In my last blog, I said that God was speaking to us by sending Jesus to our world. Jesus was the “Word” of God and He became human so He could speak God’s words, with human heart and lips, to us. But as the writer of Hebrews points out, Jesus wasn’t the first person God spoke through.
“In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by His Son. . .” Heb. 1:1-2 NIV
The point is, God wants to talk to us. He loves us so much, no matter how messed up or far from Him we are, that He wants to speak to us. All down through the history of earth, He has been speaking, drawing people to His heart. Often we haven’t been listening.
So the first step in understanding God’s word is the right mental set: God loves you and wants to speak to you. He is actually drawing you to Himself, trying to make an appointment to visit you through His word.
Pray before you read. Thank God He loves you and wants to speak with you. Ask Him to help you understand and to be receptive to what He wants to say.
Then start reading. The Bible was written to be read by a reader to an audience. In ancient times, a prophet, or priest, or reader would simply read the Bible, and people would listen. God had a message and He sent it to be read.
Listen with your heart to hear God’s heart to you. Don’t try to read a certain amount. Just read until you feel fed by the Bread of Life for that time.
God’s word was created to feed us. In its stories and teachings, it has all the nutrients we need for life. Read it regularly, and you will be well nourished. Neglect it, and you will a little bit starved. That empty place you feel in your soul needs to be filled with God’s word.
Blaise Pascal, a seventeenth century scientist/philosopher wrote: “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of each man which cannot be satisfied by any created thing but only by God the Creator, made known through Jesus Christ.” He was right.
If you just start reading the Bible, God will speak to you through His word. His Spirit will speak silently to your heart. If you haven’t been reading lately, give it time. It takes time to tune our hearts to God’s frequency. Ask Him to help you. He will–because He loves you. Just start reading. . .and listening.
Pastor Michael Brownfield