Hey everyone, and a warm welcome, wherever you’re connecting in from today. Amanda, I want to talk to you today about the Bible. Where do we start to read this book written over a thousand years, three different continents, over 40 authors? The genre is vast, some of it is poetic, some of it’s about architecture, some of it’s biographies. Where do you begin to read this book as a new Christian?
Oh, that’s a great question. And I think we all find it difficult to read the Bible, whether you’re a new Christian or not, but here’s my five top tips just to help you get started. First of all, the Bible is the word of God, and so it’s important to talk to God about His word. So I always start reading the Bible in prayer. So pray, ask God to give us ears to hear what He wants to say to us through it, and also eyes to see how He’s working in and through it. And then that helps to bring it alive as we read it.
Number two is I would start in the gospels. I think that the gospels in the New Testament are a good place to start. They’re focused on Jesus. Mark is the shortest gospel. My personal favorite is John. I love how Jesus, as the Son of God comes alive through that. But pick a gospel and read that through.
Number three, use a daily devotion. So there’s lots of resources online, or you can go to your Christian bookshop and you can get them there. And these are little places where someone will share a verse and then there’s a little bit of writing which just kind of talks about their thoughts on how to understand that verse, and it helps us to grow as we learn. And read them with a pen. Yeah, so you get to highlight little things. You write your own little thoughts and comments.
And then that leads us into number four, which is having a journal. So keeping a small notebook and a pen beside you. Whenever you’re reading, if something strikes you or there’s a verse that you think, oh, I’d like to remember that is actually just writing it down. And it’s great to be able to read back over what you’ve written and see how you’ve been learning and growing in your faith.
And then finally, Bible study is so important for us to do individually and we should do it individually, but it’s also great to do it with others. And so find out in your church do they have a Bible study group or maybe they have home groups where you can meet with other people. You can read the Bible together and you can hear what other people think about what the Bible has to say. And even their experiences of how that’s affected their lives and how it’s impacted them is just so helpful in our growth.
Five wonderful tips. And just to emphasize that last one again, and the power of just doing the faith journey together as a community and reading the Bible together, there’s something powerful about this book. Let’s be people of the book. That’s what the early Christians were known as. People of the book. Let’s be people of the book who are committed to reading this and learning this. There’s a power in this book. You know, God is not obliged to back up our stories. He’s not obliged to back up our magic tricks, whatever we might do. But He’s always obliged to back up His book. His word will not return void. So let’s be people of the book. I hope that’s been an encouragement. Shalom, shalom.