Have you ever wanted to read the Bible but you are so overwhelmed because you have no idea how or where to start?
Well you have come to the right place because we are going to break down our TOP TIPS to help YOU get started reading the Bible today! Contrary to popular belief, reading the Bible was meant for ALL Christians, not just the pastor in the Church pulpit. So here are the eight things we wish WE knew when we began our journey as beginners in God’s Word!
TIP #1: SET A TIME & PLACE
One of the best ways to stay consistent in the Bible, is to set a time and a place. For us, we love setting mornings aside to be with God, but for you that might be a lunch break, that might be at night, whatever it is, just find out what works for you so that you can stick with it. The important thing is that you put it on your schedule. Also, having a designated place where you spend time with God is also helpful, so that could be an office, that could be a coffee shop, wherever it is, just find that place that works for you.
And it is helpful to think of your time with the Lord like any other appointment. You actually schedule a time and a place to meet with that person, and you show up! And when you are going to your time in the Bible, you actually ARE meeting with a Person, and His Name is Jesus. You make time for what you care about, so make it a special meeting that you don’t want to miss! This also can be what some people call “Godtime” or your devotional prayer time, so if you want to dive more into what that practically could like, you can find out more here.
TIP #2: HAVE A BIBLE PLAN
We love the quote, “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail” and that can even be true when it comes to reading the Bible. Bible plans are great, because it’s like having a goal. It gives you something to aim at and something to run towards.
A Bible plan helps you to know what you are reading each day so that you’re not wasting a bunch of time figuring out where to start. This will help you stay on track and go much further than if you didn’t have a Bible reading plan.
There are Bible plans that are topical, meaning they go through Scriptures that all talk about a certain topic, such as marriage or overcoming fear, or there are plans that take you straight through certain books or sections of the Bible. Some of our favorite Bible plans are reading the Bible in one year or the New Testament in a month. But if you want to find the best one for you, you can do so here!
TIP #3: READ BOOK BY BOOK
The Bible is actually the word “Biblia” which basically means “library of books”. It is 66 different books, written by 40 different authors, over 1500 years, yet it is one unified story. So like any other book in the world, you wouldn’t just pick it up, open to the middle and read a sentence! But that is actually how a lot of people read the Bible. But the Bible is actually a story, and each different book is its own story as well, and so we encourage you guys to read book by book.
This will help you to keep things into context and help you understand what the author is trying to accomplish. And if you really want to go for it, you can read the Bible from beginning to the end. And if you’re not sure what book to start with, or where you should start in the Bible, you can find the best place for you right here.
TIP #4: UNDERSTAND THE CONTEXT
As you read the Bible book by book, it is helpful to understand who wrote that specific book, who they were writing to, and what was going on in history at the time they were writing it, because it helps you so that you can understand what it means for your own life. Knowing all this before you read each book in the Bible is super helpful. It also helps to understand the overall Biblical storyline so you know where that book fits into the whole. So make sure to check out our Old Testament overview and New Testament overview to find simplified explanations of the whole narrative.
Also, some study Bibles actually have all that information at the beginning of each book for you, (our favorite study Bibles are the SHE READS TRUTH for ladies and HE READS TRUTH for men) but if yours doesn’t, “Unlocking the Bible” by David Pawson is by far the BEST resource we have found to get all the background information you will ever need to know about every single book of the Bible.
TIP #5: WORSHIP & PRAYER
One mistake we always see people making when approaching the Bible, is that they read it as if it is a science book, merely just for information. But that’s actually not all the Bible is. The Bible is meant to be a heart connect between us and God and so that is why we start out every Bible reading session with worship.
Worship is one of our favorite things to do before, during, and after reading our Bible each day. It gets our eyes on Him and connects our heart, not just our minds. It is also helpful to pray and to ask God to help you and to speak to you as you read His Word.
And remember, the Holy Spirit is the Helper, He is the Teacher, and He will help you! Just ask Him to give you understanding as you read the Scriptures.
And in case you guys don’t have any worship music for yourself, or you don’t even know where to find it, we actually have a worship playlist on our Youtube channel, that you can find here.
TIP #6: PRAY-READ THE WORD
“Pray-reading” is where you take what you read in the Bible and you turn it into conversation with God, or prayer! Pray reading the Word is super powerful. It is simply taking a verse and praying it back to God. Remember, the Bible isn’t meant to be just information, it is meant to be connection. So when you are pray-reading the Bible, put yourself in the story and allow Him to speak right to you. Ask Him questions. Dialogue with Him and turn the stories and verses in Scripture into conversation. We also find it really helpful to journal while pray-reading and so if you want to grab some of the journals that we use, you can find them here.
TIP #7: APPLY IT TO YOUR LIFE
So because the Bible is about coming to a Person, whose name is Jesus, who is God, we should come away from our time in it completely transformed and seeking to live according to what it says, and this is where application comes in. When you read the Bible, like we said, see yourself in the story and how it may relate to you, and then you want to line your life up with what the Word teaches us.
So each day as you read, find out ways that you can apply the Bible to your own life. The Bible teaches us not just to hear God’s Word, or to study God’s Word, but to put it into action. So find ways that you can apply the verses and what God has said into your daily life. And we encourage you to write it down in your journal, and ask God to help you walk it out. We can do NOTHING apart from Him! Asking Him to intervene in your own life is also what is called supplication, which you can find out more about here.
TIP #8: HAVE CONFIDENCE
When you approach the Bible, you need to know that God WANTS to help you read it. He is so blessed every single time you CHOOSE to come to Him through His Word. God hears you, God sees you, and every time that you sit down and open God’s Word, it moves His heart. And even if you don’t feel it, even if it feels like you’re not getting anything out of it, even if you don’t feel like you aren’t growing, you are. So never get discouraged and remember how He feels about you!
BONUS TIP: DO IT WITH OTHERS
And one thing that you don’t have to do, but is super helpful if you do is getting around people who know the Bible much better than you do. This way you can ask them questions which helps you get a better understanding of the Scriptures. This is also why Bible Studies can be important because everyone is in a different place and it’s an environment where you can come together with others and discuss the Scriptures. We all start somewhere and so it’s helpful as you begin your journey to have others in your life who’ve already walked the path before you.
There is no “perfect” way to read the Bible, and these are just some things that we have found helpful, but let God lead you as you embark on this journey. We hope these tips give you courage that YOU can start connecting with God in the Bible today.
And to help you navigate these initial steps, we actually have a “Bible for Beginners Guide” that we want to send to you. You can download it for free below!
And this video is a part of our entire YouTube Playlist called “Bible for Beginners”, so if you want to watch our entire teaching series, you can do so here.
So from us, Ronnie and Mel, we hope this helps you to find God & walk with Him in your daily life.
Love & Blessings!