Unwrap the Bible’s Treasures in 4 Steps

After I bought my 1897 edition of  The Historical Geography of the Holy Land, I opened its dingy, yellow pages and discovered I couldn’t turn some of them. The London publisher had made an error.

Unwrapped treasures await

(Photo: I have to read this book with a pair of scissors.)

The book was printed on large sheets which were then cut and bound into the book. But some of the edges never got trimmed. I had to cut each pair of pages myself. At first this was a real hassle.

But then it hit me . . . I am the first person ever to read these pages!

The book sat on the shelf of some library or study for over a century—untouched! All its benefits . . . hidden. Nobody read them. Each time I cut a page seemed like cutting the ribbon on an unwrapped present. The rich descriptions George Adam Smith has written are the next best thing to pictures.

I bought a used book no one had used.

An Awkward Question

Then a question popped in my head: How long would it take me to notice if pages of my Bible were stuck together? The Bible is a book of treasures, often unwrapped, because we simply don’t realize its tremendous value to our lives.

I want to share with you 4 steps that can help you unwrap the Bible’s treasures.

Buried Treasure in a Book

What if somebody told you a million dollars was buried in your backyard? You’d drop everything and start digging!

And yet, the Bible clearly tells us there is treasure worth more than gold in the Scriptures for those who will search:

If you seek her as silver and search for her as for hidden treasures; Then you will discern the fear of the LORD and discover the knowledge of God. For the LORD gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding. For wisdom will enter your heart and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. —Proverbs 2:4–6, 10
one year bible on ipad mini

(I’m reading the One Year Bible on my iPad Mini. Base photo: By Chris Kelly, via Wikimedia Commons, CC-BY-2.0)

As you visit Christian bookstores, do you ever get the impression that if you just buy this study Bible, or go to this seminar, or discover this secret it will unlock the wisdom of God’s Word?

In truth, it all boils down to one thing: we have to spend time in the Bible personally in order to benefit personally from it.

4 Steps to Unwrap the Bible’s Treasures

Do you have a plan for Bible reading? Here are four steps you can begin today:

  1. Choose a plan. Check out my post of FREE Bible reading resources. The best plan is the one you’ll use. Just choose one. I’m currently reading the One Year Bible (NKJV) on my iPad Mini.
  2. Choose a place and a time every day where you will read your Bible. Keep this time a priority, just as you would any other important appointment.
  3. Determine to ponder what you’ve read throughout the day by setting up some memory triggers.
  4. Ask someone to keep you accountable to read. This also gives you someone with whom you can share what you’re reading.

Unwrapped treasures are found in the parts of the Bible you’ve never read—and in those you’ll read with fresh eyes.

Treasures await you there.

Question: Tell me, what plan do you use for Bible Reading? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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  • Kent

    Challenging our need and, providing simple and yes, straightforward path for studying the Bible daily.

    • http://www.waynestiles.com/ Wayne Stiles

      Thanks, Kent. Yes, absolutely, we need a plan or something else will worm its way into our priorities and our hearts.

  • Walt

    God convinced me about 14 years ago that daily time with Him in His word is essential to a strong faith and growing in Christ. There is no substitute. I set aside time each morning (365 days) and don’t miss that time. I don’t have to get up as early now that I’m retired.

    The main method I use is BSFs study material during the Sept to May study, and in the summer God leads me to other studies. I stay in His Word daily and encourage others to do the same. Through that time I have gotten to know and trust Him as never before, and He has given me a faith that I didn’t know was possible before.

    • http://www.waynestiles.com/ Wayne Stiles

      That’s such a good and important habit. I too have a designated “time” as well, but it’s only a jump start to the time I spend with God all day. Thanks for your comment.

  • Chuck

    I made a vow, long, long ago, to read the Bible every day for at least ten minutes.

    For many years afterwards, I somehow forgot and didn’t keep this vow.

    Starting back in 2009, I finally began to keep my vow faithfully even though, by then, I had become afraid of what the Bible was going to tell me about my life style and my behaviour. What I had apparently forgotten about the Bible is that it isn’t about so much about judgement as it is about the mercy of God and His salvation for us: He loves us.

    Anyway, I just started at the beginning and it took me a year and a half to work my way through the whole Bible the first time. The next time through took just a year, based on a Bible reading plan. Then I tried a chronological reading plan for the next year. So far, I’ve been through the whole Bible three times and one time more through just the New Testament. This year will be my fourth time through the whole Bible and it has become more interesting than ever before.

    It isn’t just that my relationship with God changed from fear to a sense of safety. It also changed my whole life in positive ways that I never expected both at home and at work.

    My life has become increasingly less stressful, much more pleasant and so much more enjoyable–regardless of the circumstances around me–ever since I started reading the Bible every day. When times are good, they’re really good, when things go bad, I experience a new-found sense of confidence and comfort.

    It’s rarely just 10 minutes for me anymore, too. It’s usually a half-hour to an hour and it can often be even more. I went from thinking that reading the Bible was a boring chore to realising that it is fascinating story that is full of exciting promises about our future with God. I went from knowing about God to having a relationship with God.

    If I were to adjust your list, based on my own experience, I would drop 2 and 4, since it has never mattered to me whether it was morning, afternoon or evening and I really don’t like having somebody nag me about doing anything. ;) In place of those two, I would add these three to the end of your list:

    *) Be brutally honest with God and with yourself about everything you are reading. If you don’t understand what you’re reading, or don’t like it, or feel uncomfortable, etc., don’t pretend otherwise.

    *) Highlight and/or make notes on any verse or series of verses that stand out to you as you read along.

    *) Try, repeatedly, even in very small ways, to put into practice the kind of good things and right behaviour that you learn about as you read. Not for salvation, but to try and be like your Father in Heaven.

    • http://www.waynestiles.com/ Wayne Stiles

      Thanks for sharing that, Chuck. Your story reveals such truth about the transforming power of God’s Word. I love the additional (replacement) steps you suggest. Thanks again.

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