I was so encouraged yesterday at the response I received from a post about how God has blessed me. I wrote about practicing the presence of God, reading Scripture, and letting God examine my heart. You can read that post here.
In the section about finding God in Scripture I mentioned that if anyone would like a simple Bible reading plan I would be glad to share it with them. Many of you responded.
For that reason, I want to give you a simple picture of the Bible. I’ve entitled it “Bible Reading for Dummies.” Don’t be offended. It’s a common term to describe a beginning point for whatever new thing you’re learning.
By the way my reading plan is simply this: start with the New Testament and read a chapter a day. By the time school is out next May you will have read the entire New Testament. I do that every year. I do this because I want to experience God through reading His Word.
I think you’ll find this a doable plan that also accomplishes what you want to accomplish.
What are some things you need to know before you begin reading?
If you have friends or family who need a simple understanding of the Bible, would you share this with them?
First, the Bible is God’s Word to human beings. It is eternal.
“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away” (Matthew 24:35). ”I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear not even the smallest detail of God’s law will disappear until its purpose is achieved” (Matthew 5:18). “So is my word that goes out from my mouth: it will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11).
As you read you need to know you are reading an eternal book which contains God’s message to you and me. As you read, read it and receive it as God’s message.
Second, the Bible is divided into two parts, commonly called the Old Testament and the New Testament.
The Old Testament came first and records how God made Himself known to people before Jesus came into the world. This section of the Bible records how God raised up the people of Israel to be His own people.
This section is very important because it leads up to the coming of Jesus into the world. It also gives us an understanding of the New Testament.
The New Testament is how God revealed Himself to the world through Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
I recommend that you start by reading the New Testament, beginning with the Gospel of Matthew.
Remember, the first four books (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) are all the revelation of how and why Jesus came into the world. It describes His earthly life and ministry.
All four Gospels testify about Jesus. Together, they give a complete picture of the life and ministry of Jesus.
Beginning with the Acts of the Apostles, the remainder of the New Testament describes how the earliest followers of Christ lived and ministered. All of these books together give us a picture of how we should live and minister today. For this reason they are very important.
Third, don’t be intimidated by the Bible. It is the most important book you can read, but it’s not mysterious or hidden. God intended it to be understood and followed.
Read the Bible like you read a book or novel. At first, there will be many things you don’t understand. Don’t worry about those. Pick up the gist of everything that is being said. See this as a time in which God is revealing Himself to you. He will do exactly that.
Fourth, (and this is very important) pray briefly before you read that God would open Himself and His word to you.
Stick with this plan and you will be amazed. If you miss a day or two, pick right back up and move along. You will be fine.
I write a devotional like this everyday. You can receive it free of charge by subscribing at www.waylonbailey.com.