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Richard Baxter was and still is such a tremendous encouragement to the universal church.  His classic book The Reformed Pastor is a gift to anyone in ministry and his huge Christian Directory is filled with such intensely practical articles on almost all subjects related to Christian living.

One of my favorite is his Directions for Profitable Reading of the Holy Scriptures.

Here are his sub-points but read the whole piece to really reap the full benefit

  1. Bring not an evil heart of unbelief when opening the Scriptures
  2. Remember that it is the very law of God that you must live by, and be judged by at last.
  3. Remember that it is the will and testament of our Lord, and the covenant of most full and gracious promises, which all your comforts, and all your hopes of pardon and everlasting life, are built upon
  4. Remember that it is a doctrine of unseen things…therefore come not at it with arrogance as a judge, but with humility as a learner or disciple.
  5. Remember that it is a universal law…written for the most ignorant as well as for the curious…
  6. Bring not a carnal mind, which savors only fleshly things, and is enslaved to those sins that the Scripture condemns.
  7. Compare one place of Scripture to another and expound the darkest by the help of the plainest.
  8. Presume not on the strength of your own understanding, but humbly pray to God for light…
  9. Read some of the best annotators or expositors.
  10. When you are stalled by any difficulty which over-matches you, note it down and propound it to your Pastor, and crave his help…

Read Baxter’s Directory and return to it often.  It’s timeless and encouraging.