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How I read the Bible

November 29, 2009

Big Thanks!

First up, I read and appreciate every comment written here.. love them!  So thanks!

Perspective

I have been involved in preaching, sharing devotions for years, and most of the time I found the preparation seriously hard work.  Even just producing one sermon each week created a lot of stress for me.  I was caught up in the idea that I had to make it interesting and entertaining.  So how is it I can now produce 5 Bible reflections a week?

I am only focused on reading the Word and growing in my relationship with God and not at all interested in entertaining.   My focus is totally on God rather than what others might think.

How I read the Bible

So what is my approach to opening the Word?

* I find a quiet place

* I look at my watch and work out when I will stop (seriously, now the issue isn’t forcing myself to read but to stop!)

* I come before God and admit my sin and seek forgiveness

* I pray the Holy Spirit will guide me

* Then, I either read systematically through a book (like Luke) or I allow God to reveal a passage

* I read the passage until stuff starts to appear.. ideas and thoughts as they relate to me

* I read the greek or hebrew version

* I ask God to reveal stuff

* And then I write a reflection

I praise God for His Word!!

God bless,

Rev Mark Brown

To subscribe to my blog to receive my reflection for free as an email click here: Subscribe to Journey Deeper Into God’s Word by Email

PS If you want to leave a comment click on ‘Comments’ below and scroll down.

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70 Comments
  1. Rae permalink

    I know I’m not up to your ‘speed’ in imersing myself in Gods word but each night I look forward to reading what you have to say and it helps me a lot – looking into my own walk with |God and I would like to think thaT I too am learning to walk closer with Him
    thankyou Mark for this daily update

    • This was truly the simplest instructions for exegesis I have ever read. thanks for making reading the Bible and interpretation of Passages accessible to everyone. You are a great teacher. Blessings.

      • Leah permalink

        I love what you have to say its not easy for me to read the bible when im so busy but i will make sure ithat i read my Bible every day! Thankyou , God Bless!

  2. I like all of those thanks

  3. Mike permalink

    My girlfriend of 3 years broke up with me becasue she felt I wasn’t religious enough. I tried to have her explain some of the things I had questions about in terms of the bible and translation. You do a great job in explaining the meaning of the words. If I could have received this type of learning with her, who knows what would have happened. God Bless You.

    • Um, I think she subsrcibed to the general consensus that the man is supposed to be the pastor of the home and didn’t feel comfortable leading you in growing in the things of God. Seek the Lord on your own. He will reveal himself to you and he will send you someone that will help you in all the ways you need it. He’s awesome like that. Be blessed.

      • Forgive me if I sound presummptuous, but in the Bible it talks about the “husband” being saved by his wife’s conversation (lifestyle) in other words if the husband (or boyfriend) does not have a close relationship with God, or is not saved, she should be patient, and continue to “set an example” of living for God, and the husband would eventually learn by her example and become closer to God. I am one of those wives who has stepped out in faith and I am believing that my husband will begin a closer walk with God. He “believes”, but he also is one of those men who say “you don’t have to go to church to be saved, and I’m a good person, so I know I’ll go to heaven and so forth. At first I talked myself blue in the face “explaining that it takes more than that. Yes, that is a start, but if he would stop and think, Jesus GAVE HIS LIFE for us. He requires and deserves for us to live for Him. He says if you love me you will follow my commandments. That includes loving Him with all our mind strength, soul and might. (I paraphrased, because I can’t remember the exact verse.) but that includes more than saying “I believe”. Oops! I’m sorry! Didn’t mean to write a book. I’ll close and let someone else chime in. Gotta go write my blog. http://pjsprayerline.blogspot.com.

    • Hi, just a note to you to let you know that if its meant for you two to be together God can still bring her back to you. The main thing is to keep reflecting on him, and don’t let distractions come between you and Jesus.

      In Christ Love,
      Granny Doerr

    • Goode permalink

      Well my brother you should be happy to know that Jesus never had a girlfriend so your friend did you a favor and made you more like Jesus, which is our goal anyway. All things work together for good.

    • Jody permalink

      I agree with Lisa, and I used to be in a similar situation as you, Mike. I got with someone a year and a half ago. Back then, I wasn’t much into going to church and reading the bible. But this girl that He sent me has worked with me and worked with me and has been so patient with me. And now today, I am excited when I pull out a bible, because I had learned to seek God for myself, and soon realized that this girl was sent for God’s use. Over a month ago, I proposed to the girl He sent me, and now we plan to wed in May 2011.
      I am very blessed and thankful that God did that for me, and now to show my gratitude for what all He has done for me, I pray that He uses me anyway that He can for His will to be done.

    • Mike I just wanted to let you know that I agree with Patti. I to am in the same situation. I know the bible says we are not to be unequally yoked but I don’t think this is what Paul was talking about. I think God does want us as women or men in your case to set an example for our mates. Mike get into the bible and ask God to reveal things to you. I will pray He send someone to help you on your journey. Hey! Pastor Mark? maybe. But anyway if she is the one God wants for you then it will all workout and He will also help her deal with it.

      God Bless You Mike believe God does love YOU!

  4. amy reddick permalink

    I love the Lord God with all my heart so its hard for me to see or hear people put God down or christianity. It actually makes me angry and I want to act in anger. What is the best way to handle these kind of people who thinks that teaching people that there’s another way to live life without being a christian?

    • Hi Amy,
      I used to have the same reaction to people who either put down God or would trash me as a christian. I used to get angry until I realized that these people were upset because they wanted to believe, but they just weren’t getting the answers to the questions that they had. Also alot of people get upset with God and christians because they have delt with a twisted form of christianity (hypocrites). Actually the best thing we can do as christians is to love on these people more than they can handle. When someone experiences a true form of christianity, they will be changed! Just remember it is not our job to convert people, it is only to help them in their own walk by walking along side of them (at their pace). This is a process. It may take a long time for a person to come to a realization of God’s presence working in their life, but when they do have thier “God moment” they will be hooked. God doesn’t need us to defend Him, He needs us to live out our testimony before Him so people will want what we have. Which is Christ plain and simple. Remember, Gods work is not easy or pretty. Its ugly and messy. But the rewards are worth it!

  5. doreen permalink

    I look forward to reading your reflections everyday. Thank you!

  6. Nancy Griggs permalink

    As a working woman I find it hard to read the Bible for an hour a day.
    But when I read what you wrote and the Scripture it really helps. Sometimes I struggle with certain things and it makes me think of God and what a certain passage is saying to me through out the day or sometimes days.
    Just wanted to thank you,
    Nancy

  7. what do you do when your husband doesn’t stand with you when your children talk about you to him and not me and then they get mad at me for something i don;t even know about and they won’t even talk to you but your husband started it all plz help

    • Amy Spotswood permalink

      Melodye
      I’m saying a prayer for you. I can sense your pain in this.
      Amy

    • Stephanie permalink

      I’m also praying for you Melodye. Pray to God about it and he will help you! Also, try to talking to your husband about your concerns. Try to start more open conversations with him and tell him how it upsets you, and talk to your children about it. Life is all about building relationships and growing in Love!!

  8. Martha Glass permalink

    Thank you for these simple steps. God bless you!

  9. Emmanuel permalink

    I love the word of God…. Please always share the word of God with us… Thank you very much

  10. Toi permalink

    Mark,

    Thank you so much for sharing, I find great comfort in your studyies, I find answers in your wrintings every day to things I wonder in my own walk with him I am sure I am not the only person out there that is new to thier own journey with the savior and I am over whelm with questions, am I praying correctly, was tha really him talking to me or did I just imagine that? Learning to have a relationship is quite different from the way i was taught as a child. For all the new people followers I have found Charles Stanleys little books in the Dollar General to be so comforting to help me relax and let God! My favorite would have to be ( When God winks at you.) After reading it I realized that he winks at me on a daily bases I just didn’t know what to look.
    for.
    Thank you for guiding us and sharing your life so openly! May God Bless You .

    • Nancy Griggs permalink

      I like what you wrote and I have the same questions and feelings.
      God Bless,
      Nancy

  11. Wanda permalink

    I look for your daily update and read it, once I’ve read it I post it as my status for the day. Hopefully the people reading my status, read it and the that the Lord will work through it!

    Thanks for the tips on how to read the Bible

  12. I just started to read the Word again. I used to read my Bible as a chore as a child but now it is a joy to spend time in the Word. I look forword to reading more about your journey.

  13. Sue White permalink

    I look forward to reading the scriptures you post, alot of times it just speaks to me and I have to post it on my page. Thanks!

  14. hello mark i enjoy your words as well i write a daily blog on my web pages and email some to friends and i know that it is from god that i get the words to do so and i was in a class for slow people in school and i am now reading the bible it’s all because of my lord he help me to understand it well thank for your up dates love and prayers cecil b

  15. I find myself wanting to bathe with HIS WORD. I read the WORD daily but also have the Bible on CD for the car and I just bought the Bible on DVD and put it on while I sleep. I think it is nice when I get a little awake at night and see what part they are reading…..I have had such wonderful sleep this way. I go to sleep with HIS WORD and I wake to HIS WORD………I look forward to your inspirations every day and they are also an addition to my journey. I grew up with 55 years of another religion where we were not taught to read the Bible. I am so hungry for it now. God place you here for a purpose and we do appreciate it and thank you and The Almighty God. Thank you for being such a loyal and obedient servant of God.
    God bless you and your family.

  16. Rev. Mark, your reflections are very inspiring words which strengthens my belief in our Lord Jesus Christ. My wife and I have traveled a road of tragedy the past five years, and it has been a burden on my entire family. 2004, our oldest son was shot but survived with God’s healing power. Also that some year my wife lost her job of fourteen years and I was diagnosed with Agent Orange from Vietnam. In March 2006, we lost our baby boy killed in an auto accident by a drunk driver. May 2008, my wife underwent brain surgery. I just came out with a book about our family entitled, “Family Love, Happiness to Heartache.” In the book, I stress to readers that the only medication for a loss or setbacks in life, is Jesus Christ. There is no other cure. He got me past the heartache, because he has assured all of us that we will see our loved ones again. I now live everyday for my Lord and Savior. Keep up the great work you are doing for Jesus Christ.

  17. Amy Spotswood permalink

    When God’s Word becomes alive to you there’s nothing in this world like it!! The creator of the world has a special message for me each and every day!! Beyond words!!! A longing inside of me from trails/tears/pain is what really drove me to seek Christ through his word. I’ve been saved for years and always knew I should read the Bible, but those were the things that really got me into the Word and what blessings have come!! His Spirit alive in me through th Word!

  18. Cindy permalink

    Mark,
    I have enjoyed your passages and reflections and have been a Christian now for 35 years, although I did not grow up in a Christian home. I was always told by every church and every pastor to read my Bible, but had no clue as to how to do that. Do I just start at Genesis and go through to the end, no matter what? Is there a starting place? Is there a method that I have never learned about? Some people say to read something in the New Testament, something in the Old Testament, and something in Psalms. How do I know where to start and which part of each to read? Please help me!!!

    • Stephanie permalink

      You can read anywhere you want. Everyone has their favorites, there is no book you “should” read first. The gospels show what Jesus went through if you are interested in that, which are Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. My favorite books are in the New Testament. I can relate to them more because they are more recent. I absolutely LOVE Romans and all of the other little books Paul wrote (Romans to Philemon). Just ask God to help you gain wisdom and understanding from what you read. Each time you read something in the bible, something new will stand out, even if you have read it a million times, because it is ALIVE, it is ever changing and will always speak to your heart if you let it.
      Just pick a book you feel as though you will like!

  19. Lydia Reyes permalink

    We at FB are so blessed to have a teacher like you. Everyday I pray that God would guide me to new hights in growing in his word. This is just another way he is leading me. I love the steps you wrote on reading the Bible and will continue to ask God to keep using you in the powerful way he has shown us. God Bless you in this journey. I sure know that he is blessing me.

  20. I believe maybe if you are not as strong in the Word or your relationship to Jesus and you spouse or friend does have a better grasp on it should be no problem to ask questions. Or maybe the other person is not that grounded as they think they are and is depending solely on you.

  21. shelby permalink

    THIS IS AN EMERGENCY! I am 14 years old and i love God. but 2x already i’ve had nervous breakdowns. i’ve been feeling hot and cold at the same time, hungry then sick, tired then wide awake, laughing then crying. all at once. please pray for me.

    • Hi, please don’t give up on your love for God. My church will pray for you. I believe that you are being attacked by Satan to keep you from being able to focus on what God is doing in your life. Keep reading reading the work and talking to Jesus, he know where you are and he will not leave you.

      Every time that you feel bad, sick or tired call out to Jesus, and tell Satan to get away you belong to Christ.

      In Christ Love,
      Granny Doerr

    • i just did, will remember u always in my prayers Hold on to Jesus, He will never leave thee nor forsake thee..He is just a prayer away

  22. Kati permalink

    I enjoy reading your reflections. They give me encouragement. However I get so frustrated when I read the Bible. I feel illiterate! I don’t understand most of what I read, even in the Message version. I don’t retain anything I read, either. I enjoy reading novels, but find it very hard to be interested in reading God’s word. That is embarrassing to admit, but it’s true. Do you have any advice? I pray about this, but still struggle.

    • MaryMarthaKay permalink

      Hi Kati …. the King James Version is what I study from. God has a built in dictionary in it. When you see a word you don’t understand usually it will be explained within the same verse or chapter. Start by using a good Concordance and look up the words you don’t understand, then begin to look for their meaning within the same verse/chapter. You will begin to see this throughout the Bible. Before you begin to read, pray and tell the Lord exactly how you feel and ask Him to help you …. and then you will begin to see amazing things HE will do for you. God Bless you every time you read HIS word and may He show you things you know not of! AMEN!

    • Stephanie permalink

      Pray for wisdom and understanding before you start reading. Ask God to help you read. NIV is what I read, but everyone is different. Try reading Romans. I love that book and it’s a pretty easy read with lots of action in it so you get hooked! Also, what helps me a lot is circling, highlighting, underlining, etc. the things that stick out to me. Then I go back and re-read those things and it is much easier to remember. Just think of it as studying! Study your bible. 🙂
      Let me know how it goes!

  23. Dutch permalink

    I love God’s Word, the Bible was written by man, but inspired by the Holy Spirit!

  24. Jessica permalink

    They lie on the table side by side
    The Holy Bible and the TV guide.
    One is well worn and cherished with pride.
    Not the Bible, but the TV guide.

    One is used daily to help folks decide.
    No, not the Bible, but the TV guide.
    As the pages are turned, what shall they see.
    Oh, what does it matter, turn on the TV.

    Then confusion reigns, they can’t all agree
    On what they should watch on the old TV.
    So they open the book in which they confide,
    No, not the Bible, but the TV guide.

    The Word of God is seldom read,
    Maybe a verse as they fall into bed.
    Exhausted and sleepy and tired as can be;
    Not from reading the Bible, from watching TV.

    So then back to the table side by side,
    Lie the Holy Bible and the TV guide.
    No time for prayer, no time for the Word,
    The plan of Salvation is seldom heard.

    But forgiveness of sin, so full and free,
    Is found in the Bible, not on TV.
    Choose which book will rule your family.

  25. Peggy permalink

    Rev. Mark, thank you for your messages. They are understandable! I’m not a Bible scholar and find I need the regimen of a Bible study group to stay in The Word. But recently I’ve been amazed that nearly every single day something I’ve read in a book of daily devotionals, the Bible, or a Bible related book has been absolutely, directly applicable to an event that’s come up in my life that day or the next or the life of one of my friends! That has to be a God thing.

    I’d like to comment on your being more productive in your Bible study since you gave up the entertainment factor. I am very concerned that many churches today have migrated to entertainment to keep their numbers up and lost the basic teachings, certainly those in the book of James……….Perhaps that’s an issue that deserves prayer on all our parts.

    Thank you for your devotion and sharing.

  26. Paula Judge permalink

    I just want to thank you for for your love and devotion for our LORD! I am so grateful that I found your ministry on facebook! One thing I really appreciate about you and the reflections you share are that they are truly from your heart!

    There are so many today that are not rightly dividing the Word of Truth and asking the Holy Spirit to lead us into all truth, fill & guide us and deliver us from all deception. Jesus Christ is LORD and His Word is Truth!

    Thank you and may the Lord bless you in the way He knows is best!

  27. Zanetta permalink

    Rev. Mark I just want to take a moment to thank you for your obedience to our Lord. Through you seeking you are helping others seek as well. I’ve recently challenged myself to get all that I can from my Savior through His Word. I appreciate your tip today on how you go about getting the understanding. I most certainly will try it. May God rain down favor and blessings like never before on you and your family!!!

  28. Mary permalink

    Pastor I look forward to your word keep up the good fight we press daily. Thank you so
    much !

  29. Reading the Bible without “the key”, i.e., the image of Christ in oneself in terms of firsthand and personal knowledge of the divine identity and authority of Jesus Christ in his perfect and diacritical death of self-revelation on the cross (Matt. 13: 10-17; Col. 2: 2-3; Rev. 5), is like starting on a long journey with little preparation and without any directions –a guaranteed way for failure to arrive at one’s destination!

    R E M E M B E R

    <> Ibid, 13:12

  30. Marthie permalink

    Hall Mark,

    Thank you for all the wonderfull scriptures as well as messages every day, it makes me realise even more how powerful and great is God s word in our lives, and how we can sow good seeds through out the world,

    Its just a pity we have so many christains in the world but how many of them are realy children of the Almighty God? Lets pray for those to get the wake up call?

  31. Angelica permalink

    Thank you for taking your time to study God’s Word for yourself and for others like me who enjoy reading your devotions. Your Bible reflections on Facebook are ministering to and encouraging me and my friends. God bless you for “studying to show yourself approved”.

  32. c.johnson permalink

    wow……well im 23 yrs old…I have been thru more than most ppl my age….I have been trying to live a Godly life for about a yr now…..sumthin traumatizing happened in my life….frm dat moment on I have felt depressed n only found peace in christ and his teachings…..I was just curious did this happen for a reason? did God use dat event to pull me closer to him?

    • Stephanie permalink

      things happen for no reason at all sometimes, just from the consequences of sin in this world. God doesn’t cause bad things to happen, but he uses every single thing in this world for is ultimate goodness for those who love him… hmm, ive heard that in the bible somewhere… anyway, the event that happened to you is something God did not NEED to happen to pull you closer to him, but yes he uses everything to pull us closer to him. usually the best blessings in life are those that are hard. we could never grow in our faith if we never went through anything difficult. they are our blessings in disguise.

  33. c.johnson permalink

    I also just wanted to thank u for ur inspirational words frm God

  34. Robert permalink

    Thank you so much for your committment to Gods service and word. I look forward to reading your reflections as they often reflections of my own. God bless you in your walk with our gracious Lord and Saviour.

  35. Mugagga Leslie Lubowa permalink

    Well i appreciate all the work that you are doing to nourish us with this spiritual food.Well im a former porn addict but i was saved by a lady called Debra who has been emailing me to see whther im fine so i was wondering that you help those that are in this darkness they will really appreciate.thanx

  36. Pastor,
    I shared this with the men in the jail that I minister in in New Jersey, USA. We all thought it was profound!
    Rick

  37. Bertie Perry permalink

    I am glad I stumbled onto this website. I can feel the love with all these comments. Pastor continue to do what Jesus is telling you to do. Thank you for sharing with all of us.

  38. Guy permalink

    Hi Mark
    What about those of us who have a deep faith but struggle to related the bible. I have deep respect for the bible and so should every follower of Christ. I just find other forms of inspiration a lot more helpful. Music plays an imortant in my relationship with God and though i do read about God I have found more current writings more helpful. Thanks for opportunity to write. Guy

  39. THELMA MAY SEDDON permalink

    Thank you for your insight into God’s word it is encouraging to me and keep up the Good Work.

  40. Lyn permalink

    Thankyou Rev. Mark for your daily reflections. Im not born again but love God’s word and wld like 2 have a deeper relationshp with the Lord. I was diagnosed of acute Sdh after experiencing frequent headaches which are still persistent and wont allow me 2 do anything strenuous. 2morrow, i have a job interview and wld like you 2 please b with me in prayer. Im panicking. Thanks. God bless.

  41. MaryMarthaKay permalink

    Thank you Mark for sharing this information with us. You said you read the greek or hebrew version; what resource do you use? A Concordance? I use a Strong’s Concordance to look up words in Hebrew or Greek, but that’s not actually reading. If you have some good resources please share the information with us.

    God Bless you in every work of your hands! In Jesus’ name, AMEN!

  42. MaryMarthaKay permalink

    woops …. the above post is from me: Sharron Gray Atkinson and you can email on facebook freinds if need be. Thank you.

  43. mark the bible ainbt what i mean when i say different this time it is but very few people like you put something different on sight we can learn from i thought of writing sermons but sounds difacult might wait for a sure call from god, love you and god stay on our wall we want you amen

  44. “It is not forcing to read but to stop!” Amazing. Many people (me included) can’t start to read. Reaching at that level feel so good. God be with you.

  45. Kellie permalink

    Thank you so much for your guidance and words of wisdom. I have always been a religious woman who believed in God my entire life, but had gotten lost along the way quite a few times. God finally met me at my lowest point this past summer when I was having a very hard time. He made his presence in my life and love for me known to me in a very subtle but profound way. It was that day that I handed my heart and life over to Jesus. I have been forever changed since that day. Its a daily struggle, but I know God is there every step of the way!
    The relationship Ive been in for 18 months with a man I love deeply just ended abruptly, as a great surprise to me. My trust and faith in God is getting me through, knowing that he has greater things in store for me and my family. Through this pain I feel his love, and I know all will be ok. The Lord has done so many great things in my life, I have complete trust in him! Through every rough time he has always seen us through. I know there are many who are worse off than me, so those are who I will be praying for. I pray there are more selfless acts of love in this world, as I believe God intended us to do for one another. So many amazing people have been there for me and my family, I only pray I can do the same for others. God Bless you all!

  46. Ute permalink

    THANK YOU…i never prayed before reading the bible..going to start now; and with gods help i will get a better understanding
    God bless !!

  47. THELMA MAY SEDDON permalink

    It is important for me to spend time reading God’s Word every day and it is not complete without doing so.

  48. Diane permalink

    Mark, you remind me of the pharisee in Luke 18:11, praying and comparing himself to other men, boasting how good he is. Why do you feel the need to say you read “the” greek and hebrew? Which greek? We all know that there is more than one greek. Do you not trust the fact that God inspired the english version? What “stuff” do you hope to get out of the bible?
    Praying before you read the bible is what you should do, asking the Holy Spirit to guide you, give you wisdom to understand and get understanding of God’s words.
    I would also like to state that people shouldnt strive to be “religious” they should strive to be faithful. Religion will damn you but faith will save you by the grace of God.

    • Stephanie permalink

      I think he’s just trying to say he reads different versions because when translated to english, sometimes the words lose their original meaning. The english version is fine, but it’s also helpful to study the original version to gain more insight into the verse! 🙂

      • Diane permalink

        Do you believe that God inspired the King James Bible? If so, then we get all the insight God wants us to get. Someone saying they read different versions is just trying to show off and puffeth himself up.

  49. Alex permalink

    How do you get to the point of being passionate about reading the bible? I fall into the “I know I should read my bible” camp. It seems so hard to get started, let alone maintain some sort of consistency.
    Are you meant to start off, even if its kind off begrudingly, forcing yourself to reading 15 minutes, then somewhere along the line you get a hunger and a passion, and then it grows?
    Also, when you talk about reading the greek and hebrew version how do you go about this. The only resources I have it a strongs concordance – are there other resources out there that make this easier?

    • Diane permalink

      Alex,
      First question I have to ask you is, Are you Saved? When you get saved the Holy Spirit works inside you, you want to know God. The best way to know God is to read the bible. If you have fallen away from God you will set aside your bible for other “worldly” things to do such as TV, internet, etc. The hunger to know God comes from within, so you must first examine yourself, ask yourself, Am I saved? Read from Romans to Philemon, that is written by Paul to us, Church Age saved people.

      About the reading of greek and hebrew, forget about that! That is just someone trying to show off, puffing himself up with self importance. The King James Bible is inspired by God and you will get out of that bible everything God wants you to get.

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