How to Start Reading the Bible

What the Bible Is and Why It’s Important 


A well-read Bible is a sign of a well-fed soul. — Anonymous


The Bible, commonly referred to as God’s Word or Scripture, is our guidebook as Christ followers and is a key component to help us walk closer with Jesus. While it doesn’t answer all of our questions, it does provide direction to us about who God is, how to be in relationship with others, how to live with purpose, and how to receive eternal life.


One of the most daunting things we can be told is that we should read it more. But we can learn some powerful truths about the Bible, and that will encourage us to make it a part of our daily routine. 


First, let’s talk about what it is.


The Bible is made up of...

  • 66 different books…


  • ...written over a 1,500 year span…


  • ...in three languages… 


  • ...by over 40 different authors…


  • ...living on three different continents…


  • … all inspired by God.

Although these books were written independently, they speak of one theme throughout both the Old and New Testaments: the redemption of mankind through our Savior, Jesus Christ.


There are over 300 Old Testament prophecies that predict the life and work of Jesus and every one of them was fulfilled in his life. With all of these differences in how and when the Bible was written, there is no way that most of these prophecies could have just been predicted by the authors nor could they have conspired with each other.


Those facts are simply astounding! Studying and learning about the Bible will be a lifelong endeavor, because we are finite people attempting to understand an infinite God. We can, however, grow in our understanding and continue to learn throughout our lives. 


We may wonder how our lives are really affected when we don’t read the Bible. We may not feel a big difference if we miss a day. It’s like taking medicine for a condition that we have— we may not think the medicine is doing much, but if we stop taking it, we notice a huge difference. We may not always feel like the Bible is affecting us, but if we remove it from our daily walks with Jesus, we’ll notice how starved our spirits become. 


As we move through this Bible Plan, we’ll discover how to develop the habit of daily study, learn to apply God’s Word in our lives, and trust God more consistently. 


Reflect



  • Do you believe in the validity and importance of the Bible? Why or why not?


  • If this is an area you would like to learn more about, there are many resources available online from people who have spent their lives acquiring facts about the Bible and its validity.

Isaiah 40:8

The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.


II Timothy 3:16-17

16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.


Hebrews 4:12

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.


How to Start a Daily Bible Habit


Never miss twice. If you miss one day, try to get back on track as quickly as possible. — James Clear


Reading the Bible can feel overwhelming if it’s something you haven’t started doing yet. Or maybe you open it occasionally, but overall, it’s not a part of your daily life. Today, we can change that by incorporating some simple steps. 


Beginning a daily Bible habit doesn’t have to look a particular way. No matter the approach, God will reveal things to us in a powerful way when we do. And as the quote says above: Never miss twice.Not because God will be mad at us — He won’t. But the more days we miss, the easier it is to just stop altogether. Below are a few suggestions to help you start a daily Bible habit.


Read the New Testament. This is a great starting point because the New Testament records the life and teachings of Jesus. You can add in the Old Testament at a later date, but for beginners or people who don’t understand the Bible, this is your starting point. Begin in Matthew and read a chapter a day. Write down notes or questions you have along the way and ask a friend or a pastor who is further ahead on his or her Bible reading journey than you are.


Begin a Bible Plan.  YouVersion offers thousands of Bible Plans—just like this one—to help you on your journey.  There are many people who are highly knowledgeable about the Bible, its history, and its background, and that will really help you understand it.  You can start by finding daily Plans that will help you walk through the Bible.


Pray for guidance. Reading the Bible daily is the first step. And it’s a big one! As you continue reading and learning more about the ins and outs of it, pray for God to show you valuable insights about it. Ask God to make His truth come alive to you so that you can truly grow in understanding His Word. 


There will be days when we don’t want to read the Bible. So many other things are pulling us in their direction. And there will also be days when we read it but don’t really get it. This is where we make the choice to read the Bible anyway. We rarely feel our way into actions, but often our feelings follow when we act. 


As you step forward into this new daily habit of reading the Bible, God will begin to show you things you never could imagine. Trust that this investment will yield long-term spiritual gain in your life. 


Reflect

  • Do you read your Bible every day? Why or why not?


  • Consider making a commitment to read your Bible every day for the next 30 days. You might want to find someone to share this challenge with for accountability. (You can even start Bible Plan with Friends and invite them to do it with you!)

Psalm 119: 9-11

9 Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.

10 With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments.

11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.


Psalm 119:105

105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.


Applying Biblical Truths to Your Life


Don't fall into the trap of studying the Bible without doing what it says. — Francis Chan


As we’ve said, reading Scripture is vital to our intimacy with Christ. But just reading and learning some background information without doing anything with that knowledge will only take us so far. That is why we must apply what we’ve read and learned so that we can continue to grow as Christ followers. 


God’s Word is our weapon. It’s alive, active, and sharper than any two-edged sword. And when we hide God’s Word in our heart, it not only helps us stay far from sin but also helps us do battle with the forces of evil. We have an enemy, and the last thing he wants us to do is trust God and the Bible. Our spiritual enemy is counting on us to ignore what we’ve learned. 


But one of the most powerful things we can learn from the Bible is who we are in Christ and how to apply those truths to our lives. Below are some common lies we’ve all believed and the antidote to overcoming them:


Lies We Believe I’m a failure, and I can’t do anything right.  Applying God’s Truth I may struggle, but I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13). 


Lies We Believe — What kind of God would let this happen in my life?  Applying God’s Truth — I know that my God will work ALL things for the good of those who love Him, who’ve been called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)


Lies We Believe — I’ll always be this way. Applying God’s Truth — I can change because I am in Christ. The old me is gone and the new me is here! (2 Corinthians 5:17)


Think through the lies you have believed. It’s natural, and quite frankly easier to entertain the lies because they’ve practically become a part of us. But, this isn’t God’s best. Once you recognize those lies, you’re halfway to victory. He gave His Word to us so that we would know the truth, because it’s His truth that sets us free. 


Let’s step into living more like the conquerors we are and apply the life-giving, hope-delivering, and devil-kicking power provided us from God’s Word. 


Reflect

  • Do you actually apply what you read in the Bible? Or do you allow your internal dialogue to take over and rob you of the ability to apply it?


  • What is the most difficult challenge you are facing right now? Spend some time searching the Bible for verses that will help you apply God’s truth so that you will walk in victory.

Ephesians 6:17

And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:


II Corinthians 10:3-5

3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:

4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)

5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;


James 1:22

But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

*Devotional retrieved from https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/16643-how-to-start-reading-the-bible

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