came in to check that I was alright and I had to explain to her that I just got too involved in reading Revelations. Give it a go – you might love it!
3. Imagine yourself in the stories you are reading
Try engaging with the Bible by imagining how you would feel if you were the people in the story and then note in the margins how it made you feel. Imagine being the man born blind in John 9 and feeling the mud made of Jesus’s spit on your eyes. I would have been relieved when Jesus said ‘Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” you bet I am going to wash - you just rubbed mud from your spit in my eyes! Imagine how it felt when he washed and his sight was restored, the light flooding into a place that was consumed by darkness! Imagining yourself in the stories and pondering on your reaction is a great way of engaging your creativity in the text and learning from their experiences.
So these are three suggestions for liberating your Bible from the Nightstand and adding some creativity to your Bible study time. The Bible is an incredible book full of treasures just waiting to be discovered, it just takes some time to dig, so go adventuring through its pages and you can’t imagine what you will discover.
Katie has recently graduated from Alphacrucis College with a Bachelor of Theology and lectures at C3 College on New Testament Survey & End Times Angels and Demons Class. She is also the author of ‘God Hears’ and ‘The Voice of Creation’.