Monday, February 23, 2015

The Bible's Two Most Terrifying Creatures!

Each time I lead a beginners' Bible study, inevitably, instead of some serious theological inquiry, someone will ask, "Does the Bible speak about dinosaurs?" I don't mind their questions, really. I suppose it is a legitimate question. So, does the Bible actually mention dinosaurs?

Well, if you do a search for the word dinosaur, you won't find that word in the Bible. That's most likely because it's a relatively new word, coined in the mid 1800's by Sir Richard Owen. However, even though you won't find the word dinosaur, if you look closely, you will uncover some very intriguing facts - some descriptions of creatures that will raise your eyebrows - huge creatures. Were these creatures that the Bible describes really dinosaurs? Perhaps so! Or perhaps even more dangerous than dinosaurs. Let's look at some really interesting scriptures. 

The book of Job is considered to be the oldest book in the Bible - even written before the book of Genesis. This book reveals some astounding details of what could be dinosaurs. In Job chapter 40, God, in sort of a "who do you think you are, anyway" tone of voice, describes to Job some of His largest living creations. One of them is the called the "Behemoth".

The first time I recall hearing the word Behemoth was way back in the 1970's. It was the name my brother called his well-used, run down, old Chrysler (I think it was a Chrysler). He bought it for $50. It must have weighed a couple of tons, but had a big V-8 engine. If there is one similarity between my brother's Behemoth and the one described in Bible, it's power. 

“Take a look at Behemoth, which I made, just as I made you. It eats grass like an ox. See its powerful loins and the muscles of its belly. Its tail is as strong as a cedar. The sinews of its thighs are knit tightly together. Its bones are tubes of bronze. Its limbs are bars of iron." (Job 40:15-18)

Some have speculated that the Behemoth was simply an elephant. But wait. Look at the description of its tail. Does an elephant have a tail as "strong as a cedar"? No. In the Bible, cedar trees were huge and used for lumber. An elephant's tail is small. As a matter of fact, any large land animal that we know of has a small tail. Think about a hippopotamus, or a rhinoceros, or a giraffe - all tiny tails. There is no large animal I can think of with a large, strong tail - except maybe a brontosaurus!

The Behemoth sure was huge and powerful, but it's nothing compared to another creature that God calls the "King of Beasts" in Job 41. The entire chapter is devoted to this terror called the Leviathan. Unlike the land dwelling Behemoth, the Leviathan seems to be a sea monster of some sort. And could also travel on land.

“I want to emphasize Leviathan’s limbs and its enormous strength and graceful form. Who can strip off its hide, and who can penetrate its double layer of armor? Who could pry open its jaws? For its teeth are terrible! The scales on its back are like rows of shields tightly sealed together." (Job 41:12-15)

The Leviathan seems to have been so dominate that man could do nothing to harm it, let alone kill it. I suppose humans could only do one thing when confronting a Leviathan...RUN!

"When it rises, the mighty are afraid, gripped by terror. No sword can stop it, no spear, dart, or javelin. Iron is nothing but straw to that creature, and bronze is like rotten wood. Arrows cannot make it flee. Stones shot from a sling are like bits of grass. Clubs are like a blade of grass, and it laughs at the swish of javelins." (Job 41:25-29)

The prophet Isaiah apparently knew of such a creature, and even describes it in detail.

"In that day the Lord will take his terrible, swift sword and punish Leviathan, the swiftly moving serpent, the coiling, writhing serpent. He will kill the dragon of the sea."  (Isaiah 27:1)

To me, the most interesting description of the Leviathan reveals that it was a sort of dragon! Is that possible? I sure would like to think so. It would be really cool if a dragon that breathed fire really existed long ago. 

"Lightning leaps from its mouth; flames of fire flash out. Smoke streams from its nostrils like steam from a pot heated over burning rushes. Its breath would kindle coals, for flames shoot from its mouth." (Job 41:19-21)

Whatever it was, the Leviathan was the biggest and baddest when it comes to a terrifying creature.

"Nothing on earth is its equal, no other creature so fearless. Of all the creatures, it is the proudest. It is the king of beasts.” (Job 41:33-34)

What ever happened to these guys? I don't know. I sure wish they were still around to see in person though. At least from a distance. But so far, none have been discovered, alive at least. Maybe they died off and became extinct because of some disease. No one knows for sure. One thing we do know....there were some scary monsters back then. 

However, if you think these are scary, they're nothing compared to the one who is the most terrifying of all time - a spiritual being - called Satan. But he's too scary to talk about for now. Maybe another time. 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Top 5 Scariest Verses In The Bible

There are some verses in the Bible that have really put fear in me. And maybe the reason these verses are scary is because I believe they are real and truthful, and can still apply to us today.

Now I know we should not be motivated by fear, but by God's love and grace. And I could certainly list my top 5 most wonderful verses. And no doubt, there are volumes of scriptures that are inspirational, and full of the good news of God's blessings and promises for us.  However, that doesn't mean we should disregard that God is also a God of justice. And just as there are blessings and rewards for our obedience, there are punishments and consequences for our disobedience. The 5 verses below can help each one of us to be on guard, and can help us to get real about our faith.

The Top 5 Scariest Verses In The Bible

1. "Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour." (1 Peter 5:8) 

How can you not be scared by this verse? It makes me realize that Satan is real, that he is my enemy, and that he is looking for someone to devour - hopefully not me! And I don't like how he prowls around. Good thing God is more powerful than he is, and that he can't overtake us unless we let him.  "So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." (James 4:7)

2. "It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God."  (Hebrews 10:31)

I don't know about you, but I don't want to fall under God's wrath. To be punished by God'a own hands is the last thing I want. In this verse, God is called the "living God". That means God is alive and He is active and He is aware of what I think and do. And since God is alive, He can withhold blessings and even deliver punishment if that's what I deserve.  And that certainly would be a "dreadful" thing. The New Living Translation calls it a "terrible thing". The New American Standard calls it a "terrifying" thing. Hebrews 10:31 is definitely a scary verse.  

3. "Dear friends, if we deliberately continue sinning after we have received knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice that will cover these sins."  (Hebrews 10:26)

This verse is aimed at Christians who know and have accepted the gospel message of Christ, but afterward still keep sinning anyway. None of us are perfect, and none of us will go on living a sinless life. We will occasionally stumble and do something or say something that is sinful. But this verse is not talking about a stumble. This verse is talking about willfully sinning, and doing it with no intention of repentance - either planning to sin, or knowing you are sinning and continuing to sin instead of stopping,  Sinning on purpose after being forgiven through the blood of Jesus is basically a rejection of His sacrifice for sin. In that case,  "There is only the terrible expectation of God’s judgment and the raging fire that will consume his enemies." (Hebrews 10:27) Yikes!

4. "For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places." (Ephesians 6:12)

There is a spiritual reality that is all around us! And it's a good thing we can't see it - we probably couldn't handle it. There is always a battle going on for our souls. And we have everything to do with the outcome. We need to reject Satan's temptations. We can do it - by putting on the armor of God. The very next verse says, "Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm." (Ephesians 6:13). We shouldn't be terrified or feel defeated. On the contrary, "...the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world." (1 John 4:4b)

5. “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven."  (Matthew 7:21)

Why is this scary? It's because so many people fall into this category - people who just talk the talk and do not walk the walk. This verse tells us to take belief to another level - action. These are the words of Jesus, and what He is saying is that He can see through any shallow talk. You can say you know Jesus, but do you have a relationship with Him? Do you really know Him, and does He know you?

If your just pretending to be a Christian and just going through the motions, look out! Jesus addressed these types of people when He said, “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me." (Matthew 15:8)  The Lord can tell the difference between those who are just pretending to honor Him and those who actually are - those who put on an outward facade of worship but with hollow hearts. Let's make sure we never are in the position to hear Jesus say, "Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’" (Matthew 7:23)

To me, these are the 5 scariest verses in the Bible. I, for one, am thankful for such verses. May we all take heed. "All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right." (2 Timothy 3:16)

Friday, January 30, 2015

One Of The Greatest Bible Super Bowls

There are many incredible battles recorded in the Bible that are of Super Bowl proportions. And just like there are Super Bowls in football, year after year, there are dozens of Super Bowl type battles in the Bible as well. The one I'm describing below may not be the Super Bowl of Super Bowls, that's described in the book of Revelation. But this one is certainly one of my favorite face offs of all time. 

The Super Bowl battle I'm talking about is a challenge between the home town favorites and the underdog. The good guys, or should I say, the 'good guy', verses the bad guys. It's a head to head contest - a showdown - a culmination of 2 powerful adversaries. It actually happened - a true story, although it was a long time ago - about 850BC.

Here's a little background on the 'bad guys'. They are led by King Ahab, king of the Northern Kingdom of Israel, and his wife, Jezebel. Ahab and Jezebel were evil in the sight of God. As far as King Ahab, he was more evil than any of the kings before him. And as far as Jezebel, she once tried to kill all the prophets of God.

Ahab and Jezebel rejected the God of Israel, and worshiped Baal. They led all the people to do the same. Ahab and Jezebel wanted to eradicate all the Jewish traditions and teachings. 

Now, here's a little background on the 'good guy'. He is the Elijah the prophet, one of the most famous and most powerful of all the prophets. Elijah was absolutely faithful to God. His miracles are some of the most amazing ones that were ever recorded.

At the height of King Ahab and Jezebel's successful reign, Elijah announced that there would be a 3 year drought. It came true. This made the king even more determined to search for Elijah and kill him. 

Eventually, they confronted each other, and Elijah challenged the king to a contest of great proportions. And as with any football pre-game hype, there was pre-battle hype between these two opponents. 

When Ahab saw him, he exclaimed, “So, is it really you, you troublemaker of Israel?” “I have made no trouble for Israel,” Elijah replied. “You and your family are the troublemakers, for you have refused to obey the commands of the Lord and have worshiped the images of Baal instead. (1 Kings 18:17-18)

Elijah told Ahab to meet him on Mount Carmel with all the people of Israel along with the 450 prophets of Baal and the 400 prophets of Asherah who are supported by Jezebel. For Elijah, the real purpose behind the challenge was not to see who was the greater power, but to persuade the people to follow the only one true God.

Elijah then said, "Now bring two bulls. The prophets of Baal may choose whichever one they wish and cut it into pieces and lay it on the wood of their altar, but without setting fire to it. I will prepare the other bull and lay it on the wood on the altar, but not set fire to it. Then call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the Lord. The god who answers by setting fire to the wood is the true God!” And all the people agreed. (1 Kings 18:23-24)

Then came sort of the coin toss - who was to go first. The prophets of Baal received the kick off. They were first to choose the bull to sacrifice, to build the altar, to place the sacrifice on top of the wood, and to call on their God to light the fire. They called on the name of Baal from morning till noon, but there was no response.

Of course, in football games, there is always jeering and taunting from the sidelines. It was no different with Elijah. "At noon Elijah began to taunt them. “Shout louder!” he said. “Surely he is a god! Perhaps he is deep in thought, or busy, or traveling. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened.” (1 Kings 18:26-27)

The prophets of Baal shouted even louder to their god, slashed themselves with swords and spears as was their custom, and continued frantically until evening, but with no success, no response. The fire still was not lit by their god. It was finally 4th down for them. They punted the ball to Elijah. Now it was his turn to try and score. 

1st down play:   Elijah built an altar, cut up the bull, and placed the sacrifice on top of the wood. Then he had them build a trench around the altar. "Then he said to them, 'Fill four large jars with water and pour it on the offering and on the wood.'” (1 Kings 18:33b)

2nd down play: “'Do it again,' he said, and they did it again." (1 Kings 18:34a)

3rd down play: “Do it a third time,” he ordered, and they did it the third time. The water ran down around the altar and even filled the trench. (1 Kings 18:34b-35)

4th and goal: "Then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench." (1 Kings 18:38).   WINNING TOUCHDOWN!!!   

As with all touchdowns, especially the winning touchdown, the crowd goes wild. "When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, 'The Lord—he is God! The Lord—he is God!'” (1 Kings 18:39)

Final Score:  Elijah 7,  Prophets of Baal 0. 

Elijah won the battle and accomplished his goal - to show the people who was the real God. And to prove that Baal was a false god, a false idol. 

Thank you Elijah for standing up to the truth and for showing others who the one true God is. 

"And we know that the Son of God has come, and he has given us understanding so that we can know the true God. And now we live in fellowship with the true God because we live in fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ. He is the only true God, and he is eternal life." (1 John 5:20)

Saturday, January 17, 2015

10 People Who God Calls Fools

There are those who are wise and there are those who are foolish. God distinguishes between the two. There are tons of examples in the Bible defining who is a fool in God's eyes. Here are just ten:

A FOOL IN GOD'S EYES:

1. One who claims there is no God.

The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good. (Psalm 14:1)

2. One who disregards the message of the cross

"For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." (1 Corinthians 1:18)

3. One who despises wisdom and instruction

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction." (Proverbs 1:7)

4. One who is prideful

"A fool’s mouth lashes out with pride, but the lips of the wise protect them." (Proverbs 14:3)

5. One who wants to get rich.

"Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction." (1 Timothy 6:9)

6. One who is quick to quarrel.

"It is to one’s honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel." (Proverbs 20:3)

7. One who lives just for today.

"The wise store up choice food and olive oil, but fools gulp theirs down."(Proverbs 21:20)

8. One who does not practice what Jesus taught.

"But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand." (Matthew 7:26)

9. One who turns from God.

"For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools." (Romans 1:21-22)
 
10. One who is selfish and not rich toward God.

"And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’  “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’  “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’  “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.” (Luke 12:16-21)


These are ten types of people that God considers to be a fool. Don't be one yourself!

Friday, January 16, 2015

The Renewal Of Your Mind

There's one important thing you should be doing with your mind - you should be renewing it. What!? Sounds very intriguing, doesn't it? How is this to be done? Using hypnotism, brainwashing, or drugs? No, it's none of those things. 

The renewal of the mind that I'm talking about is a process that combines two powerful forces - your own mind and a supernatural spiritual force. This type of mind renewal is something we purposely and consciously engage in, yet it is empowered by more than mere human fortitude. It is continual, and not just a one time event. The renewal of your mind results in something powerful - a transformation. 


"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." (Romans 12:2a)

This passage was written to those who were already Christians, those who have already gone through a spiritual rebirth - the point when the process of mind renewal begins. But if this is written to Christians, it means that if needs to an ongoing process - a steady, consistent, life-long process. And you can be sure of one thing - the renewal of your mind will surely result in one being transformed.

Transformation by definition implies a change of form, appearance, or character. In this case, it's the continual development of a new, changed person, in the way one both thinks and acts. The major difference between someone solely using their mind to change their life as opposed to someone whose life is changed by faith in Jesus Christ, is the influence of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is God's presence in us, which empowers us to change and transform, and to sustain that transformation.

So, the mind of a Christian should be set on what the Spirit desires - what God desires. A worldly focused mind is destructive, while a mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. As far as choosing which road to take, seems like a no-brainer doesn't it? 

"Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace." (Romans 8:5-6)

The renewal of the mind gives one a new perspective. We begin to live not according to the pattern of this world, but the pattern of God. What is the pattern of this world? I would say it's marked by greed, selfishness, and all of the sinful ways and desires. Fortunately, as Christians, we are rescued, ransomed, and redeemed from that dominion.

"For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins." (Colossians 1:13-14)

The Holy Spirit is the supernatural, spiritual force that is in direct opposition to the ways of this world. When we allow the Holy Spirit to guide us and transform us, our perspective of life, of other people, and of God change. Not only does our mind change on these things, but our words and actions change. And not only does this transformation affect our mind, it affects our hearts, and even more significant, it affects our spirit. We become new.

"You used to do these things when your life was still part of this world. But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language. Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds. Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him." (Colossians 3:7-10)

We, as Christians, need to look at things differently. How we look at ourselves, how we look at others, and how we look at God are three areas that constantly need to be in check. Our perspectives need to be different than the worldly perspectives. And our attitude needs to be made new. 

"You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness." (Ephesians 4:22-24)

This whole mind renewal thing is our responsibility. It takes action on our part. It takes commitment. It takes faith. It takes Bible reading. And it takes prayer. And most of all, it takes the Holy Spirit in our lives. We need to allow the Holy Spirit to continually guide us in how we think and act. 

"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind." (Romans 12:2a)

Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Christmas Story In Chronological Order

There's only one place to get the true facts of the Christmas story - read the Bible version. Below are the scriptures dealing with the birth of Christ, in chronological order, as they happened. Take your time, and read these passages in order, for a simple but accurate Christmas Season Bible Reading Plan.

There are some amazing events and incredible drama recorded in these passages -  miracles, angels, Magi, prophets, the Star, and of course, the birth of the King of kings. 

Luke 1:5-25
The Birth Of John The Baptist Foretold

Luke 1:26-56
The Birth Of Jesus Foretold
Mary Visits Elizabeth
Mary's Song Of Praise

Luke 1:57-80
The Birth Of John The Baptist
Zechariah's Prophecy

Matthew 1:18-25
The Angel Appears To Joseph

Luke 2:1-7
The Birth Of Jesus

Luke 2:8-20
The Shepherds And The Angels

Luke 2:21-38
Jesus Is Presented In The Temple
The Prophecy Of Simeon
The Prophecy of Anna

Matthew 2:1-23
The Wise Men
Herod's Attempt To Kill Jesus
The Escape To Egypt
The Return To Nazareth




Sunday, December 14, 2014

7 Good Bible Reading Habits

Over the years, I've discovered 7 good Bible reading habits that I'd like to share. If you put these 7 habits into practice, I know you will be blessed. Since the Bible is the unique, inspired Word of God, the only way to know who God is, what He has done, what He will do, and what He desires from us, is to read it. So, here we go......

HABIT #1:  Keep Reminding Yourself Of  How The Bible Is Divided
As you read the Bible, always remind yourself of the big picture. In other words, be in the habit of thinking about what section you are in, i.e., history books, or books of law, or poetry books, or prophecy books, or letters to Christians. This will give you a good perspective of what you are reading.

The Bible is comprised of 66 books.  There is the Old Testament (39 books) and the New Testament (27 books).  In very general terms, the Old Testament is about the development of the Jewish nation in which a Messiah would come, and the New Testament is about the Messiah (Jesus), who came through that nation. The Bible is somewhat in order, but not in true chronological order. Instead, it is divided into general sections. 

The Old Testament (39 Books)
Early History of Man and Old Testament Law:  First 5 Books (Genesis to Deuteronomy)
History (of the Jewish Nation):  Next 12 Books (Joshua to Esther)
Poetry (in writing style not in rhyme):  Next 5 Books (Job to Song of Songs)
Prophecy:  Next 17 Books (Isaiah to Malachi)

The New Testament (27 Books)
Gospels (the life of Jesus): First 4 Books (Matthew to John)
History (of the Christian church):  Next Book (Acts)
Epistles (letters to Christians):  Next 21 Books (Romans to Jude)
Prophecy (John's end times vision):  Next Book (Revelation)

HABIT #2:   Always Have A Reading Plan
Don't just randomly pick a place in the Bible to read. And please, don't close your eyes, open up the Bible somewhere, point your finger on a specific place in the page, and open your eyes thinking that's exactly what God wanted you to read. Yes, God wants you to read His word, but read it with a purpose and a plan.

It's best not to read the Bible for the first time by starting at page one and continuing through. You will get bogged down in Old Testament law real quick. And since the New Testament gives the way of salvation through Christ, I would start there, in the New Testament. For a first time reader, start with one of the Gospels, then the book of Acts, then an Epistle, then another Gospel, then another Epistle. Then read Genesis, but always working in another Epistle before going back to another Old Testament book. Make sure you get through all the Gospels and all the Epistles before going through much of the Old Testament.

There are several Bible reading plans you can find online, or in book form. Choose one that you feel you can follow and accomplish. And if you want, make you own plan, such as reading a particular book of the New Testament, maybe a chapter a day. Just take your time, and just have a plan!

HABIT #3:   Highlight Your Bible
Don't be afraid to highlight your Bible, or make notes in the margins. You would be surprised how it helps you, and how many times you will refer to those markings in the future. Even if you use only electronic versions of the Bible, most of them give you the ability to highlight and even make notes.

To be honest, if I was living in a country where Bibles are scarce, I probably wouldn't mark it up. Or if the only Bible I had was a family Bible that was passed down generations, I wouldn't make markings in that one, either. However, in our country, where Bibles are so accessible, and where many people have 2, or 3, or even more Bibles in their homes, I think making notes or highlights is a different story. However, if you are really against it, then at least take notes.

HABIT #4:  Occasionally Compare Bible Translations
Some people are totally and exclusively hooked on one particular translation of the Bible. Some churches actually only consider the King James Bible as the one and only true Bible. To me, the one and only true Bible is the original one written in Hebrew (Old Testament) and Greek (New Testament). Everything else is a translation from those languages into another language, such as English.

Now it's true that some translations are more literal than others, and these are the ones that are a 'word for word' translation. They include The New King James Bible, and The New American Standard, among others. You should definitely have one of these literal translations if you want to be as accurate to the original text as possible.

A second type of Bible translation is based on "thought for thought". Bibles are usually easier to read because of the way they are worded. These include translations such as The New International Version or The New Living Translation. And finally, a third type of translation would be the "paraphrase" type Bibles such as The Message. The problem with paraphrase Bibles is that they may stray too far away from the original language, so be cautious with these.

If I'm looking for additional insight or perspective, I like to occasionally compare, side by side, at least two different translations. You'll find that the different translations basically say the same thing, but in a slightly different way. Sometimes this helps you to better understand a passage. There are several Bible websites that allow you to compare translations. BibleGateway is one of my favorites.

HABIT #5:  Ask Yourself The Right Questions
When reading scripture, always ask yourself good questions: Who wrote the passage? Who is it written to? What is the context (what comes before it and after it). What can I learn about God from the passage? What can I learn about myself from the passage? Does the passage challenge me with a response, perhaps something God wants me to be better at?  What does God want to teach me from this passage?

HABIT #6:  Read Some Scriptures Every Day
It's important to read some scriptures every day, even if it's just a few sentences. Of course, a Bible reading plan is the best way (#2 above). There's just something about developing the habit of daily reading scriptures. It develops and strengthens your faith. At a minimum, at least sign up for a daily email devotion, or a verse for the day type of routine.

HABIT #7: Share What You Learn
Reading the Bible on your own is one thing, but discussing it with other people brings it to a whole new level. There's a scripture that says, "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another" (Proverbs 27:17). Sometimes another person who reads the same scripture can give you addition perspective and understanding. So, share what you have been reading, especially something that really is special to you.

I'm sure you can come up with more good habits when it comes to Bible reading. I guess the key is to make Bible reading a 'habit', a routine, a practice. Do that, and your life will be enhanced. You will grow spiritually, your relationship with God will grow, and you will come to know Him more fully.