How To Grow With God By Reading The Bible
Reading the Bible is the number one way I recommend people start seeking to hear God speak. If youve met God and are ready to go deeper, hear Him speak & interact with Him on a daily level then Scripture is the best place to start.
Sometimes we want God to speak to us individually and verbally. We want Him to be very clear in the way He approaches us with truth.
Ive found He doesnt often do that. He often wants us to seek to spend time with Him MORE than to seek Him simply to hear something or get something from Him.
Gods already spoken. A lot. He has said many things, He has performed many miracles, He has loved in many ways and His people wrote those down for us.
The Bible is a book full of letters written by imperfect humans inspired by God and used by the Spirit to share truth.
These humans were in different time periods and in different situations yet our God remains the same through it all.
These stories and instructions are extremely important for us!
They teach us things like
- who God is
- how God used imperfect people to impact the world
- how God desires us to live an abundant life
When you read the Bible you will grow in your relationship with God.
Whether you know and understand the Bible well OR you are absolutely clueless and new, keep reading because YES you can begin to understand the Bible and go deeper with God today!
If you want to understand the Bible its simple,you have to read the Bible.
Where Should I Start Reading The Bible
A lot of new and seasoned Christians have a story about their attempts to read the Bible cover to cover that goes something like this: It was going great as they read through Genesis and Exodus, but somewhere in Leviticus or Numbers, they started to get bogged down in details they didnt quite understand. And by the time they hit Deuteronomy, they were done.
While its true that all Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness , we need to recognize that the Bible is not like any other book. It isnt necessarily meant to be read from front to back. In fact, the Bible is actually a library.
The Protestant Bible is comprised of 66 books, and many of those books are written in a variety of different genres or types of literature. These genres all need to be read a little differently. Starting at Genesis and trying to read straight through without a strategy can get frustrating if you dont know how these books and their literary genres work together.
There are a few ways to classify the genres of the Bible, but they typically fall into these categories.
Read The Bible For Breadth Of Knowledge
To begin a mastery of the Bible, you must read the Bible. This may seem self-evident to some, but to others who have never developed the habit, it is groundbreaking. Some Christians do not read the Bible, or they only read snippets that are attached to daily devotionals. This will not get you where you want to go. You must begin to read the Bible widely. It is only by covering a lot of territory in Scripture that you gain a breadth of knowledge.
If you never read the Old Testament, you will never have a general knowledge of it. If you only read the Gospels, or the Epistles, you will never have a basic grasp of the other sections of the Bible. As a result, your life will be untouched by important truth, plus your ability to connect the dots from various different Scripture passagesa critical component of a mature Christian experiencewill be limited.
The good news is that there is a simple way to read for breadth of knowledge. If you read the Bible for five minutes a day, you will read the Bible over thirty hours a year!
Think of it!! Thirty hours a year! Perhaps no other discipline will provide a breadth of Bible knowledge more easily. If you want to master the Word so well that the Word masters you, begin by reading it.
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Soap Bible Study Method And Other Acronyms
There are so many of these amazing acronyms to help you with your Bible study. The one Ive seen most often is SOAP , but there are dozens of others that you can try. I dont personally use one of these methods right now, so Im not the right person to guide you through them, but this guide is a thorough walk-through of 11 of these methods.
Write Down Your Thoughts And Questions
There is something particularly helpful about writing, especially when youre reading the Bible. It forces you to slow down, to ask questions of the text, and to clarify your thoughts on each verse.
You can either write directly in your Bible , or you can write in a journal. Alternatively, you could use a journal Bible which has space in the margins specifically for writing.
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Should You Read The Bible Every Day
Yes! I would always encourage you spend even just a few minutes each day in Gods Word. Reading the Bible every day can greatly impact your day for the better. God speaks to us through His Word.
It gives us strength, helps us remember or find our purpose, gives us encouragement, etc. Think about that one person that always makes you feel better. When you feel awful, you go to them and feel so much better. Thats what reading the Bible does on a daily basis. Reading it every day fuels you to take on whatever might come our way.
Reading the Bible doesnt have to be challenging and once you get started reading the Bible youll find its not nearly as intimidating as you may have once thought.
How Long Does It Take to Read a Chapter a Day?
It takes around 10 minutes to read a chapter of the Bible per day. If youre a slower reader, it could take up to 15-20 minutes. Some chapters are longer than others but, this is the average based on most chapters.
How Long Does It Take to Read the Bible in One Year?
If you read about 3-4 chapters a day, youll be able to read the entire Bible in a year. For the average person, this is about 30-40 minutes of reading a day. For some, it might be quicker or a bit slower, depending. Overall, it takes 70 hours and 40 minutes to read the entire Bible, for the average person.
From The Beginning Of The New Testament
What could be more important than studying the life and teachings of our Savior and King Jesus Christ? The four GospelsMatthew, Mark, Luke and Johnbegin the New Testament, and together they give us four insightful views of the God who came to the earth as a human being.
- Though all words of the Bible are inspired, we should pay special attention to the words of Jesus Christ.
- Notice all of the quotes from the Old Testament. They demonstrate that the Bible is a continuous, unified whole, even though it was written over a span of 15 centuries by around 40 authors.
- Practice what you are reading. When Christ tells us how to treat enemies, how to pray and what to put first in our lives, we should heed .
Resources: The following online articles give helpful background information.
- Who Is Jesus? section.
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A Letter To Believers: Ephesians
Unlike the gospel of John and the book of Acts, Ephesians is a letter from the Apostle Paul to the believers in Ephesus.
Christianity begins not with a big DO, but with a big DONE God has already blessed us with every spiritual blessing.
Watchman Nee, a Chinese church leader and teacher, distils the essence of Ephesians into three simple words: Sit. Walk. Stand, and says Ephesians abounds with spiritual riches, and yet is intensely practical.
He writes: Christianity does not begin with walking it begins with sitting.
For Christianity begins not with a big DO, but with a big DONE. Thus Ephesians opens with the statement that God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ. And we are invited at the very outset to sit down and enjoy what God has done for us not to set out to try and attain it for ourselves.
Introduction to the book: In the book of Ephesians, we see how the Gospel story affects believers everyday lives. God, the Father, planned throughout history for Jesus to create a multi-ethnic community of followers. Consisting of Jews and non-Jews, these followers form the family God promised to Abraham. They live in unity as one body in their families, neighbourhoods, and churches because of Gods grace.
Why Study The Bible
When you accepted Jesus Christ into your life, you stepped into the most amazing relationship you will ever have a relationship with God. All relationships require work for them to strengthen and grow. But how can you cultivate a relationship with the Creator of the Universe?
The key to any relationship including one with God is communication. First, you can talk to God through prayer. Remember that communication isnt a one-way street God wants to speak to you too! Make sure to take the time to listen for His voice. He will choose many ways to talk to you. However, one of the best ways to hear Gods voice is to read His love letter to you: The Bible. Reading Gods Word helps us to grow in Christ. It teaches us how to live a life that is holy and pleasing to Him and that will demonstrate His power and love to those around us. The Bible shows us Gods character and gives us guidance on handling situations in life. We can test everything against His Word and know it is true yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
Want to dig deeper? .
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Level Five & Six: The Letters & A Prophetic Book
The next section contains epistles, or letters, written by early church leaders to various congregations or individuals. They struggled with and celebrated the same things we do today.
The final section of the New Testament is also prophecy. Its primarily about Jesus second coming, and how to live in the interval between his two appearances.
Ground Level: The Historical Books
The bulk of the Old Testament primarily covers a period of time from about 2500 B.C. to about 400 B.C., in the area of the world known by scholars as The Ancient Near East. It specifically focuses on Gods historical and prophetic interactions with the Hebrew people. There are 39 books or sections written by a number of different authors.
The Old Testament is divided into at least three major sections. The first part contains the history of the Jewish people. Its roughly chronological, and all the narratives fit into the times described in these history books.
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Are You Wanting To Start Reading The Bible But Arent Sure How To Begin
When I started attending Bible college at age 19, even having grown up in a Christian home, I found it hard to know how to gain the most out of my time in the Word. I hadnt made personal devotions a habit up until that point, although Id learned plenty of verses in Sunday school and youth group, so it was a challenge to me at first.
I wondered if I was doing it right.
Should I just start reading through the book of Genesis?
Was there a particular version I should choose over another?
And what did all that Old Testament stuff about animal sacrifice really mean, anyway?
If you are like me, and didnt have a personal devotional time growing up or just didnt grow up in a Christian home, it can be intimidating to figure out where or how, exactly, you should start reading the Bible.
Now that many years have passed, I have learned much about the essentials of reading and learning Scripture, whether as a new believer or a long-time Christian who has not read the Bible much lately. I want to share with you five key practices to keep in mind as you seek to spend more time in Gods Word.
These practices will give you a process that you can follow at all times to give you confidence that you are reading the Bible according to the way it was written and in its proper context. Through reading the Bible, your heart and mind will be changed by the beautiful, life-giving Word of God!
Pray For A Hunger For Gods Word
In Psalm 119, we see the psalmists love and hunger for Gods Word. In verse 103 he exclaims:
How sweet are Your words to my taste! Sweeter than honey to my mouth!
We also can experience this kind of joy when we come to the Bible. We simply need to ask God to give us a hunger for His Word. This is surely a prayer that God would delight to answer.
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Where To Start Reading The Bible For Beginners
New Christians or people seeking to learn more about Christianity should start in the New Testament.
The New Testament covers the life of Jesus, the history of the early church, and ethical and moral guidelines for Christians.
To get an excellent overview of this information, I recommend the following reading order:
The Gospel of John Having a firm understanding of who Jesus is and why he came is important to your faith as a Christian. The book of John does a marvelous job of explaining who Jesus is and what his ministry is about. The other Gospels detail Jesus ministry, but they focus more on the things Jesus did.
Acts- The book of Acts was written by Luke, who also wrote the Gospel Luke, and records the history of the early church. Starting with Jesus ascension and commission of the disciples, the persecution of the early church, and the spread of the Gospel throughout the known world.
Romans- Every Christian should read the book of Romans. If you want to build your faith and gain a clearer understanding of the Good news of Jesus Christ, this is the best place to start once youve read the two books.
Once youve read through these first three books you should have a firm understanding of who Jesus is, the history of the early church, and a better understanding of the Good News of Jesus Christ.
After youve read these books, you can dive into the Old Testament and read:
Read The Bible In 90 Days
Are you excited to learn everything that the Bible has to say, but dont want to take a year to do it? This plan is structured so that you can finish reading the entire Bible in three months.
Youll need to dedicate at least a thirty minutes every day to finish the plan on time. Its a lot of reading and is a serious commitment to stay on track. However, its a great way to see the entire picture in a short amount of time. The only downside is that you dont get as much time to dig deeper.
Once youve finished this plan, go back and pick out chapters or books to study at greater depth. What things jump out to you when you read them a second time?
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Study The Bible For Depth Of Knowledge
Few of us can gain a depth of knowledge without sitting under skilled teachers. So, for most people, they must sit under effective preaching from the Bible and be involved in a Bible study taught by an effective teacher. For maximum benefit, Bible study must have assignments that get you studying and interacting with the Bible on your own. To gain a depth of knowledge, you cannot be passive. You must become active in the process of deepening your knowledge.
If this is new to you, begin by attending a church that is committed to teaching the Bible, not only from the pulpit during sermons, but also in small groups or Sunday school classes. You might also find helpful information in Christian bookstores or online. More seasoned Christians might be able to give you helpful suggestions as well. If you are an avid reader, there is a wealth of knowledge available to you as well through good books available online or at Christian bookstores.
How To Start Bible Study: My Experience
Ill be honest with you: I havet always loved, or even liked, Bible study. Back before I knew how to start studying the Bible, I couldnt tell Numbers from, well, a math textbook. I did my first Bible study online when I was 17, and I distinctly remember the teacher telling us to flip to Acts 2. Acts in which book? I thought, confused as everyone in the video dutifully opened their Bibles to the same page. It was like she told me to open to verse 2 and I was expected to find it.
Thats right I was so new to the Bible that thought an Act was the word for a verse. Now, 10 years later, and I have a degree in Religion with a focus on Biblical studies, and have written a few Bible studies myself. God sure does choose the strangest people.
This to say: if youre new to all of this, Ive been there.
Whether youre a new believer, a lifelong Christian whos just starting to explore the Bible, or just looking because youre curious, reading the Bible by yourself for the first time can be intimidating. I know how hard it is to find resources that explain what you need to know without overwhelming you. Or, worse, making you feel like youll never, ever get it. But you can, and you will. Today, I want to show you a few different Bible study methods that can help you learn how to start studying the Bible. But first, lets lay down some basics.
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