Rule 1 - Bible reading

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Be committed to reading and meditating on the bible every day for up to 15 minutes

These studies have in mind the busy modern lives that we live. 15 minutes a day may be something to aim towards. Of course, there is no limit as to how long you might read and study. When developing a habit, it is important not to aim so high or so far that you become frustrated if the result is failure. Small degrees of progress will add up to significant habits over time.

Bible reading is a practical activity. It is best done without distractions where possible. I developed the habit of reading whilst eating breakfast. Even in very busy family and Christian community life, it served me well and continues to this day. It is important to have a clear idea of what to aim towards and to measure ourselves against. Remember we are trying to improve our own personal standards here; we are not competing with anyone else.


As an introduction to reading and studying we can look at a very basic passage in the New Testament. As we go through the passage, I shall make a few limited observations. They illustrate the thoughts and questions we might have, and the meditations we might make to discover spiritual meaning. At times we might break off to look at a Bible Commentary to see if it has anything in particular to say about that verse or passage. The bible text here is in italics.

Ephesians 2:1-10
v1: As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 
(Spiritual death is the natural state of every human: we are born that way.)

v2: in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world 
(The world encompasses the influence of family, society, the media and education.)
v2: and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 
(These describe spiritual forces which oppose God; they use our natural sinful state to undermine the quality of human life and relationships.)

v3: All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. 
(We were all born deserving God’s judgment, and we sinned freely.)

v4: But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 
(God’s love is for humans as a race. This passage is not primarily for personal application: it speaks to us: ‘you’ is plural. Be careful not to miss the way scripture speaks to people as a group.)

v5-6: made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 
(This position described as ‘seated’ is a position of spiritual power. When we learn to live there, we can rise above the cravings of the flesh.)

v7-8: in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - 
(We did not, and never will be able to earn salvation – it is a gift.)

v9-10: not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. 
(These good works are promoted in us by the Holy Spirit’s inspiration; they are not things which we do because we think they will earn us credit with God.)

keep on digging 

Ideas for bible reading
There are many different ways of reading the bible which you might like to try; here are a few:

  1. Start at the beginning and read through to the end (fine if you have stickability)
  2. Alternate an Old Testament book then a New Testament book (you will read the New Testament twice this way - a bit more variety)
  3. Read the bible chronologically, that is when it is thought the events of the bible occurred in history. I have found a couple of suggested ways to do this (again it adds variety if you find this helpful):

In 2015 the second largest diamond ever found was dug up. It is 1000 times the size of the average engagement ring to give you an idea of how big it is. The diamond seam in Botswana where it was found, was first discovered in 1969, but not thought to be of much importance.  But they kept on digging anyway, leading to this amazing discovery after almost 50 years. This story reinforces a good approach to reading the bible: if you want to discover diamonds you have to dig and dig for a long time. I also have been digging in the bible consistently for 50 years now: and I still am discovering gems.

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