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Fisher of Men

Three Ways to Know God as You Read the Bible

Three Ways to Know God as You Read the Bible

“The Bible tells me that You created me first and foremost to know You and live in rich communion with You.”

– Jesus Listens,September 20th

For the past several years, I’ve been rapid-reading the Bible in two or three month increments. It’s been one of the most fulfilling, life-changing habits I’ve ever encountered on my goal in really knowing the Bible and understanding its beautifully redemptive story. It’s not an easy process, and the discipline of reading an hour a day (thankfully) crowds out other habits, particularly doom scrolling on social media. Still, I wouldn’t trade this practice, as it’s helped me know God so much better—because He lives in the pages of the book He wrote.

By trade, I am an author, so I come to the Bible with a storyteller’s heart present. When I first read the Bible in a truncated period, I wanted to understand the entirety of the Bible’s story, from creation, to fall, to Israel, to exile, to Jesus, to eschatological issues found in the book of Revelation. We begin in a pristine garden, and we end in a city of perfection. And in the in between, there is a lot of heartache and redemption.

Whether you decide to read the Bible quickly, or you meander your way through a favorite passage, the truth remains: God infuses His book. He lives within its pages, and His desire is to meet you there as you read.

How do you get the most of your study of God’s word? Three ways:

1. See the Bible as a gateway to God’s great heart

While it is important to understand the Bible’s history and timelines, it becomes a treasure hunt when you ask the question: how does this passage reflect God’s heart for His creation? When you strive to understand God’s passions, desires, and hopes within the text, you begin to uncover His relentless pursuit of those He created.

In my last read-through of Scripture, this one trait of God stood out to me. In His sovereignty, He knew humankind’s tendency to chase after idols, so He warned the nation of Israel often through prophets, judges, and kings. And even when Israel’s idolatry reached a fever pitch, you still see God giving them yet another chance to repent, another option to find the One True God from the rubble of their misguided idol worship. Even during exile, you see God preserving a remnant, providing a builder and prophet in the rebuilding process, and wooing His people back to Himself.

When Jesus bursts onto the scene of His own creation, this relentlessness continues. Jesus spends His time seeking after the broken and hurting. He chastises those who place heavy burdens on His children, and, ultimately, He gives up His life so we all can live a new gospel-centered life.

In short, God did not give up on His children. He pursued. And He continues to do so today through the story of Scripture.

2. Ask God to show you Himself in its pages

The next time you sit down to read the Bible, instead of seeing it as a mundane task to check off your spiritual to-do list, begin a different way by simply praying, “God, I know your Spirit wrote the Bible, and I know it’s good for correcting and bringing wisdom. But I want to truly, deeply, know you through my reading today. Would you show me yourself in a new and powerful way? Help me be open to who you actually are—not who I heard about, but who you are.”       

When I have done that, I come away from my time in the Bible with a renewed vision of who God is—and often, that perspective is utterly surprising. When I read the Gospels, I’m constantly taken aback at how counterintuitive Jesus was, how often the closest people to Him misunderstood Him. His love disarmed people, surprised His foes, and confounded the wisdom of His age. And if I allow the Bible to astound me afresh, I meet Jesus in new ways, and I see Him working in and through my story as well.

3. Remember community

As Westerners, we are so accustomed to reading the Bible in isolation that we forget it’s a communal book. Until the printing press, the Bible was heard, not read, and it was experienced in the community. While personal Bible study is certainly profitable and good for our souls, you will gain so much more from it if you interact with others about what you are reading. Next time you’re working through a difficult text or you face a biblical conundrum, consider talking to a fellow believer about it. Wrestle through the text together. And ask the question, “How does this passage not merely relate to me as a single human being, but how does it help my community thrive? What does it say to the Body of Christ? How does it affect my own circle of relationships?”

Reading the Bible with these three ideas in mind will help you truly get to know its author, and when you know its author, your life can’t help but nurture a heart of redemption in the midst of a dark, sin-stained world.

About The Author

Mary DeMuth is the author of 50 books including 90 Day Bible Reading Challenge: Read the Whole Bible; Change your Whole Life. She podcasts daily at where she prays you through Scripture. Find out more at

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