When you look inside the Bible, you will notice a lot of text. Don’t be overwhelmed by that! Instead, think of the Bible as a fully stocked buffet table. You can’t eat everything you see. But you can select enough for a satisfying meal.
To benefit fully from a Bible “meal,” you need to concentrate on what you read. This article will help you do that.
In this article
Why concentrate on what you read in the Bible?
The more you put into your Bible reading, the more you will get out of it. Think of this comparison: You can dip a tea bag in hot water briefly and get some flavor. But you will get more if you let it steep for a while.
It’s similar with Bible reading. Instead of dipping in and out quickly, let your mind and heart dwell on the material. That is what the writer of Psalm 119 did. Regarding God’s law, he said: “I ponder over it all day long.”—Psalm 119:97.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that you literally need to devote an entire day to reading and thinking about the Bible. Here’s the point: The psalmist took time to think about God’s Word. Doing so helped him to make good decisions.—Psalm 119:98-100.
“My mother once told me, ‘You have seven days in a week, and during that week you do many things for yourself. Why not give some time to Jehovah? It’s only fair!’”—Melanie.
When you think about Bible principles, you’ll be better able to make good decisions—for example, when you are choosing friends or when you are confronted with temptation to do something wrong.
How can you benefit fully from Bible reading?
Make a plan. “Establish a routine for Bible reading,” suggests a teenager named Julia. “Know what you will read, when you will read, and where you will read.”
Create the right environment. “Find a quiet place,” suggests a young woman named Gianna. “Also, let others in your family know about your Bible reading schedule so that they won’t interrupt you.”
If you are using an electronic device, turn off all notifications. You could even try using a printed Bible. In fact, research shows that reading from a printed publication can improve your comprehension. In contrast, it can be harder to focus deeply when you read from a screen.
“I find reading on a screen to be distracting. My device gets notifications or the battery is low or the Internet goes down. With a printed book, all I need to worry about is having enough light.”—Elena.
Pray first. Ask Jehovah to help you to understand, remember, and benefit from the portion of the Bible you intend to read.—James 1:5.
To act in harmony with your prayer, dig deeply into the account you’re reading. How could you do that? If you’re using the JW Library app or reading the Bible online, you can click on a verse to find additional research and articles about it.
Ask questions. For example: ‘What does this account tell me about Jehovah? Does it highlight a quality of his that I can imitate?’ (Ephesians 5:1) ‘What lesson do I learn from this account that I can apply in my life?’ (Psalm 119:105) ‘Can I use what I have read to help others in some way?’—Romans 1:11.
Also ask yourself, ‘How does what I have read relate to the theme of the Bible?’ That question is especially important. Why? Because everything in the Bible—from Genesis to Revelation—relates in some way to a central theme: How Jehovah will sanctify his name by means of his heavenly Kingdom and prove that he has the right to rule and that his way of ruling is best.