The Urban Christian

Where to Start Reading the Bible

A New Believer’s Guide

The Bible is a big book packed with stories that reveal who God is. Each of them is a good place to start reading the Bible. Men of God wrote the books of the Bible as the Holy Spirit inspired them. They didn’t write the words from their own imagination.

According to 2 Timothy 3:16, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (Emphasis mine)

There is a lot to read in the Bible. That can make you feel overwhelmed. As a new believer, you may wonder where to start reading the Bible. Reading the Word of God doesn’t have to be a daunting task or boring affair.

The Bible has a wealth of divine wisdom packaged in the everyday lives of those who lived during the biblical times. The happenings on each page of the Bible reveal the nature of God and His commandments to us. As you turn each page you will join the dots to understand the story of the Bible.

As a new believer, where do you start reading the Bible?

The following are 7 things you can read in the Bible

#1 Parable

Jesus taught in parables and used them to illustrate his lessons. He told a parable and gave its interpretation. For example, he used the parable of the persistent widow in Luke 18:1-8 to show us not to lose heart when praying. Read a parable and ask God to show you the lesson and how to apply the principle in your life.

#2 Psalm

The men who wrote the Psalms were poetic and musical at heart, like King David, the sons of Korah, Asaph, among others. You’ll notice each Psalm has a heading depending on the message, e.g. The NKJV Bible titles Psalm 107 as “Thanksgiving to the Lord for His Great Works of Deliverance.” Read a Psalm that resonates with your heart that day or one that God puts in your heart. You can change it into a prayer for yourself or others.

#3 Story

There are many stories in the Bible that will enlighten and entertain you at the same time. Some are long, others short. A story will give you a complete lesson. It narrates a matter from beginning to end. If the story is short, you can read it in one sitting and meditate on it. In a single story, you’ll see the intertwining of different characters and how they relate to each other.

Pick out stories relevant to your spiritual needs. For example, the book of Esther is a story told in 10 chapters. It starts before Esther became queen and ends with the Jews celebrating their victory from the enemy who wanted to annihilate them.

#4 Character

You can read the story of a biblical character. You will know who they are, how they think, believe, behave and their achievements. What was God’s purpose for his or her life? A story of a particular person will show you the people God used for His assignments. You can read the story of King Solomon in 1 Kings 1-11 or Naaman the commander of the Syrian army in 2 Kings 5.

#5 Passage

A Bible passage may contain an idea or principle you are to learn. An idea can shed light on how to deal with a situation in your life. A spiritual law can give you great understanding about why some things happen in your life.

An example of a passage with a strong message is Ephesians 6:10-20. It talks about putting on the full armor of God to protect yourself against evil forces because you don’t fight against flesh and blood. It reveals your real enemies so you will fight them and not people.

#6 Biblical book

Some books of the Bible are short and you can read them in one sitting. If a book is long, read it over several days. A book reveals a message God had for a particular group of people. For example, the book of Galatians was a letter from the Apostle Paul to the church in Galatia. The book of Jonah the prophet is short (4 chapters) and it contains God’s message to the city of Nineveh.

#7 Genesis to Revelation

To understand the essence of the Bible, start reading the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. The benefit of reading through the Bible is to know God and His ways. You’ll understand God’s laws, feasts, commandments, principles, prophets, etc. For example, if you want to understand why people went to the Feast of Tabernacles in John 7:2-15, go back to Deuteronomy 16:13-15.

The Bible is one big story that unfolds in every book and character. To better understand the gospel of Jesus Christ, start from the beginning and work your way to the end.

There is no formula for reading the Bible

Reading and studying the Bible will give you understanding on God’s message to His people. As you read the Word of God, ask the Holy Spirit to give you revelation on how to apply what you are reading to your situation.

Put some imagination into reading the Bible so you can understand the culture of the day or what certain things meant to the people in the story.

Bible commentaries and other resources will prove helpful along the way. Sometimes you can refer to two or three versions of the Bible to get the perspective of a verse.

Common versions that people use are: New International Version (NIV), New King James Version (NKJV), King James Version (KJV), New Living Translation (NLT), The Message (MSG), Amplified Bible (AMP), and English Standard Version (ESV). You can find different versions of the Bible on BibleGateway.com

It is important to understand the Word of God so it will produce a harvest in your life and the devil will not steal it (Matthew 13:19). When you read the Bible every day, you will overflow with divine wisdom. God’s Word is food for your spirit; nourish yourself with it.

Start reading the Bible today and Get to know God.

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