When They Read It and How They Benefit
A married couple, both of whom work outside their home, decided to get up just ten minutes earlier each morning and to use that time to read the Bible together before rushing out of the house. What they read provides a basis for wholesome conversation after they leave the house.
An elder in Nigeria uses the program outlined for the Theocratic Ministry School as the basis for family Bible reading in his household. They read a portion of it every day after their discussion of the day’s text, usually in the morning. The children are asked to take turns in reading some of the assigned section. Then they are invited to ask questions on the verses that were read.
A housewife in Japan has read the entire Bible once a year since 1985. Her program is to read for 20 to 30 minutes starting at 5:00 a.m. each day. Regarding the benefits, she says: “My faith has been strengthened. It helps me to forget my illness and concentrate on the Paradise hope.”
A sister who has been a pioneer for 30 years but whose husband is not a Witness arises at five o’clock each morning to do her Bible reading. Her program calls for reading about four pages from the Hebrew Scriptures, a chapter from the Christian Greek Scriptures, and a verse from the Proverbs. She has read the entire Bible each year since 1959. She says: “As a result of my reading, I feel loved by Jehovah . . . I receive encouragement, comfort, and correction.” She adds: “Reading the Bible is like having Jehovah wind up the spring of my life each day.”
A sister who learned the truth in a land where the activity of Jehovah’s Witnesses was banned also has a husband who is opposed to her beliefs. She is able to do her Bible reading from Monday through Friday, between 6:00 and 7:00 a.m. This has given her inner strength. Reflecting on how her reading has affected her, she says: “We learn to love Jehovah and Jesus and to live happily, even with problems and difficulties, knowing that Jehovah’s promises do not fail.”
A sister who had attended the Pioneer Service School was determined to follow through on the counsel given there to make Bible reading a daily practice. At first, she was able to do it between 5:00 and 6:00 a.m. When a job change interfered with that, she switched to between 9:00 and 10:00 p.m. When other challenging situations arose, she says, “I kept adjusting my schedule according to circumstances.”
Later in the Day:
Two fleshly sisters who are members of the Brazil Bethel family have the custom of reading the Bible together for about 20 minutes each day after the noon meal. They have read the entire Bible about 25 times; yet they write: “We always find something new, so Bible reading never becomes monotonous.”
A single sister in Japan realized that though raised as a Witness, she did not know the Scriptures well; when she became a pioneer, she determined to read the Bible regularly. She now does her reading for the Theocratic Ministry School while traveling to the hospital for treatment one day each week. Later, at home, she does follow-up research. Toward the end of the week, she does further Bible reading, selecting books according to the order in which they were written.
A 13-year-old who has already read the entire Bible three times is currently reading a chapter every day when he comes home from school. This has, he says, helped him “to feel more love for Jehovah.”
A Witness who has a full schedule as a working man, an elder, a husband, and a father listens to Bible audiocassettes while traveling to work on the train. Then at home he does his personal reading of the same material.
In addition to her personal reading, a pioneer in France listens to the Bible audiocassettes when preparing meals, when driving, when going through difficult times, or just for pleasure.
A 21-year-old pioneer in Japan recalls that his mother insisted that he take in something spiritual each day, and he has been reading the Bible daily, though not always at the same time, since he was three years old. After he reads the portion he has selected for the day, he makes it a point to reread key verses, and then he takes a few minutes to review mentally what he has read.
Another Witness, a pioneer, has read the entire Bible about ten times in the past 12 years. Her husband is an unbeliever, so she schedules her reading for the afternoon.
An elder and regular pioneer in Japan who reads from his Bible every night before going to bed has done this for the past eight years. He says: “I am particularly fond of scriptures that indicate how Jehovah thinks, how he feels about matters, and how he handles situations. By meditating on these scriptures, I have been helped to make Jehovah’s thinking my own and to assist my Christian brothers and sisters and my family members.”
An elder in France has been reading the Bible for an hour each evening since 1979. He often has five or six translations laid out in front of him for comparison. He says that his careful reading has helped him to discern “how to apply Bible knowledge in day-to-day situations.” This has also enabled him to be more effective when giving counsel from the Scriptures.
For the past 28 years, a brother in Nigeria has made it a practice to read in the evening the Scripture text provided in Examining the Scriptures Daily for discussion the next morning. Along with that, he reads the entire chapter in the Bible from which the text is taken. After he got married, he continued this practice, reading and discussing the material with his wife.
A teenager whose parents are not Witnesses has made it a practice to read for five to ten minutes each night before going to sleep. Those are precious minutes to her, and she prays both before and after the reading. Her goal is to know the message that Jehovah directed each of the Bible writers to record.
A married brother, in Bethel service, says that he has read the Bible once a year for the past eight years. He reads for 20 to 30 minutes before retiring for the night. Even when he is very tired, he finds that if he goes to bed without doing the reading, he cannot sleep. He has to get up and care for that spiritual need.