I am often asked by new believers if they should start reading the bible at the beginning. While Genesis is a great book to read, it can be a bit confusing. Most people who start reading the bible in Genesis quit by the time they finish Deuteronomy. They get hung up on all the Levitical Laws and names and timelines. So my advice to new believers is to start with the Gospel of John. The Gospel of John explains the life and ministry of Jesus. It is easy to read and will help a new Christian wrap their hands around what it means to be a follow of Jesus. Then after they finish it, I offer to meet with them or connect to talk about what they read. From there I encourage them to read the Book of Acts because it gives the history of the church and introduces them to the work of the Holy Spirit.
Growing Christians also ask me how to read the bible. I suggest finding a reading plan online that they like or reading the bible from cover to cover in a year. This takes discipline, but it is worth it. Personally, I like reading through the bible once a year. I use the Youversion (online bible app) chronological one year reading plan. This plan helps me to see the scriptures unfold in chronological order. I highlight verses that stand out to me so that I can go back and reference them. I also like to read my hard copy of the bible. I write notes in the margins, use a highlighter to mark verses, and underline key passages. After using the same bible for more than a decade, it is full of my personal notes and highlights. I often reflect on what I wrote and find encouragement in seeing all the answered prayers.
If you are feeling stuck in your faith right now maybe it is because you need read the Bible more. Reading God’s Word is always spiritually refreshing. God is always revealing himself to us in new ways through His Word. You could read the bible a thousand times and still learn something new about God every time you read it.
The bottom line is that the more you read God’s Word, the more you will know about God, his ways, and his will for you. The Holy Spirit will bring biblical truth to life in you. And when you know God’s Word, you will be able to apply it to your life. The goal of every Christian should be to know God and we know God through His Word as it is written in the Bible. The Bible is not just an ancient book, it is God’s inspired Word given to you. So add bible reading to your calendar today. Make it part of your daily routine and see what God does in you and through you. You will be blessed for it.
(resources: stateofthebible.org, accessed 2/26/2019)