‘Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel, for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God’s word is not chained.’ 2 Timothy 2.8-9
To think of something being unchained is to think of it as wild, unpredictable and free to do as it wants. That is how God wants his word to be with us. The trouble is that many people do chain up the word of God and do not give it the freedom to touch their lives. It is not so much that we should read the Bible, but that the Bible should be allowed to read us.
A systematic plan for reading the Bible ensures that we do not simply keep going to the passages that comfort us. Comfort is good, but growth is better.
As you read a Bible passage, ask yourself, what does this passage say about God? What would strike you if you were reading this for the first time? What is there within this passage that particularly challenges or encourages you? Is there anything here that the Holy Spirit wants to underline for you? What verse or phrase can you write down to take into the day ahead?
As you engage with the Bible in this way, you can begin to loosen the chains around it and enter into a daily adventure with God through his word.
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The Revd John Ryeland, Director of The Christian Healing Mission
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