Reading the Bible with Intentionality

Reading the Bible with Intentionality

Approaching the Bible can be a difficult task. In my personal experience however, the breakthrough usually comes when I have specific intentionality while I read. Instead of reading out of obligation, I open the Word with earnest expectation and intentionality. Our minds are designed in such a way as to soak in the most data when our learning is connected with authentic interest.

Here are a few suggestions on reading the Bible with intentionality--so that it flows more easily into our everyday life. In all these approaches, underlining, highlighting things, as well as taking notes is very helpful. Praying for God to guide us to the places we should go in our reading is also very good to do.

1. The Relational Intent

There are times in which I open my Bible, because I decided I want to know God more deeply. I don’t look for simple data or facts, I look for where God reveals himself in his actions and his words. I then walk away from the time with my Bible, feeling a stronger connection to God. Good books to read for this intent are the gospels and the historical books, as they show actual interaction with God and humanity.

 

 2. The Apologetic Intent  

Sounds like a big word, but what this basically is about is to find new arguments from the Bible that help us defend our faith in light of the doubts of the world. My intent here would be to walk away from my time in the word, feeling like I could more satisfyingly answer tough questions about everyday life, such as “Why would God allow suffering?” or the like. Often times, the question comes before the intent, meaning I am faced with a question and then start “digging”.

 

3. The Discipleship Intent

This is the time when we read our Bible, because we want to encourage and equip others in their own ministry and relationship with Jesus. With this intent, I open my Bible and prayerfully think about the people in my life, the circle of people that I have direct influence on, and I am trying to find the things that will strengthen them in their walk with Jesus or help them to start trusting Jesus for the first time. In other words, I try to apply the gospel to real flesh and blood people.

There are more examples and the Holy Spirit usually leads us to the intent that brings us to the Bible before we start reading. The important thing is to be open to the promptings and to acknowledge the fact that the Bible is our source of truth, to which we will be lead by God.Hopefully this makes your time in the Word more alive and meaningful.

Thomas Schnaars

Thomas Schnaars

Thomas Schnaars was born in Walsrode, Germany in 1984. He got deeply transformed by the love of God, when he met Jesus in 2004 in the midst of serious life struggles. Thomas permanently moved to the US in 2011. He currently writes for the RISE Blog, teaches the church periodically and leads the Deeper:Foundations Class. Thomas is married to Brandy Schnaars and has two children, Noah and Riannon.

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