I've recently been reading a book entitled Thoughts for Young Men by J.C. Ryle. In one part of the book he writes, "Determine as long as you live to make the Bible your guide and adviser." Amen...
Luckily J.C. Ryle knew that his readers would ask such a thing, so he gives three things that we can to make our Bibles our guide and adviser:
1. Read It With Prayer.
"A man may as soon read the letter of Scripture without eyes, as understand the spirit of it without grace." Scripture should be read through the lens of prayer so that the Spirit might help us understand what the Scripture is actually saying to us. I have found Don Whitney's book on Praying the Bible incredibly helpful in this regard.
2. Read It Reverently.
"Read it as the Word of God, not of man, believing implicitly that what it approves is right, and what it condemns is wrong." Ryle reiterates this point throughout many of his books. God's Word is not to be read like any other book, it is to be read as God's Word.
3. Read It Regularly.
"That is the only way to become 'mighty in the Scriptures' (Acts 18:24). A hasty glance at the Bible now and then does little good. At that rate you will never become familiar with its treasures, or feel the sword of the Spirit fitted to your hand in the hour of conflict. But get your mind stored with Scripture, by diligent reading, and you will soon discover its value and power." Ryle liked to emphasize the importance of Bible intake (reading large chunks of the Bible). The reason for this is because the Spirit can use the Word that you read to change you, comfort you, and help you in a time of need.
We would do well to adhere to Ryle's words and treasure the Bible.
I am a Husband to Clarissa, Pastor at Liberty Baptist Church, reader of many books, and tweeter at @brad_merchant.