How do I start reading the Bible?
It takes a brave person to try reading the Bible if you've never read it before.
All those big names, thee's & thou's can be intimidating but it is worth the effort. Regularly reading the Bible is an important part of getting to know God and growing more like Jesus. So we want to help you get started today!
Where do I start?
1. Get a Bible. Pick up a free Bible Sunday morning at City Church or consider downloading a Bible app or purchasing a Study Bible. If you picked up grandma’s dusty Bible and found it hard to understand, don’t give up. Pick a translation that you can understand.
2. Have a plan. Pick a set time each day and consider trying a Bible Reading Plan and stick to it. Big endeavors rarely happen without a plan to keep us on track.
3. Pray! Before reading, humble yourself before God. Acknowledge Who He is and ask Him to open your mind to truth, to draw your heart to Himself, deepen your faith and change your life. I also like to pray for wisdom. (James 1:5) It doesn’t need to be a longwinded prayer, just an honest one.
4. Learn the difference between studying and reading the Bible. Both of these are good but they are not the same thing. Ever read something and forgot what you read? Reading the Bible is good but we will learn a lot more by slowing down, asking questions and thinking for a while. Study the Bible.
Some study questions to ask:
- Who is the author and the audience? What is he trying to communicate to the original audience?
- What word or phrase jumps out at me or leaves me with questions? Why?
- How does this passage relate to Jesus and how does it fit in the big picture of the Bible?
- What have I learned that I can apply to my life today?
5. Don’t stop until you have identified one thing to take with you throughout the day. Yes, we read the Bible to learn more but we also read to change our lives. (see James 1: 22–25). Personally, I read the Bible in the mornings and I’ve made it a practice not to go on with my day until I have at least one thing from my reading to chew on and think about the rest of the day. It could be a convicting thought, an application for my life, something about God that moves me to worship Him; a question, or even a prayer. What will I do with what I've learned?
6. Don’t beat yourself up for missing a day. The devil does a good enough job of that. God is not mad at you and He will still be there for you the next day. Just pick up where you left off and keep going.
7. Study the Bible in Community, not alone. Join a City Group or find some trusted friends to discuss what you are learning, to bounce your questions off and study the Bible together with. This is also how I’ve made some my best friends in life.
Questions, comments or just need to talk to someone about getting started?