5 signs you’re reading the Bible wrong

Growing up my nightly bedtime routine consisted of pulling down my black leather King James Bible and turning to Psalm 23 (I had heard that Psalm recited at several funerals, so I knew it had to be important). I eventually memorized it, but the truth of it never seeped into my heart.

I would pull out my Bible every night and then somehow manage to miss the entire point.

In short, I was reading the Bible wrong. You might not think there is a wrong way to do something “so right,” but there is. And here are a few ways to know if you are.

1. You Only Read the Bible for Information & Facts

If I were to tell you I know about Michael Jordan you probably wouldn’t be that impressed. A lot of people know abouthim — he’s the greatest basketball player of all time. However, if I were to tell you that I know Michael Jordan, your reaction might be a little different. Saying I knowhim would imply a relationship.

It’s only one word, but there’s a big difference between knowing aboutsomeone and knowing someone. The primary reason we’re given God’s Word is so that we might know Jesus, not just know about Him.

There’s nothing wrong with expanding your knowledge and learning interesting facts about the Bible, but if that’s the only reason you’re reading it — you’re reading it wrong.

You can know a lot about Jesus, but not truly know Him — and I say that from experience (see John 5:39).

2. You Read Out of Duty Rather Than Devotion

It’s easy to think that reading the Bible in a dutiful manner will earn you brownie points with God — but it won’t. God isn’t impressed by how many verses you read, how many neon highlights you make, or how many verses you post on Facebook. What God cares about is your heart.

So, the question is, are you opening your Bible to “earn” His approval? Or to discover His grace?

Are you studying scripture because you feel like you have to? Or because you want to learn more about His love?

Are you reading His Word to mark it off a checklist? Or are you reading to draw closer to His presence?

It all comes down to your motivations. Jesus desires heartfelt devotion, not religious duty.

3. You Read a Translation You Don’t Comprehend

Reading the Bible in a translation you don’t understand is like reading an IKEA instruction manual in another language. It doesn’t make any sense to do so.

There are literally hundreds of Bible translations available — ranging from paraphrase to word-for-word translation. If you don’t understand or comprehend all the thou’s, thy’s, and yea’s in the King James Version — check out a more modern translation.

When we get to Heaven I really don’t think you’ll earn any bonus points for what version you read. The best version to read is the version you understand best.

4. You Only Read to Argue with Other Christians

Social media mudslinging — you’ve seen it, I’ve seen it, we’ve all seen it. When it comes to Christians and social media, there’s no shortage of controversy. With outlets like Facebook and Twitter, we can share our opinions with the entire world in an instant. In some cases, this can be encouraging and beneficial. But over the past few years of writing online, I’ve had the unfortunate privilege of seeing countless Christians publicly destroy others.

Disagreements about doctrine, hit articles about worship style, hate comments about homosexuality — I’ve seen just about all of it.

As Christians, we’ll probably never come to a complete agreement on everything, but if all you get from reading the Bible is ammunition to attack other Christians — you guessed it, you’re reading it wrong.

5. You Cherrypick Bible Verses

The Bible is more than just a big book of inspirational verses and some do’s & don’ts. It’s a story. And like any story, it requires proper context. The Bible we hold in our hands today has been translated across multiple languages and was originally written in a culture much different than ours.

This is important to understand because without proper context you will ultimately read the Bible out-of-context. This potentially could mean reading verses like Genesis 9:4 or Leviticus 19:27 and deciding you should never eat a medium-rare steak again and refusing to cut the sides of your hair. Yikes!

The truth of Jesus is found throughout scripture — from Genesis to Revelation — but it’s vitally important to read it within the necessary context. If you’re not sure where to start, pick up a Study Bible and dig in. Here’s a free, online one if you’re interested —I’ve used it myself. It’s great

These aren’t the only Bible reading mistakes you can make, but they are a few good signs to watch out for. The Word of God is living and active. It’s filled with the life-changing truth of Jesus from cover to cover. But if you want to read it the “right” way, it simply means reading it know Jesus above all else.

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5 Ways Satan Speaks

I wrote about 5 Ways God Speaks: Creation, Scripture, the Spirit, Other Believers, Circumstances.

But beware that Satan counterfeits God’s voice:

1. He speaks by separating creation from God’s design, encouraging us to worship creation instead of Creator, defending animals but not unborn babies, worshiping sex outside God’s design, promoting evolution (Romans 1:18-32; 2 Peter 3:3-7).

2. He speaks by misrepresenting God’s Word, twisting, cutting, pasting, and misusing it (Matthew 4:1-11, esp. v.6).

Satan’s tricks, Satan twists Scripture3. He offers a fake version of godliness, using false definitions of love to persuade us to accept our culture’s moral values and do things against God’s Word (2 Corinthians 11:3-4).

4. He speaks through people, watering down the Gospel, persuading us to take the easy way, to put self first (1 Corinthians 15:33; Ephesians 5:6).

5. He speaks through circumstances, opening doors of temptation (Genesis 3:1-7).

Our safeguards:
Be Alert – 1 Peter 5:8
Wear God’s full Armor (testing everything with the Sword of Truth) – Ephesians 6:10-18
Look for God’s way – 1 Corinthians 10:13
Bible Study

Satan is a liar
1. I encourage you to review the Bite Size Study Anatomy of a Temptation, highlighting some of Satan’s strategies with Eve.

2. I encourage you to review the Bible Love Note 3 of Satan’s Tricks, highlighting some of Satan’s strategies with Christ.

3. Ask God how you can apply this passage to your life in practical ways. In what ways can you be more alert and sober minded to the strategies of Satan?

1 Peter 5:8: Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

Standing in the Gap

Whole book reading: Leviticus 21-23

Standing in the gap involves a lifestyle of setting ourselves apart and protecting our bodies which is the temple of the living God. The lifestyle the priests had to live, as mentioned in Leviticus, is one of honour and of a reverential task. In those days, the Lord chose to meet the people in the tent of the meeting and He dwelt in the most holy place which was accessible only by the high priest once a year. When the high priest entered the Holy of Holies, he had to have a string tied to his leg with bells attached. The sound of bells would cease if the high priest died in the Holy of Holies and he could be pulled out, as nobody else could enter the Holy of Holies.

The time Jesus died for our sins, the temple curtains which divided the holy place from the Holy of Holies, was torn into two from top to bottom so that, anyone could enter, see the most holy place. Jesus bridged the gap being the lamb for our sins and the high priest who lead us into the Holy of Holies.

The book of Leviticus helps us understand Christ’s role as a lamb and His role as a priest. From being the most boring book in the Bible, Leviticus has become my favorite book as every time I read it, I understand the love God has for me and that He came for me to stand in the gap. Just as Christ stood in the gap, He wants us to stand in the gap on behalf of our fellow beings.

In today’s world, how can we stand in the gap

Help people know about Christ through our lifestyle.
Helping people understand the Bible, in its simplicity and relevance.
Being available to be channels where God can touch lives.
Praying for those whom God has put a burden in our hearts.
We are not standing in the gap when

Our attitude is about what we do rather than what God wants to achieve.
We are judgmental rather than being loving to those around us.
When we try to enforce our beliefs on others.
Life is about standing in the gap.

Please God

I found this interesting. You may too:

There was a Pastor who had a Choir team and the Choir was the Best Team ever in his Mind. People would not afford to miss their Ministration during Service and at Conferences.

The Pastor died 3 days before the Youth conference. So the Pastor Cried out to God that he could not Miss the day his Choir was singing and God said you can’t go back on earth but the day your choir will be Ministering, I will grant you the Chance to see them Singing on Earth.

So the day came and God fulfilled His promise to the Pastor. What shocked the Pastor was that he could only hear two Female and one Male voice amongst the whole choir.
He asked God why am I Hearing only Three person Voice yet people are rejoicing with the way they are singing…and God replied, ” here in Heaven we only hear the Voices of those who sing in Truth and in Spirit, also in Right Standing with my Word…”.
The Pastor Cried and said what about my Wife and Others?
God replied,” they are doing it for Prestige not for my Sake, so only those on Earth Rejoice but the Heavens are not Moved by that.

So its a lesson for you Worshippers…. Do not please Man but your Father who sees the Heart, who sees Every place you are, who sees your Commitment at His Works.

*Pass this to other Worshippers especially Groups, it’s faster.*
*John 4:23-24.*

Couples of Bible

Adam and Eve: Ideal Companions
Beyond stereotypes and parodies, this story reveals God’s original plan for human marriage and demonstrates how sin has distorted it. Can you recognize both God’s plan and sin’s distortion in your marriage?
Genesis 2:153:13
Abraham and Sarah: Waiting Together
Sometimes life puts you and your spouse on “hold,” waiting for children, a job, of home of your own, a resolution of conflict with extended family members. How can you cultivate patience in marriage?
Genesis 17:1-8, 15-22; 21:1-7
Isaac and Rebekah: How God Makes a Match
This story highlights how God brings people together and affirms marriage partnerships–often in surprising and creative ways. How does God direct you in significant relationships?
Genesis 24:26-67
Jacob and Rachel: Love Endures
People make all sorts of mistakes in relationships–lies, favoritism, manipulation, even revenge. What mistakes have you made or experienced? How has love endured in spite of marital turmoil?
Genesis 29:1-30
Boaz and Ruth: Faithfulness Rewarded
God rewards faithfulness, whether in one person or in a whole nation. What rewards have you experienced because of your faithfulness in a relationship?
Ruth 2:1-13; 4:1-17
Elkanah and Hannah: Dealing with Disappointment
How do you deal with disappointment? Would you like to handle disappointment differently? This story shows how couples can help each other look to God during difficult seasons of life.
1 Samuel 1
David and Abigail: Wise Intervention
When should you intervene in someone else’s life–especially your husband or wife? When do you wish someone would intervene with you? How can you hear God’s wisdom through the voice of another person?
1 Samuel 25:14-42
Hosea and Gomer: Unconditioned Love
This story takes you to the edge of what it means to love unconditionally. Have you been forgiven by your spouse? Can you forgive him or her? What holds you back? How can God lead you forward?
Hosea 1 and 3
King Xerxes and Esther: Courageous Influence
Like it or not, you influence the people around you, especially those closest to you. How can you be a positive, godly influence on your spouse? And what might be the risks and rewards?
Esther 4:15:8

Couples of Bible

Adam and Eve: Ideal Companions
Beyond stereotypes and parodies, this story reveals God’s original plan for human marriage and demonstrates how sin has distorted it. Can you recognize both God’s plan and sin’s distortion in your marriage?
Genesis 2:153:13
Abraham and Sarah: Waiting Together
Sometimes life puts you and your spouse on “hold,” waiting for children, a job, of home of your own, a resolution of conflict with extended family members. How can you cultivate patience in marriage?
Genesis 17:1-8, 15-22; 21:1-7
Isaac and Rebekah: How God Makes a Match
This story highlights how God brings people together and affirms marriage partnerships–often in surprising and creative ways. How does God direct you in significant relationships?
Genesis 24:26-67
Jacob and Rachel: Love Endures
People make all sorts of mistakes in relationships–lies, favoritism, manipulation, even revenge. What mistakes have you made or experienced? How has love endured in spite of marital turmoil?
Genesis 29:1-30
Boaz and Ruth: Faithfulness Rewarded
God rewards faithfulness, whether in one person or in a whole nation. What rewards have you experienced because of your faithfulness in a relationship?
Ruth 2:1-13; 4:1-17
Elkanah and Hannah: Dealing with Disappointment
How do you deal with disappointment? Would you like to handle disappointment differently? This story shows how couples can help each other look to God during difficult seasons of life.
1 Samuel 1
David and Abigail: Wise Intervention
When should you intervene in someone else’s life–especially your husband or wife? When do you wish someone would intervene with you? How can you hear God’s wisdom through the voice of another person?
1 Samuel 25:14-42
Hosea and Gomer: Unconditioned Love
This story takes you to the edge of what it means to love unconditionally. Have you been forgiven by your spouse? Can you forgive him or her? What holds you back? How can God lead you forward?
Hosea 1 and 3
King Xerxes and Esther: Courageous Influence
Like it or not, you influence the people around you, especially those closest to you. How can you be a positive, godly influence on your spouse? And what might be the risks and rewards?
Esther 4:15:8

April Fool’s Day

The World calls this day (April 1) “All Fools Day” or “April Fools Day”. But Who is a REAL FOOL according to the Bible?

5 times in the Bible Jesus chose to address people as “fools” in the gospels.

1. The Careless Fool – Mat. 7:24-27 (Those who do not put the Word into practice)
2. The Hypocritical Fool – Mat. 23:17-19 (Those who live double-standard lives)
3. The Sleeping Fool – Mat. 25:1-8 (Those who are unprepared for Jesus’ coming)
4. The Materialistic Fool – Luke 12:16-20 (Those who live for this world)
5. The Unbelieving Fool – Luke 24:25 (Those who do not believe in his promises)

Who else does the Bible say is a fool?
1. He Who Says There Is No God. Psalm. 14:1
2. He Who Trusts In His Own Heart. Proverbs 28:26.
3. He Who Is Always Right [In His Own Eyes.] Proverbs 12:15.
4. He Who Despises Wisdom and Instruction. Proverbs 1:7.
5. He Who Is Soon Angry. Eccl. 7:9.
6. He Who Slanders Others. Proverbs 10:18.
7. He Who Mocks At Sin. Proverbs 14:9.
8. He Who Talks A Lot. Proverbs 29:11
9. He Who Minds Others’ Business. Proverbs 20:3; 26:17.

God bless us with wisdom