How to Read the Bible for Profit

How to Read the Bible for Profit

Read your Bible slowly. Take time, even if you have but little time. Give God the opportunity to talk back to you. This is the most important part of Bible study. When you merely plow through the Scriptures, letting your brain have full play over the text, making decisions as to what it means, and incorporating it into the corpus of your theology, it is comparatively worthless for spiritual results.

A great mathematician once said that if he were given only two minutes to solve any problem he would spend one of those minutes in deciding the method by which he would reach the solution.

This is excellent advice. If possible never be pressed or hurried when you approach the Word of God. He has said, "Be still, and know that I am God" (Ps. 46:10). He is the God of all holiness, and it behooves us to approach Him with reverence.

The Word of the Lord is the burning bush out of which comes the flame of fire. The Word of the Lord is the mount from which the Lord of Hosts shows Himself. In it God speaks to us; in it we hear the words of everlasting life. We must be sanctified and wash our garments and be ready to hear the Lord. We must strip away all earthly affections and set them on things which are above. We must fall down before Him with godly fear. We must know who it is that speaks; even God the maker of heaven and earth; God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ; God, who shall judge the living and the dead, before whom all flesh shall appear.

And when we have that attitude, He suddenly whispers to us that we are not to remain afar off, but that we are to come near to Him. I once was reading in an English hymnbook and came to that verse

Father of Jesus, Love's reward,
What rapture it will be,
Prostrate before Thy throne to lie,
And gaze and gaze on Thee.

I tried to put myself in that frame of mind, and felt my heart to be prostrate before the Lord, looking at Him from afar. Then in my heart the Holy Spirit brought me a message from Christ, "Not there, but up here. By faith, come up here." And I remembered that it was written that God has raised us up together with Christ, in the ascension, "and made us to sit together in the heavenly places in Christ" (Eph. 2:6).

And I began to learn more of the Bible than I had known in a long time. It is not a shallow process that spreads over a wide bed, but a deep process that digs a well, and then another, and then another, and still another. But the water in each well is fresh and cool, and He holds the cup to our lips.

1. How many times does our prior understanding of the scriptures and God affect how we read the Bible?
2. Is it good to be knowledgeable of our presuppositions?
3. How can we be honest about determining the meaning of a text and knowing our presuppositions?