Getting Started

The following points are practical suggestions which may be a help to you in reading the Life-studies. They should not be taken as legalities or a standard.


Start by bringing the matter of reading the Life-studies to the Lord, asking for His grace, His light, and His blessing. Consecrate yourself and your reading of the Life-studies to Him, not promising to carry this out by your own strength but giving yourself and this matter to Him for the building up of His Body and the fulfillment of His purpose.

2. Consistency

Reading a small amount every day consistently is far better than reading a large amount sporadically. Read not according to mood or inspiration but according to spiritual life necessity. Although we certainly should not be legal in a religious way, in the things of life — such as eating, exercising, and general care for our health — we do need to be “legal,” in a sense, exercising to take care of these things in a consistent and regular way regardless of our fluctuating feelings. It is the same with the things of our spiritual life. We should be assured that whether or not we “feel” anything as we are reading, there are rich spiritual “nutrients” in each Life-study message, and our prayerful taking in of the ministry is always beneficial and never a waste.

(See The Collected Works of Witness Lee, 1978, vol. 2, “Life Messages Volume 1,” ch. 3, pp. 184-186 and CWWL, 1984, vol. 1, “Being Built Up in the Truth and Growing in Life for the Spread of the Lord’s Testimony,” ch. 4, p. 66.)

3. Regularity

Read in a regular way. Consider, according to your capacity and situation, (1) what would be the best time of day for you to read regularly, the time when you are most likely to be free and uninterrupted; (2) what would be the best amount of time to read each day regularly; and (3) what would be the best place to read regularly, a place that is relatively quiet, calm, and free of distraction.

4. Planning

Go to the Lord and seek Him concerning how to create a personal plan and schedule for reading the Life-studies. It is best to create a plan that is realistic and not overly ambitious, according to your capacity and situation.

You can create a customized reading schedule by using the 500 Life-studies mobile app.

5. Hard copies

Consider reading a physical copy of the Life-studies. This should not be taken as a legality, and the digital option can be quite useful, especially in situations where physical copies are not available or practical. At the same time, the experience of many saints confirms that it can be easier to absorb the spiritual content of the Life-studies by reading from a physical copy, which you can obtain from Living Stream Ministry here.

6. Prayer

Practice to exercise your spirit as you read, breathing in the Lord by calling on His name. As the Lord touches you with certain points in the message, follow the anointing to pray these points back to Him. Pray for the Lord to open your eyes to see the precious points of truth, and pray also that He would make each of these points your experience.

(See The Collected Works of Witness Lee, 1984, vol. 5, “Guidelines for the Propagation of the Lord’s Recovery,” ch. 1, p. 109.)

7. Companions

Consider having a companion for accountability and mutual support. Many saints find this to be a great help. It can also be a great benefit to practice speaking the points from messages you recently read to companions and to others.

8. Persistence

Although we may endeavor to put all of the foregoing points into practice, all of us have days — sometimes even weeks and months — when we miss our reading time and find ourselves off schedule. We should never feel discouraged or condemned; instead, we should be encouraged by the Lord, realizing that this is a universal experience. We should simply pick up where we left off, no matter how much time has passed since the last time we read.