Bible Reading and Study Tips

Many people think reading the Bible isn't necessary because it's "old fashioned" and not relevant to this day and age or to their lives. But that couldn't be further from the truth! The Bible is just as relevant today as it was when it was first written. It is still useful and helpful to us in so many ways today.

I have read through the Bible multiple times since I was in middle school, and I credit that for helping me to have the strong faith I have today. Reading the Bible is how I learned about who God is and what He wants for my life. So many people who say they're Christians struggle with their faith and with living a godly lifestyle...because they are not in God's word regularly. If we don't know His word, how can we truly know God? If we are supposed to be like Jesus and follow his example, how can we do that if we haven't read about Him?
On the other hand, there are people who do want to read the Bible, but they just find it overwhelming and confusing and don't know where to start. That is what I want to help you with in this post. I'll give you my tips for where to start in reading the Bible and also some ideas for going deeper and studying it.

One thing I want to point out: daily devotionals are great, but by just plucking one verse out a chapter, you will never be able to grasp the full meaning. Many verses need to be read in context to be fully understood. So we can't just just rely on devotionals for our Bible reading-we need to actually read the Bible as a whole. Devotionals are a great supplement to our Bible reading, not in place of it.

Another thing to mention is that studying and learning God's word takes effort and discipline. It's just like with heath and fitness-when you first started learning about nutrition and workouts you probably read books or articles and blogs to learn all that you could. You wrote things down. You came up with a plan. It's the same thing with Bible study. You can't expect to understand the Word by just briefly reading through a few random verses here and there, although if that is all you do, it's definitely better than not reading at all! But to really go deeper in learning God's Word, you have you have to set aside the time to read and study it. Get a notebook and write things down. Come up with a plan.

Here are my suggestions about how to get the most out of your Bible reading:

I would first suggest making sure you have a Bible version that you can understand. My favorite is the New Living Translation or the New International Version. If you have the Bible app on your phone, you can have access to tons of different Bible versions, which I find really helpful.

If you have never read the Bible before, I recommend starting with the New Testament. More specifically, read through John 1, 2, and 3 first. Next read through the book of John. After that, I would start with Matthew and read through the whole New Testament. This will teach you about Jesus' life and death on the cross. Once you have read through the New Testament, read the Psalms, Proverbs, and then Genesis. There are lots of good Bible reading plans on Pinterest and the Bible app that you can follow along with when you want to begin reading through the whole Bible from start to finish.

Start by just reading through a chapter at a time and writing down verses that stand out to you. Yes, you will come across many hard to understand passages, especially if you are new to reading the Bible. But for now, I would not stress about "getting" everything and focus on the things you CAN understand. Get the basics down first. Learn about Jesus and his life and death, and what that means for us as Christians.

After you have read through the whole Bible, you can do more in depth studies. For example, you can focus on one theme or subject and look up all the verses and passages that relate to that. Or you can focus on one book or passage of the Bible and re-read it multiple times over and over to really let it sink in.

An easy way to study God's word rather than just read it and forget it is to write down verses and then also write out your thoughts about them. You could also write them out in your own words or turn them into a prayer. Then think about and write out how that passage can apply to your life today. Then just pray. Bible reading should always be followed by prayer. Ask for God to speak to you and to give you wisdom and understanding as you read and to show you how to live out and what you have read.

Just like with starting a new exercise or nutrition plan, it's hard at first. It takes effort and time. But in the long run, it's worth it. You will not regret learning more about God and His Word, and letting Him speak to you through it! His Word truly will transform you.


Here are a few links that may help if you're new to Bible reading:
http://www.blessyourheartandhome.com/skeletal-overview-bible-three-week-reading-plan/
https://onethingalone.com/remember-what-you-read-in-the-bible/
http://rachelwojo.com/9-topical-bible-reading-plans-youll-love/
http://ladiesdrawingnigh.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Bible-Study-Guide-Bookmark.pdf
http://www.thrivepurposefully.com/home/where-start-beginners-guide-reading-bible/

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