How Children Can Read and Respond to the Bible

How Children Can Read and Respond to the Bible

The Bible is a spiritual book intended to touch the soul. The Bible has  the  power  to  change  hearts.  This  is  what  Hebrews  4:12  says about the Bible:

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged  sword,  piercing  to  the  division  of  soul  and  of  spirit,  of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

God’s living and active Word can touch the conscience and convict of sin. It can comfort the discouraged and heal the soul that is far from God. It is like a sword, cutting out sinful habits that are deep in the  soul, ideas that are false, and rebellion in the heart. The Bible is powerful!

But you can read the Bible with your mind only and walk away with just information. You may know a little more, but it hasn’t changed you. You can also read the words but harden your heart against their convicting or healing power.

We are blind to the truth in God’s Word. Without the help of the Holy Spirit, we will read words, but we won’t see spiritual truth. We are unable to open our hearts to the power of the Word of God. We desperately need God’s help.


So, like the psalmist, we must approach the Word of God with the prayer that God will open our minds and hearts:

Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law. (Psalm 119:18)

Give me understanding, that I may keep your law and observe it with my whole heart. (Psalm 119:34)


Reading God’s Word is like eating a chocolate chip cookie really fast. It is good, but it could be enjoyed much more. Meditating on God’s Word is like eating a cookie slowly, savoring each bite, thinking about the taste and how chewy it is. It is very good!

Psalm 1:2 connects blessing with meditating on God’s Word. You will get so much more out of the Bible if you think about what you read.  Read  a  short  section  and  then  stop.  Think.  Ask  yourself questions about the passage, questions like:

  • Who is speaking? To whom is he speaking?
  • What does this say about God?
  • Is there a command to be obeyed or a promise to trust?
  • What do the words mean?
  • What is God saying?
  • Does this passage give me any topics for prayer?
  • What are the verses before and after this passage? Do they help me understand this passage?

Ask questions that the passage suggests. Remember the who, what, when, where, why, and how questions. For example:

“For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him. You have done foolishly in this, for from now on you will have wars.” (2 Chronicles 16:9)

Some of the questions you could ask about this verse are: What does this say about God? How does God give strong support to His children? What did Asa do that was foolish? Is there a consequence to foolishness? Why is there a consequence? Is there a promise to trust or a command to obey?

Think over what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything. (2 Timothy 2:7)


God speaks through His Word! Remember as you read the Bible that God is  speaking to you. The stories in the Bible tell about things that happened in the past, but they are also intended to give understanding today. The promises God made to His children in the past are also for the children of God now. The wisdom of the Bible can help us make decisions in our own lives.

As you read, ask God what He is saying to you. For example, in applying 2 Chronicles 16:9, you might ask, “Where do I need God’s support  in  my  life? What does trusting in God’s support mean? Is there any situation in my life in which I am trusting in othersmore than I am trusting in God? Have I acted foolishly, and do I need to repent?”

We  should  always respond to the Word of God. Sometimes, our response may be recognizing an action we need to take or an attitude or idea we need to change. It may be a prayer that comes from our hearts, a decision we make, or a sinful attitude or action we must confess. After discovering what God is asking of us in His Word, we must then go and do it.

But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing. (James 1:25)

This post is excerpted from the booklet Meeting God in His Word: A Guide to Bible Reading and Prayer for Children. The booklet explains:

      • The Bible, God’s Message to Us
      • What the Bible Says About Itself
      • How to Use the Bible
      • Bible Reading Tips
      • Bible Reading Plan
      • Learning to Pray
      • Bible Memory

Find out more here.

See All

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