One Question For... Pastor David
The Bible can sometimes be a hard book to read (some might even call it "boring") - Pastor David, what advice would you give to people who struggle to read the Bible?
Honestly, some books of the Bible like Leviticus and Revelation, initially seem irrelevant or weird; but if we understand that the Bible is God's primary means of revealing himself and developing his relationship with us, we may view the Bible as God's sixty-six love letters to us - intended to transform us and our relationships.
We develop a greater understanding of the Bible by being aware of the importance of such factors as literary genres, historical backgrounds, and specific contexts. For example, Leviticus is Old Testament Law revealing God's holiness and his people's sinfulness and functioned as God's early guide to their spiritual formation. Similarly, Revelation is apocalyptic literature written during times of severe suffering, providing hope that regardless of how bad the present situation, God wins in the end.
Like eating meals, a sustainable, executed plan is necessary for continuing health. Some basic tips include choosing an easier book to start with, having a quiet place to read, and setting a regular, realistic time period and passage length for reading.
As a lover listening attentively to your Beloved, invite the help of the Holy Spirit, your primary Teacher.
If your Bible foundations are not strong, a basic introduction of the book from say, a study Bible will be very useful.
Be flexible, as we all have unique temperaments and relationships with God. Some find a reading or accountability partner helpful.
Finally, remember that our ultimate purpose is not to get a better grasp of the Word of God but for the God of the Word to get a better grasp of us as we grow in our love relationship with him and with others.