Leading By Example

Okay, be honest, how often do you actually read your Bible?

Have you ever felt like you just didn’t want to pick up your Bible, or had moments where reading seemed like a chore? Never right? Check out these great tips to make reading the Bible more interesting and see why it makes sense to get into the Word more often!

The Truth That We Sometimes Don’t Want To Admit


One of the toughest things about reading our Bibles is that it can feel uninteresting, partially because some parts don’t seem apply to our every day lives

I mean come on, have you ever tried to read Numbers?

Numbers 3:14-20
Then the LORD spoke to Moses in the Wilderness of Sinai, saying: “Number the children of Levi by their fathers’ houses, by their families; you shall number every male from a month old and above.”

So Moses numbered them according to the word of the LORD, as he was commanded. These were the sons of Levi by their names: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari. And these are the names of the sons of Gershon by their families: Libni and Shimei. And the sons of Kohath by their families: Amram, Izehar, Hebron, and Uzziel. And the sons of Merari by their families: Mahli and Mushi. These are the families of the Levites by their fathers’ houses


But, what makes some areas of the Bible boring, or anything for that matter, is when we don’t immediately see how something relates to, or benefits, us in any way

And, what do you know, we usually get bored with things we don’t enjoy or find value in

But, this lack of interest doesn’t just apply to us not really caring about earth shattering facts like how “Merari” was related to “Gershon”, because if we don’t understand the context and importance of a passage, it can also cause us to miss out on all kinds of amazing, life-changing counsel and the deep knowledge of God as well

Pro Tip #1) God Reveals The Most To The People Closest To Him

Have you ever had one of those moments when reading a passage you have read a hundred times before, and then God suddenly reveals something new that completely changes the way you understand it?

*light bulb*

Just like how God didn’t part the Red Sea with or give the ten commandments to just anyone, our relationship with God is a huge factor in how much we get out of the Bible, his living Word, as what his spirit reveals to us is what determines how we understand a lot out of it

And let’s face it, the Bible is not only a big book, it contains a lot of things that can only be understood through God’s spirit which reveals his own thoughts to us as well as the hidden, profound mysteries found within the Bible

1 Corinthians 2:11
For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God

1 Corinthians 2:14
The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned

I may be in jeopardy of over-simplifying this point, so I will write it twice:

Part of being close to God is showing him respect, valuing our relationship, and honoring him in our lives, just like those who wrote the Bible did, ie: David, Solomon, Paul, Peter, etc…

Part of being close to God is showing him respect, valuing our relationship, and honoring him in our lives, just like those who wrote the Bible did, ie: David, Solomon, Paul, Peter, etc…

Proverbs 1:7
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge

Proverbs 8:10-11
Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold, for wisdom is more precious than rubies, and nothing you desire can compare with her

Pro Tip #2) What God Teaches Us Is A Reflection Of Our Maturity In Him

The verses that teach us things like “don’t sin, because it’s bad”, “Jesus loves you”, and “love others” are great, but they do not reflect the full balance of information found in the Bible–imagine if God were only that big?

This type of basic information is important for us to learn and grow with as we mature, but once we reach a certain point, we need to move past “the basics” or else we will get completely bored

Imagine if you had to crawl all of your life because you never learned to walk as a baby, that would be crazy and really annoying right?

Well, imagine that as you got older, you willingly chose not to learn to walk or run because you just couldn’t be bothered

“Hi I am seventeen and I crawl everywhere, it probably isn’t a good idea to pick me for the track team, but I will wear the outfit because it looks cool!”

This sounds ridiculous, but it is the way a lot of people approach the Bible!

In this same manner, not everyone is going to understand some of the deeper knowledge of God until they have a greater relationship with him and a higher level of understanding through their spiritual maturity

1 Corinthians 2:6
We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature

Hebrews 5:11-14 & 6:1-3
We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil

Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And God permitting, we will do so

This passage is kind of funny as the writer sounds more than a little annoyed that their audience hasn’t moved past “the elementary teachings” of not sinning, why baptism is important, and even the dead being raised

It sounds like they are having an “are you so dull” moment

Matthew 15:15-16
Peter said, “Explain the parable to us.”    “Are you still so dull?” Jesus asked them

Pro Tip #3) When God Shares His Wisdom It Is Something To Get Excited About!

No matter what we think we know about the Bible, when God shares something from his “vault”, it can really blow us away

I can think of a number of incredible things that God has shown me in the Bible that made my head spin when I read them, as his deep and hidden knowledge is beyond fascinating

Without going into tremendous amounts of detail on these passages, check out these “huh?” verses:

1 Peter 4:4-6
They think it strange that you do not plunge with them into the same flood of dissipation, and they heap abuse on you. But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to men in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit

(The gospel was preached to the dead, what, how?)

1 Corinthians 15:29
Now if there is no resurrection, what will those do who are baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized for them?

(People are baptized for the dead? Why, and how does that even work?)

1 Peter 3:19-20
For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit, through whom also he went and preached to the spirits in prison who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built

(Jesus preached to the spirits in “prison” that were there since the days of Noah…? What prison is that?)

Proverbs 8:22-26
“The LORD brought me forth as the first of his works, before his deeds of old; I was appointed from eternity, from the beginning, before the world began. When there were no oceans, I was given birth, when there were no springs abounding with water; before the mountains were settled in place,
before the hills, I was given birth, before he made the earth or its fields or any of the dust of the world”

(This was Wisdom’s account of her being the first of God’s works, before he created anything that we know about from the creation story in Genesis)

Genesis 18:20-21
Then the LORD said, “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so grievous that I will go down and see if what they have done is as bad as the outcry that has reached me. If not, I will know.”

(I thought God was omnipotent, why did he have to literally go to Sodom and Gomorrah to see what was happening there?)

These are just some of the amazing things that God has shown that I was like “huh?” over

Pro Tip #4) The Bible Has An Answer For Everything, No Really!

Regarding the original point about the Bible not always feeling like it relates to us, it has an overwhelming amount of knowledge that covers a broad range of topics that sometimes we need to think in more abstract ways before it really impacts us

2 Timothy 3:16-17
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work

Since there is guidance on how to live, revelations of God’s character, prophecy, history, etc…, I have personally tried to draw an answer for anything life throws at me through scripture

This doesn’t mean the Bible tells us who to marry, what job to take or other things like that, but we can use God’s wisdom and teaching to guide those decisions

For example, we can use the Bible’s teachings to set our standard for how we would want a spouse to be like (loving, faithful, righteous, loyal, honest, etc…), and we can decide whether a job is good or bad based on whether or not we are seeking after money to fulfill positive or negative desires (we may only want a job because of the status or money so we can seem great to others), etc…

Proverbs 31:30
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised

Ephesians 5:28
In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself

1 Timothy 6:10
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs

Proverbs 12:9
Better to be a nobody and yet have a servant than pretend to be somebody and have no food

I think it is very easy to look at the Bible and say that it isn’t interesting, because honestly, the less we know about it, the less interesting it is

This is true even of our relationship with God, as if we do not know him intimately and are not close, how can a relationship like this be interesting?

God then just becomes a name we pray to and read about, but nothing more

Pro Tip #5) The Bible Is The Road Map For Changing Ourselves, And The World Around Us

Not only is the Bible amazing to learn, but we have the responsibility of bearing witness to both Christians and non-Christians about the wisdom, knowledge, and life-giving mysteries revealed in it

Think of it as a road map that shows how to reach salvation, and how to come to a place of greater maturity and a deeper relationship with God–it is not the crusty, boring tome that we got forced to read in Sunday school

One other point, is that as much as miracles were a part of Jesus’ ministry, his teachings were the most important aspect of his life as they gave more long-term guidance to righteousness and wisdom than raising someone from the dead or turning water into wine–I don’t think anyone is going to heaven because they were able to have one more glass of wine at a party!

However, as a road map, we need to make sure we are using it correctly as we will not get to our destination if we hold it upside down or don’t even open it

Matthew 22:29
Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God”

2 Timothy 2:15
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth

I hope these points are useful, and help you towards a better relationship with our creator by inspiring you to dig deeper into his love letter to us!

1 John 3:1
How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him

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  • How right you are, brother. I slipped for a few days on my daily readings (climbed back on the horse last night), and it’s surprising what a toll it took. Even though I was still thinking about and praying to God, not getting that daily dose of Scripture made me feel further away and more unsure of my real connection to him–sorta the way that missing Church services will, sooner or later.

    One of the primo things about learning God’s word is it’s the only way to fulfill the highest commandment–that is, to love God with all our hearts, minds, and bodies. Yet what is this love? It isn’t fuzzy-wuzzy feelings, it’s love as a verb. It’s the way you love your kids by taking care of them even when they’re screaming little ingrates. Or honor your parents, for that matter, even when they’re just as terrible.

    I wish I had the verses handy (oh, woe unto me, to get caught unprepared in a point like this–help me out, Nathan?), but I do recall Christ making it pretty clear that the way you love God is to honor and keep his commands. Commands which don’t just appear in your head when you’re meditating or by spontaneous intuition, even if general revelation and grace do give us all *some* sort of compass, whatever our situation and creed. You gotta go into the Scriptures, and learn what your marching orders are.

    Of course, I’ve been finding that it also means confronting some uncomfortable truths about God, especially in the Old Testament. It’s one thing to acknowledge that he isn’t just a fuzzy-wuzzy marshmallow, but seeing the sheer amount of wrath that he lays down upon even his chosen people? It quite literally puts the fear of God into you. I do hope that making sense of those images, and reconciling them with the message of Christ, will lead me to a better understanding in time, even if I cringe a little now to see the Israelites being afflicted with plagues, fires, poisonous snakes (man, I hate snakes), and so forth.

    Tying those two issue together, do you know of any Biblical commentaries that you’d be comfortable recommending, particularly ones with an emphasis on how we 21st century Christian Americans can get a better grasp on the Ancient Near-Eastern Hebrew scriptures?

    • Hi Bennett,

      A quick note while driving, I will respond to your great message this evening
      The verses you are looking for are in John fourteen and fifteen: Jesus is clear that if we love him, we will obey his commands, just as he obeyed the Father and was loved by him in return
      John 14:15
      If you love me, keep my commands

      John 14:21-24
      Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them
      Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?”
      Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me”
      Talk soon!

        • Hi Bennett,

          For as long as I can remember, I have been an OT Christian in the sense that I embrace that side of God’s revealed character in the OT more than the NT side, and the writings in the NT that I respond to the most are the ones closest to the OT prophets

          I have never seen the logic in following a God who suddenly watered himself down and had a personality transplant; even if God’s marketing position shifted when he sent Jesus, his heart and character remained the same

          Simply put: God is to be loved and respected in a way that changes our hearts and lives, not just “loved” in a lukewarm way that does little to influence us in way that encourages us to model ourselves after his character

          Demons look at God and shudder out of fear and respect, but Christians struggle to have the same fear and respect they do, and also struggle with rooting our devotion to him in love and gratitude

          James 2:19
          You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder

          1 Peter 4:17-18
          For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And, “If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”

          A lot of the NT is about Jesus and the apostles addressing two main themes: understanding that God loves us to the point of giving his own life for us an example that we should do the same for him and others, understanding that God is to be respected and feared (and subsequently obeyed out of love, not just fear)

          The widespread notion that the God of the OT, essentially, no longer exists because we have Jesus now, is a really unstable way to look at God, as it does not prepare, or effectively motivate, us on our journey towards salvation and perfection by encouraging discipline and determination to obey and honor God in every aspect of our lives

          2 Corinthians 10:5
          We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ

          Can you imagine standing in front of God and saying:

          “Well, I didn’t give that up right away because I was going at my own pace”


  • thanks for posting! I have been finding it very difficult to maintain my study time this past week or so. It seems as though I either wake up late, fall asleep during, or just don’t end up making time. I find myself being very easily distracted  and my mind wonders a lot. I am trying not to think of it as a chore or something I have to do because there really is no joy or relationship building in that. I really want to get to that place where it just comes naturally and is based on my relationship with Jesus…not merely an obligation. Jesus doesn’t treat me that way.  I just really wish I could get there!

    • Hi TD,

      Getting into a habit of reading consistently takes discipline just to make time, though I understand about getting distracted

      Depending on what types of things distract you while reading, try reading somewhere that you don’t have your media/entertainment available to you

      For me, I have a hard time reading books as I like to look things up and cross reference verses a lot which is not the easiest thing to do with an actual book, but using that as an advantage, a way to get excited about reading is to look up things you find interesting as a kind of loose guide for your reading

      Try choosing a few keywords or themes you want to look into more and do a search on http://www.biblegateway.com, then browse the search results

      I am not sure what version of the Bible you read, but I mainly read the NIV (1984), with some New Living Translation mixed in as a reference

      One other thing that helps, is to read things like Paul’s letters to the various churches, or to Timothy and Titus, with the notion that they are letters written to people, which makes the themes and topics easier to relate to

      What are some of the things you like to read about most in the Bible?

  • Thanks for the post.

    One of the biggest problems in reading scripture is the fact that many see scripture as something that is to be passively submitted to, rather than wrestled with and analyzed. It’s as if many abandon all or most of the God-given intelligence they have. 
    Scripture wasn’t composed to simply read, memorize, and submit to without careful criticism. It was to be wrestled with.

    In point, engaging intellectually (not just emotionally) is a great way make scripture reading more interesting.

    • Hi KP,

      Great to see you again!

      That is a great point about scripture being something we should always digest, not just taste

      It is very common for people to read, act, etc… without thinking about the why, which keeps people further from God than they understand, and is not reflective of a people who love God with all their strength!

      By the way, what are some of your favorite passages?

      Jeremiah 15:16
      When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, O LORD God Almighty

      Psalm 51:6
      Surely you desire truth in the inner parts ; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place

      James 1:22-25
      Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does

      • Thanks, it’s good to be here.

        One of my favorites is John 16:33, where Jesus tells his disciples to take heart even through all the trouble they experience. John 11:35, “Jesus wept.”, is another. Very important to remember that the Messiah allowed himself to experience his humanity.
        Digestion is a process of picking through what has been taken in, and coming out with what’s useful. Mindless reading of scripture is as useless as one’s digestive system not discriminating.

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