When I talk with people about reading the Bible, I get a variety of responses. Some say they think it is too hard to understand. Most allege not to have time, a subject I addressed earlier in this series. Many wonder where to start.
One way to start is at the beginning. Another way is to start reading specific stories. You can choose verses for yourself or use the selections made by other people. Below is a list of options I have found personally helpful.
- If you are just starting out and you have five minutes, I recommend The Daily Texts published by Mount Carmel Ministries. The price is very reasonable, and it doesn’t matter when you start. There is a selection for every day of the year, and you can order either print or Kindle versions. I am currently using the Kindle version for 2015. If you decide to do that, you can have your new daily devotional guide in your hands in just a few minutes. You can read the verses and the prayer for the day in five minutes and still have a little time to think about the reason the two verses belong together.
- If you decide to keep a journal, this guide is still great. You can simply buy the cheapest spiral notebook you can find and journal in it as you pray through the verses.
- If you want to read the whole Bible, this little book offers the option of a one-year plan and a two-year plan.
- I have personally used the verses for meditation and journaling, followed immediately by the readings from the longer plans, and I found that to be a very good way to balance meditation and study.
- Go to Bible Gateway at www.biblegateway.com You can access it on your computer or get an app for your phone. This site offers a wealth of reading plans. It is almost overwhelming, but do not let that stop you. Pick one. Ignore the others. Register with the site and register your plan. You can either get email notices and read on your computer, or the phone app simply advances you one day at a time. This site also has a wide variety of other helps when you go beyond simply reading and meditating.
- Buy a devotional book. Many people like to have a devotional thought that helps them to see an important point in a passage. That thought may be inspiration for your own journal, or it may help you make the most of limited time for prayer and Bible study.
- Go to www.commontexts.com where you can obtain daily readings coordinated with the Sunday readings used by liturgical churches. Your church may have devotional guides based on the Revised Common Lectionary. The Lectionary itself is published in a variety of forms. Look online for your options.
- Use a devotional magazine from your church.
- Find any of the many sites online devoted to Bible reading and follow the schedule.
- It isn’t as important that you pick a particular approach as it is to approach. Get close to your Bible. Pray for guidance, open it, and read it. Let the Holy Spirit speak to you.
Every day’s news reminds you that our nation is struggling with moral, social and political chaos. You cannot possibly fix it by yourself, but if you read the Bible, you can get in touch with the one Power who can change you and change the world as well. Start reading your Bible now.
By Katherine Harms, author of Oceans of Love available for Kindle at Amazon.com.
Image: Open Bible
By Wnorbutas (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0