I am SO excited for today’s post! My friend Ashley Jo is sharing her wisdom and giving you steps to start reading the Bible. I love all of her resources for studying the Bible, especially The Basic Bible Course. I highly recommend registering for this course! I have been through it and it has practical tips and tangible action steps you can take.
I won’t spend anymore time talking though; let’s get to Ashley’s post!
Have you ever wanted to start reading the Bible but weren’t sure where to start? I totally get it. The Bible is an amazing book of letters God inspired His people to write for us. Now we can sit and hear stories about who God is and all the ways He has loved His people.
We don’t only get to hear stories and character traits of God but we get to hear teachings too.
If you are anything like me you’ve got a lot of questions for God. You might be asking about what to do in a specific situation, what to do for work, or what your purpose is. The thing is, you can find the answers in the Bible, you just gotta start looking.
Before we dive in I want to share a little about myself. My name is Ashley Jo and I am so grateful Allison allowed me to share this post with all of you! Allison and I are blogging buddies.
Also a few personal facts about me! I absolutely love sandwiches, hands down my favorite food. I love mint chocolate chip ice cream, watching crime shows (Veronica Mars is my favorite) and reading all kinds of books! Studying the Bible is my favorite part of my day and is a passion I love sharing with others.
Now that we are officially friends, let’s dive into those five steps to reading the Bible.
Steps to Start Reading the Bible
Step 1: Open Your Bible
Sounds simple right? Honestly a lot of people get stuck in the phase of feeling overwhelmed thinking about reading the Bible. They don’t even reach the step of opening. I know it can seem intimidating especially when you aren’t sure where to start but trust me, you just need to open that book.
Also don’t let not having a physical Bible hold you back, opening the YouVersion app on your phone counts too, just do it!
Step 2: Set Up Camp
Now that you’ve beat the initial fear of opening God’s Word, lets get started in choosing which book. Here is a quick little rundown of the Bible. The first 2/3 is the Old Testament and the last third is the New Testament. Both sections show who God is and both sections are things we should be studying, but we approach them differently. The Old Testament is filled with more stories and instructions to that time period. The New Testament begins with Jesus walking the Earth and what happened after His resurrection. Both are applicable to us today, but when we approach them we need to focus on diving deeply into context.
To keep this simple and for us to really get started reading the Bible, I recommend you choose one book and set up camp. A few examples can be Genesis in the Old Testament or Philippians in the New.
I am going to use Philippians as the example for this post.
The reason I say to choose one and really dig in is because when you are just getting started you can learn the basic method of studying Scripture in one book and then apply it to another. By getting the process, you can then read the entire Bible and know how to reach deeper understanding.
***NOTE: We can study the entire Bible for the rest of our lives and still not grasp everything it has to teach us. I think that is the coolest thing!
Step 3: Ask questions, find answers, then ask better questions
Now that you’ve opened your Bible, chosen a book and set up camp, we’ve got to start digging in.
I want you to read through the book. You can do it all in one day. You can read a chapter a day or a section a day, it’s up to you. You choose your own pace.
You also need to keep a journal or piece of paper near by. Every time you read something and have a question come to mind, write it all down. Keep track of your questions and your answers, it can be a great resource for yourself later!
A few questions to get you started are:
• Who wrote this book?
• Who is this book written to?
• Why was this book written?
• What is the main message of the entire book?
Now if after you’ve read the whole book and you have some questions, let’s start looking for answers. You can begin with a commentary. These can be found in study Bibles or for free online. Here is an example of a commentary on Philippians : Philippians Commentary
There are commentaries for the entire book, then there is commentaries for each verse. Dig into both the big and small picture of the Scripture.
Still can’t seem to find the answers? Ask someone at church! Your pastor or anyone on staff might be able to help you and typically they love sharing what they know. Don’t be intimidated, just ask!
Here is another post I written on my blog to help you get more confident reading Scriptures: 8 Steps to Reading the Bible Confidently
Step 4: Apply One Thing Today
Sometimes Scripture can be overwhelming. There is so much to learn, so much to apply and so much more to dig into. The thing with Scripture is God will use it to speak to you today, but will you allow it to change your day?
His Word is applicable whether it’s a story in the Old Testament or New, God’s character and power is shining through. He is giving us instruction throughout but if we don’t chose to follow it, we can’t live the abundant life He promised us.
So as you are diving into your Bible, asking questions and answering them, be open to a message. Be open to conviction and be listening for some truth God wants you to apply to your life.
It could be a verse on not being anxious, or that God is the ultimate provider, or how much He loves you. He is a personal God, He will share something that can help you, you’ve just got to apply it!
Be open to just one thing then try to dwell and remember that one thing all day. When you meditate on His truths, it will change the way you think and see the world.
Just try it!
Step 5: Do It Again Tomorrow
The more consistent we are, the more opportunity God has to communicate with us. It’s hard to dive deep on a first date, so don’t expect God to give you life changing encouragement in the first five minutes, it takes time to build a relationship with him.
You did it today, now do it again tomorrow. Keep writing questions and seeking answers. Each little thing you comprehend will build on it’s self. One day you will be amazed at how much you know about the Word and how much there is still to learn!
Seeking God can start in a lot of different places but reading the Bible is the first step to hearing from God. Don’t let fears or insecurities hold you back from a full and deep relationship with Him!
Now go dive in! I’m cheering for you!
Meet Ashley Jo
Hi new friends! My name is Ashley Jo and I write over on Created Mag, an online lifestyle magazine for Christian girls who are in the midst of discovering what God created them for. We dive into all sorts of topics like how to manage money, study the Bible, be faithful in relationships and more! Come join us!
Have a great day, friends!
In this with you,