I want to encourage you in a few things as you begin to read with us at BibleTogether.
- Read the passage for the day. Download the reading plan and read the passage for the day. The plan is for just chapter or two per day, Monday through Friday. Surely there will be days that you fall behind, but this plan allows you to use the weekends to catch up on any missed days. Just be careful not to fool yourself into thinking that you will just do all the reading on Saturday, because you won’t. And we would miss you around here if you dropped off!
- Read the passage before reading the reflection here. The reflections at BibleTogether are written to help you understand the Bible itself. So the reflections are not the central focus of BibleTogether after all. The focus is on the Bible that we are reading together. For this reason it is essential that you read the Bible passage first, before reading the reflection.
- Read with a pen in hand to mark, underline, star and write in your Bible. The Bible is the Word of God. It is sacred. But the best way to show honor to God’s Word is to use it! Bibles are like teddy bears, the ones that are the most loved are also the ones that are the most worn.
- Read with a small notebook or your phone in hand. Use it to write a what you notice as you read. Try to notice what is actually in the text in front of you. It will be tempting to start thinking about your day or circumstances and start trying to apply the text before you even take the time to see what the passage actually says. The danger is that you would end up thinking your thoughts instead of hearing God’s thoughts.
- Read the reflection here at BibleTogether.com. The reflections here are much like my own personal journal. I’m not trying to be scholarly or preachy. They aren’t sermons or commentaries. More than anything I hope that by watching me reflect upon the Bible that you will find your own time of reflection enhanced. I will do my best to share honestly, accurately and helpfully. But remember, only the Bible itself is inerrant (without error), perfectly trustworthy and sufficient to inform and transform the whole of your lives.
- Post a few thoughts of your own in the comments. This is where the notes you took in the previous step come in really helpful. Remember, we are reading the Bible Together! Your reflections on the passage are just as important as mine. Don’t worry about saying something wrong. Just share with us and we will help each other along the way. Don’t underestimate how encouraging it is to other readers just to see that there are other people who are reading with them! I encourage you to sign up with Disqus as it will help you to keep track of when others respond to your own comments.
BibleTogether reflections are based on the ESV (English Standard Version). Kevin DeYoung has written a helpful booklet on the benefits of the ESV. If you are looking for a good study Bible I would highly recommend the ESV Study Bible.