ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

A Simple Guide for Reading Your Bible

Updated on September 28, 2015
A Simple Guide for Reading Your Bible.
A Simple Guide for Reading Your Bible. | Source

Daily Reading Your Bible isn't Hard or Complicated!

Are you a new believer and looking for a simple way to study your Bible? Or maybe you've been a Christian for several years and have struggled to daily open the Word. Maybe you've tried reading through the Bible straight through or struggled to keep up with a Bible reading plan.

If you've failed over and over again—unable to keep your reading commitments, unable to understand the difficult parts of scripture—stop beating yourself up!

Your pastor likely encourages, even admonishes you to read your Bible—and you really want to—but you're stuck in an endless rut and don't know where to begin. Often you are told to read your Bible, you know you should, and want to, but no one has showed you how.

The Problem

This generation has tons of knowledge: there are millions of Christian books, hundreds of thousands of sermons published online, and churches in every city—but even with all of that head knowledge, I have a feeling that millions of Western Christians struggle with applying God's Word to our lives.

Since "personal devotions," "quiet times," and "personal Bible study times," are private, I feel that most Christians wonder how to have a personal time with the Lord in his Word, and need to see it modeled.

We don't always have the privilege to see how our brothers and sisters privately read and pray.

The Solution

Not that I am a super saint, or that I've found some secret formula, but I'm going to show you how I personally spend time in the Word with the Lord.

I'm a minimalist and I enjoy keeping things simple. I've tried reading plans, in the past, and found them to be too confusing and difficult to keep up with. I've seen plans that move 10 bookmarks through your Bible, ones that are tied to a calendar that left me with the guilt of "getting behind," and ones that spent whole months in the minor prophets, leading to confusion and discouragement.

Stop feeling guilty, stop feeling shame, and let's dive into God's Word—in a simple and Spirit led manner.

Here we go.

John 15:7
John 15:7 | Source

Why We Read the Bible

1. It's God's Word. It reveals God: Who he is, what His desire for us is, what He has done, and what He is going to do.

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness. -2 Timothy 3:16 (ESV)

2. It's how the Holy Spirit speaks to us.

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. -John 14:26 (ESV)

  • In other words, the Holy Spirit reminds you of what the Scriptures say; He also illuminates and helps us understand Scripture. How the Holy Spirit has done this in my life is by answering questions, I have asked the Lord, with answers from the Bible. Often, when I am encouraging someone else, the Holy Spirit bring to mind a verse that applies to their situation. Sometimes, when I have had an area of struggle, a verse will be said in a sermon, song, or during personal study that helps edify, admonish, or build up my understanding of Jesus.

3. You won't be ineffective.

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. -2 Peter 1:5-8 (NIV)

  • We are supposed to add knowledge of the Lord to our life, which will keep us from being ineffective. That knowledge is found in God's Word.

4. You will be guarded against temptation.

How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. -Psalm 119:9 (ESV)

Psalm 119:105  "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path."  (ESV)
Psalm 119:105 "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path." (ESV) | Source

Stuck on What to Read?

Start with John 14-17.

It's Jesus' last instructions to the disciples. For me, it is the most comforting passage in Scripture and shows Jesus' love for us in such an easy to understand way.

A Simple Way to Study: It Starts With the Spirit

First, I pray that the Holy Spirit would illuminate the scriptures to me and give me understanding. I need the Holy Spirit's help to understand and apply scripture to my life.

I love this passage in John:

I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you.

-Jesus (John 16:12-15 NASB)

What Should I Read?

I think this will vary from person to person. However, I do think that context is important, so reading a book in it's entirety can be really helpful.

I spend the majority of my Bible reading time in the New Testament, the Psalms, and Proverbs. Intermittently, I will go back and study a book of the Old Testament to make sure that I glean knowledge and application from all of scripture.

If you're just getting into the habit of reading your Bible, I would suggest starting in one of the Gospels, so that you have a firm understanding of Jesus and his ministry.

The New Testament can be broken up into two categories:

The Gospels

Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

These are historical, eye-witness accounts of Jesus's life, death, and Resurrection. This is where you find the majority of Jesus' direct words and teachings. The Gospels tend to be very narrative, telling stories and presenting facts.

The Epistles

An epistle is a fancy word for a letter. Besides Acts, the rest of the New Testament is made up of letters from the Apostles to the early churches, instructing them in the way of salvation and how to live a godly life, personally and corporately.

The Method I Use

  1. Choose a passage.
  2. Write down any verses that pop out at me that I want to apply and remember.
  3. Write down what those verses are saying.
  4. Ask the Lord how I can apply those verses to my life. I write down questions and things I feel that the Lord wants be to do or understand.

It's really simple! It's not about reading a whole book in one sitting, or trudging through the books of the Bible in order. Instead, it's about focusing on a snippet of scripture, and letting God's words soak into my soul.

An Example: Here's a Passage I'm Reading

Romans 12: 9-13
Romans 12: 9-13 | Source

It's Journal Time

After writing down this passage that spoke to me. I will write what I think it means in bullet points. Then I will consider what the verse is saying to me specifically through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Meaning

  • Rejoice in hope. Christ has given us the hope of Heaven and of being with him. In in tribulation, we called to be patient.
  • Be constant in prayer. Pray without ceasing (1 Thess 5:17)
  • Give to the saints and show hospitality.
  • Detest what is evil and hold fast to what is good. Philippians 4:8: "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things."

Application

  • Lord, how can I show hospitality to my brothers and sisters? Is there someone I can be the hands and feet of Jesus to this week? How can I use my time and finances to bless you?
  • I need to be more constant in prayer. I need to pray without ceasing. Lord, what things are distracting me from praying? Help me to cultivate a lifestyle of being prayerful and taking every thought captive.
  • Abhor what is evil. What evil have I allowed to creep into my life? What movies, magazines, or thoughts aren't honoring to you? Am I turning from all evil? Have I allowed gossip to enter into my life? Help me to seek the things above.

My Bible Reading Journal

Quote is from "Oceans" by Hillsong. This is where I write down what the Lord is teaching me. It's really fun to look back and see him answer specific questions I have asked him.
Quote is from "Oceans" by Hillsong. This is where I write down what the Lord is teaching me. It's really fun to look back and see him answer specific questions I have asked him. | Source

It's Go Time!

Some Closing Thoughts

*Reading your Bible should draw you closer to the Lord.

*It's not a chore. It's an opportunity for the Lord to speak to you. Enjoy it!

*There are tons of Bible reading plans out there, and I hope that you find one that works for you.

*Even if you're busy, tired, or downtrodden. Choose your favorite verse and mediate on it.

*The point of reading your Bible every day isn't to check off an item on your "religion" to-do list. It's about waiting on the Lord to hear from him.

*There is so much freedom in what Jesus has accomplished for us! This love for you never changes. He's faithful even when we are faithless.

*Don't be bogged down in legalism. If you think you have to do something to earn God's favor, realized that Jesus already lived a perfect life—and that when God looks at you, he sees Christ's righteousness in you. Positionally, if you are in Christ, you are favored, forgiven, and loved unconditionally by God. Skipping a few days of Bible study isn't going to change that.

*As you draw closer to the Lord, your desire to be more like him will increase. As you meditate on scripture, and let it change you, you will hunger for God's Word.

Some Questions For You

Have you felt guilty for not reading your Bible?

See results

Do you feel like you have to perform for God?

See results

How do you read your Bible?

See results

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Jay C OBrien profile image

      Jay C OBrien 

      2 years ago from Houston, TX USA

      Yes, part of the essence of God went into the physical body known as Jesus. The energy withdrew at His, "death," and went back into Him at the resurrection. The energy body is unchanging, the physical body dissolves.

      The energy which is God is compassionate, loving and non-condemning because Jesus said so. Jesus said, ... I CONDEMN NO ONE. Any description of God as condemning or violent or requiring punishment is blasphemy.

    • Lila Raines profile imageAUTHOR

      Lila Raines 

      2 years ago

      Jay, I also love the red letter editions because it points out Jesus's words very easily. The OT is sometimes difficult to understand, but I believe that Jesus is God and that God is unchanging.

    • Jay C OBrien profile image

      Jay C OBrien 

      2 years ago from Houston, TX USA

      Try getting a red letter edition and reading the red letters. Most people already know the story so this method focuses on the teachings of Jesus.

      Jesus taught to: love one another, love (not kill) your enemy, do not condemn/judge, forgive to heal others and yourself, etc.

      In reading the red letters over and over I got the idea the Old Testament (OT) was just that, an old primitive way of thought which never was right. Now, I do not believe in a God who would be violent as He is depicted in the OT. The OT god was a projection of ancient Jewish Rabbis and never was correct. Follow Jesus not the Rabbis. If you choose to follow Rabbis you are Jewish, not Christian.

      I choose Jesus and Christianity because he describes God as Peaceful, not violent.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)