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How (and Where) to Start Reading the Bible

I have a confession.

One thing that I’ve always been so ashamed to admit, that I really, really struggle with… is taking an intentional quiet time.

That’s one of the many reasons I loved writing Heartbeat so much – it gave me that time every day. It made me read the Lord’s words and take in the bearing they have on my life. Ironic, isn’t it, that I can write a devotional but struggle with keeping one going on my own.

Sometimes I just kind of accept this as a fact about me, something that just is the way that I am. And then eventually it’ll get to the point where it really irks me, that I might come across one way and feel like a faker in reality.

And then I rely on the same things to pull me back in. I read Jesus Calling, I read my own devotional, I read A Voice in the Wind. They’ve kind of become my own crutch, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. They do what I want them to do – bring me back to the Lord.

But this time I’m trying something different. This time, I’m going directly to the heart of the matter, the Bible.

So then I asked myself… where should I start? Which brings me to here. In short, the title of this post is kind of a trick question. Because – there is no wrong place to start. But there are a lot of places that might be easier to begin with.

how and where to start reading the bible

Where to Begin when Reading the Bible

Option 1: At the beginning. A fairly logical place to start would be in Genesis. You get to know God, you learn is wrath and his compassion, his omniscience and constant presence. There might be some of the more sleep-inducing chapters ahead, but you really get to see the whole journey.

Option 2: At the beginning, part two. The Gospels. You can pick one of the four or just start with Matthew and go from there. You get to know Jesus, God’s unconditional love through him, his wisdom and guidance for our everyday lives. My personal favorite is John – it seems more personal.

Option 3: The Psalms. A lot of people pick up the Bible because they are seeking comfort and encouragement. The Psalms are calming, and are a great way to introduce a newcomer to the love of the Lord.

Option 4: With a feeling of accomplishment – the smaller books. The idea of reading the Bible is daunting in and of itself, and this is a great way to feel like you’re getting somewhere by still starting small. Lots of the Old Testament is packed with smaller books, and most everything following the gospels in the New Testament is shorter. You’ll feel like you’re getting somewhere, while still getting a good idea of who the Lord is.

Option 5: Wherever you open it up to. I did this once, I opened my bible up and landed on Isaiah. I started at the beginning and read the entire book. That was 8 years ago, and it remains my favorite book. Trust the Lord and just pick it up. Like I said, you can’t go wrong.

The catch, and the hardest part, is that you actually have to start. You can find something that helps motivate you, like one of my suggestions earlier. Be it a book study or a devotional, they often have verses thrown in. Sometimes just starting with one of those and encouraging yourself to keep reading around them is still getting a start.

It might be daunting to pick a translation, but that’s actually kind of the fun part of it. the New International Version (NIV) is great for just plain reading – it’s understandable and more modern than a few of the others. King James is the classic, and is great if you can handle thee’s and thou’s. The Message often takes the original hebrew words and interprets their many meanings, it’s kind of like the storybook version of the Bible. Often times I can’t choose, and have a parallel Bible because of that.

I would love to hear other’s favorite books, or where you’d choose to pick it up! I’m all for suggestions on where to kick it off!

how and where to start reading the bible

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