Reading the Bible to become familiar with God is indeed a meaningful task. However, it is crucial to recognize that navigating the Bible can sometimes be difficult.
Each word in the Bible is divinely inspired and written by human beings. This ancient literature is made up of 66 books written by 40 different authors for over 1,500 years. Unlike traditional books, the Bible is not organized chronologically but is divided into genres like history, prophecy, poetry, and personal communication.
So, where do you start reading the Bible?
Begin With The Gospels
However, as they progress into Leviticus or Numbers, they grapple with intricate details beyond their grasp. Eventually, their enthusiasm wears off when they reach Deuteronomy, and they abandon the endeavor altogether.
Jesus is the central figure of the entire Bible, making it ideal to begin the journey by focusing on Him. The Old Testament, in its entirety, serves as a testament to the fact that God’s people needed salvation. Jesus fulfills that role of rescuer, but appreciating its significance requires a prior understanding of Jesus and the purpose of His earthly deeds.
These accounts vividly depict the life and ministry of Jesus. While these narratives share many of the same stories, each gospel presents a distinct perspective on the events, offering a diverse and enriching portrayal of Jesus’ life.
Although categorized as epistles, Luke’s Gospel and Acts center around the Messiah and the establishment of the church, making them inherently aligned with this particular literary genre.
Consider Starting With The Epistles
Another option to consider is commencing your reading journey with an epistle such as Ephesians or Colossians. These letters were authored by the Apostle Paul and were intended for specific audiences scattered across the Mediterranean region.
Paul’s epistles serve as a means of encouragement, warning, and exhortation to newly converted individuals in the Christian faith. Within these writings, you will discover practical instructions on how followers of Christ should lead their lives and conduct themselves.
Explore Psalms and Proverbs
The book of Psalms is a collection of poetic expressions of faith, emotions, and prayers. It resonates with people seeking solace, inspiration, and a deeper connection with God.
Conversely, Proverbs offers practical wisdom and insights into daily living, covering topics such as relationships, work ethic, and personal character.
These books can be read independently, offering a glimpse into the diverse genres found within the Bible.
Follow a Reading Plan
If you prefer a more structured approach to reading, you can follow reading plans and study guides to help you navigate the Bible. These resources provide daily readings and accompanying commentary, making engaging with the text easier and gaining deeper insights.
Reading plans can focus on specific themes and books or provide a chronological journey through the Bible, allowing you to explore its narrative systematically.
Don’t Rush Yourself in Reading
Take a gradual approach as you embark on your Bible-reading journey. Begin by reading small portions of the text, such as a single chapter or a brief passage each day. Allocate around 10-15 minutes for your reading session.
It’s important not to overwhelm yourself by attempting to read an entire book in one sitting, at least initially. Instead, relish each word and phrase to resonate with you. Take ample time to reflect on what you have read, meditating upon its meaning. Consider expressing your thoughts, feelings, prayers, and praises through journaling, as it can be an excellent outlet.
Moreover, remember to seek the practical application of the passages you read. This Spirit-led application facilitates the transformation of your sinful nature into one of sanctification, gradually shaping you into the likeness of Jesus Christ (Romans 8:28).
The Bible is the Book of Life that guides us toward a life rooted in Jesus Christ. Through its pages, we gain profound insights into the majestic glory of God, a deeper understanding of our flaws and weaknesses, and the path toward redemption and restoration.
The Bible can appear daunting initially, but knowing where to begin can make a significant difference. As you explore the Scripture, you will gradually gain strength and wisdom that can only be found by immersing yourself in the Word of God.