You've got 3 minutes to read this, so here we go...
1) First thing to do is pray. God wants to know you want His help as you get to know Him better. Pray something like “God, please help me to stay focused on You as I read this passage, and please guide me to understand what it is You want me to know from this passage.”
2) Choose a book and stick with it. You won’t get much out of your time with God if you flick open random passages every time you read your Bible. If you’re not sure what book would be helpful to you, either ask an older Christian who knows you and you trust, or if you have a study Bible they normally give a summary of the book at the start of each book.
3) Re-read the passage. It is a simple thing to do, but a lot of us don’t do it. By re-reading the passage we get to pick up the little things the Bible says which make up the big idea of the passage. Also it has been proven that humans need to hear/read something 3 times before we can start to freely remember what we have learnt.
4) Keep a journal. By having a little notebook with you, you can write down your thoughts, specific verses you want to remember, things you didn’t understand so you can ask someone else what it means, etc.
5) Write down your thoughts about the passage. Whatever comes to your mind, write it down: What words/sentences don’t you understand? What pumped you up when you read it? Do you feel God wanting you to change in some way?
6) S.P.A.C.E.P.E.T.S. This is something my Senior Minister passed on to me which is really helpful to keep me focused on the Bible passage. It is used like this:
Is there any (insert letter from below) in the passage?
S=Sins to confess
P=Promise to claim
A=Attitude to change
C=Command to obey
E=Example to follow
P=Prayer to pray
E=Error to avoid
T=Truth to believe
S=Something to thank God for
It is unlikely you will get an answer for each of these every time you read your Bible, but you get enough answers that will help you learn what God is trying to teach you.
7) Finally, pray again. Write your prayers in your journal if you like, that way you can look back over them and see how God has been answering your prayers.
Well that is it from me this time. Hope you take on board some of these suggestions and they impact your friendship with God in an awesome way.
If God loves us despite our sin, why did Jesus have to die?