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I grew up with the Bible. It's a blessing to me- a gift my parents were able to pass on- that my basic understanding of the Bible began in early childhood.
I remember the flannel boards with Bible character cut outs that my Sunday School teacher used to act out the story of Zaccheus. I remember sitting with my dad at supper on Sundays and talking about the Bible verses the pastor talked about in church. The Bible was a part of my childhood.
As an adult, though, I sometimes feel like I've got it down. Been there, done that. What's the point of going back and reading something I've read a hundred times before?
For many people who have grown up in the faith, the Bible seems like it's lost some of it's potency. Like the story of Cinderella or the Three Little Pigs, we know it pretty well by heart and what more could we possibly learn? It's old news.
We know better than that, of course. The Bible is a living document.
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.- Hebrews 4:12
So, how do we fight against that "been there, done that" feeling? How can we keep the Bible from seeming... boring?
1) Pray before You Read
Take some time, before you open your Bible, to pray that the Holy Spirit would show you new truths in your reading for the day.
You can even pray God's Word back to God- maybe by quoting the verse above. ("God, I know that Your Word is living, and that it can get right down to the intentions of my heart. Please help me to be humble and show me what You have for me to learn today, through Your Holy Spirit.")
2) Read a Different Translation
Sometimes, we get caught up in the same old words instead of in the meaning behind them. If you've been reading an NIV Bible for forever, try reading the chapter in a different translation.
There are a ton of Bible apps and online resources, so you don't even have to actually purchase a different translation, if you don't want to.
Sometimes, if I notice that a verse has lost it's punch in my trusty ole NIV, I head over to The Message to get a more conversational tone that may bring new insights into focus. My husband really enjoys reading the NLT version.
Give it a shot!
3) Listen to a Sermon or Find a Blog Post
We have a community of believers for a reason. Sometimes, my way of looking at something misses some really awesome perspectives that another Christian may bring to the table.
When I'm feeling stuck on a section of Scripture, I will sometimes go find a sermon online, or search for the verse and then "blog" or "devotion" to see what other people have to say about it.
Of course, you can also find lots of great blog posts on the Blogging through the Bible directory.
4) Use a Commentary
I'm a big proponent of using commentaries for confusing sections of Scripture, but they can also be used to bust boredom. Remember, commentaries are no substitution for the Word itself, but it's another way to read from the perspective of another brother or sister in Christ.
5) Find the Connections
The Bible is an incredibly rich piece of literature, our religious beliefs aside. Find connections between different portions of Scripture, and you'll be delving into the Bible in ways you may not have considered.
For example- try finding several portions of Scripture that use the term "went down" and see what happens in each narrative. Look up different times a specific word is used in the Bible.
The entire Bible points to God's redemption through Jesus, so the connections are endless.
Bonus 6) Don't Neglect the Prophets
I thought I'd seen everything... and then I did a Bible study that encouraged me to look into the books of the prophets more fully.
You've probably heard of Ezekiel. Have you read the book? God told him to lie on his left side for 390 days. Have you read that part? Fascinating.
This article has some really interesting connections about the prophets.
There's a reason this Book has been around for so long and is still so incredibly relevant to our daily lives. There's a reason people spend their entire lives studying this work of art.
It's the Word of God- and it applies to me today. The verse I read six months ago may have a completely different context and application in my life now- that's the beauty of it.
Don't let familiarity turn into boredom- keep seeking His face.
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