Some people have a difficult time reading the Bible, because they don’t know how, or they don’t know where to begin. It can be overwhelming and can become frustrating when you just don’t understand what it all means. I understand because I have been there. Here are some tips to help.
Before you start reading, pray and ask the Holy Spirit to help you and guide you through the reading of the Bible. This may seem simple, but it does help.
If you have never read through the entire Bible, which probably includes most people, I would suggest that you start with the book of John. The book of John gives a clear picture of what the bible is about and introduces you to Jesus. The entire bible from beginning to the end points to Jesus. An interesting note about John is that it starts the same way Genesis does, “In the beginning.”
I would also suggest that you get a good biblical timeline. This helps you have more clarity of the who, what, when and where questions.
What you want to understand from the bible is who God is, what are His characteristics and what are His promises to you.
Something else that can be overwhelming is what version of the Bible to use. I would try different versions to see which one you connect with the best. If you are looking for one that reads in current style, the Easy-to-Read version or the Message might be one that you would like. You could also go to the bookstore and pick a Scripture like Psalm 23 and read different versions and compare how they read and or sound to you. Or you could go to https://www.biblegateway.com/ and look at the different versions online.
Find a Reading Plan
There are many reading plans that you can use. The chronological plan maybe good for those who have not read the Bible before. Start at Genesis and go straight thru to Revelation. There are many chronological plans that give you a one year reading plan. Those plans take about 15 minutes a day to read. You can also find the plans where you can listen to the readings, instead of actually reading it. You can go to the App store and find some great apps on the bible; You Version is one of the most popular.
There is another popular plan where you read a chapter in the Old Testament, Part of or all a Psalm, a portion of a Proverb, and some verses in the New Testament. This maybe confusing for your first time reading, but it could be good for the 2nd time that you read through the Bible.
I do want to make something clear; the Bible is not to be read once and then put down. It should be read repeatedly. It is amazing how you didn’t notice something before and do notice it now. It is amazing how you didn’t understand something before, but now you understand the meaning of a verse or chapter.
Schedule Some Time
Don’t leave it to chance, pick a time and a place each day to read thru the Bible. This gives you some consistency in reading the Bible and it can end up being the best part of the day. You could also read it for a period of time each day, for instance, take 30 minutes a day at 7:00 am, at your favorite reading chair. You could read thru the Bible entirely in 6 months, by devoting 30 minutes a day to your reading.
For those who like to journal, you might write your thoughts down each day or write down any questions that you might have had, and you can go back to them as you read and learn to study the Bible.
And Finally – Don’t Give Up
The key to reading the Bible is that you are reading God’s Word and you are connecting to Him, through His word. If you get behind, don’t just put it down, if you don’t have the time to catch up. You could either start where you left off and catch up when you can, or you could skip the part that you missed and take up where the Bible plan is at.
For my next blog, I will give you different ways to study the Bible.
Enjoy your time with God,
Pastor Jim Stilwell
Contact Pastor Jim here with questions or comments.