Thoughts on Reading the Bible

Posted: September 10, 2014 by abestratton in Bible Reading Plan, Parents, Resources

I think one of the biggest struggles of Jesus’ followers is spending time with Him.

That might sound ridiculous (“Of course, I want to spend time with Jesus!”), but our struggle reveals itself in our up-and-down efforts to spend time in the Bible. Because God has spoken through His Word, the Bible, it is vital that God’s children spend time reading it in order to understand more about God and about life.

Teens wrestle with spending time in the Word because they’re busy, because there are lots of other things to do, and (honestly) because reading the Bible just doesn’t rank very high on our list of awesomest things to do today.

As a result, parents who are followers of Jesus wrestle with trying to get their children to spend time in the Word. We don’t want to force our kids; we want them to desire time with God. I get this, but I think there is also value to instilling a habit with our children. Part of the “wanting” comes from the doing. Sometimes joy precedes obedience, but a lot of times it follows obedience. So we often have to step out (by faith) and do something even when we don’t feel like it, and God is gracious to give us joy which then motivates us to return and obey Him again.

So here are several suggestions for parents seeking to encourage their teens to spend time in the Word.

  1. I know of several dads who have time in the Word with their teens. (a) One dad reads the Word silently, but he encourages his teen to come and sit in the same room with him and read their own Bible. Sometimes doing similar things near each other is a form of accountability and encouragement. (b) Several other dads actually work through a passage out loud with their whole family. Each family member reads a verse, and the family works through a passage. Then the family discusses. (What did you see about God? What did you see about yourself and your need for God? How should you change as a result of what you’ve seen?)
  2. Here are some suggestions for reading plans.

Read through one of the Gospels and write down…

  • How Jesus is acting
  • What Jesus is saying
  • Who Jesus is interacting with and how

Read a Psalm and write down…

  • who God is/what God is like
  • how God is acting
  • how this knowledge about God should change me

Read through one of the NT letters and write down the answers to these questions…

  • What does this tell me about God? What is He like, and what does He do?
  • What does this tell me about myself/about humanity? What are we supposed to be? What is wrong with us?
  • How does God want me to live?

Read through a NT letter and write down…

  • What God describes as a godly man (What is he like? How does he act? What does he love?)
  • What God describes as a godly woman (What is she like? How does she act? What does he love?)

 

 

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