“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17
I remember the first time I read the Bible. Not just a page of it, but the whole thing.
God's Holy Spirit ignited a fire inside of my heart for His Word and for seven months I couldn't get enough.
I was so excited when I finally finished reading it because I couldn't believe I had actually done it!
A few months after reading it I asked my friend if she had ever read the Bible.
Her response SHOCKED me.
With a warm smile, she joyfully replied, "Of course I have! I have read it every day for the past 30 years and I am on my 26th time reading it!"
WHAT? 26th TIME? I couldn't believe it...
I was happy to say I had read the whole thing once!
God used her response to deeply inspire me and give me a new perspective on reading His Word.
After I talked to her I realized that God's Word isn't just something we read once and then put back on a shelf.
I realized that His Word must be at the core of our walk with Him.
In the book of Ephesians, the Bible says that, "we must put on the armor of God each and every day."
The first part of this armor is the "belt of truth" which represents God's Word (Ephesians 6:14).
John 17:17 says that "God's Word is TRUTH and that is why it's so powerful."
It's clear that knowing God's Word is a critical part of our walk with Jesus but a lot of us struggle with reading and understanding the Bible.
Sis, can you relate?
Do you struggle with reading the Bible?
Are you unsure where to start?
Do you ever feel overwhelmed and intimidated by it?
If so, you aren't alone! I didn't know how to start either and over the years God has helped me get into His Word and stay in it each and every day for the past four years.
Sister, if you have a hard time diving into God's Word, here are SEVEN tips that will help you get started!
1. Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to help you. The only way the Gospel will ever make the 12-inch journey from your head to your heart is by the power of the Holy Spirit. Reading God's Word without the Holy Spirit is futile. It's by His Spirit we can understand His Word and then LIVE it. Before all else, always remember to pray and ask the Holy Spirit to help you.
2. Make it a top priority. I know life is crazy and mornings are hectic but I promise that if you make the choice to read God's Word first thing every morning He will use that time to bless your day, draw you closer to Him, and give you the wisdom and the strength you need navigate the world and the darkness in it.
3. Keep it simple and start small! If you have children (or don't but you're really visual like I am) start with the complete Children's Bible. I know this might sound a little silly but it's honestly the method God used with me to help me feel less intimidated by His Word. We have three small children and over the years I've read every children's Bible to them that I can find. My favorite children's Bible is, "The Complete Illustrated Children's Bible" by Harvest Kids. It's over 600 pages of Bible stories and pictures. You can buy this book on Amazon by clicking here.
4. If you want to jump right into the real deal then I suggest you start at the beginning of the New Testament. After I read a few children's Bibles I felt ready to dive into the "grown-up" version. I decided to start in the New Testament and I am so grateful I did! If you are just starting out, open your Bible to the first page of the New Testament and simply read a little each day!
5. Don't skip around. Opening the Bible to random pages and reading tidbits here and there is like walking into a movie theatre halfway through the show and staying for five minutes and then leaving. If you do that, you'll never understand the FULL message/story. In fact, there will be a lot of room for error and misunderstanding. So, pick a book (there are 66), start from the beginning of one and read to the end (even if it's just five minutes a day).
6. Do your research! If you are reading the Bible and you don't understand something then I encourage you to take the time to research it. Got Questions is a great resource. They answer over 1/2 million questions about the Bible and you can check out their website here www.GotQuestions.org. If you have a specific question about a word you don't understand then you can also look that up at www.BibleStudyTools.com.
7. Join a Bible study! Studying God's Word with other believers is a wonderful way to grow in your relationship with God and with the body of Christ. If you can't make it to a bible study at your home church then here are three online Bible Study groups I love and suggest: Living By Design, Truth to Table, and The Daily Grace.