Where to start reading the Bible

No book has made an impact on this world like the Bible. It’s the best-selling book of all time and the most widely read book in the entire world.

The Bible is as practical as it is holy. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 describes the Bible as “useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

Reading the Bible is one of the best ways to get to know God. But if we’re being honest, reading the Bible can be confusing. 

Unlike any other book you’ve ever read, every word was inspired by God and written by man. The Bible is a collection of 66 books written by 40 different authors over a 1,500 year period. The Bible isn’t organized in chronological order like most books. Instead, it is categorized by genres including history, prophecy, poetry and personal letters.

Each book was broken into chapters and verses, to make it easy for people to follow along or find their place. But if you’re not in a church service, how do you know where to start?

Don’t Start at the Beginning

The whole Bible is about Jesus, which is why it's best to start with Him. Everything in the Old Testament points to the fact that God's people needed rescuing. Jesus is that rescuer, but it's hard to see that without first understanding who Jesus is and what He did on earth.

Reading the Bible from beginning to end would be like watching the Star Wars movies in order. You’ll get more out of the newer movies after watching the original 1970s trilogy because you know who the characters grow up to be. 

The New Testament is the best place to start reading the Bible. The first four books (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) are accounts of Jesus' life and ministry and are often referred to as the gospels. Reading the gospels is like reading the journals of four friends who went on a road trip together. They tell many of the same stories but from four different perspectives. 

Three Great Places to Start Reading the Bible

1.  John

Putting our trust in Jesus is easier said than done. We sing about how great Jesus is every Sunday, and we want to experience His love and faithfulness for ourselves. John, one of Jesus’
followers, understood that feeling. 

John met Jesus at the start of his ministry and was there for every miracle along the way. John became one of Jesus’ close friends. The book of John is John’s account of Jesus’ life. It explains why Jesus came to Earth, records what He taught, and recalls the miracles Jesus performed while He was here.

Check out this 21-day study of John for questions and devotionals to help you along the way. 

2. Acts

Acts is the story of how the church started and grew after Jesus went back to heaven. Acts shows us why we do church and introduces us to leaders in the early church who went on to write much of the rest of the New Testament. 

Read a chapter a day, and you’ll finish the whole book in less than a month. Follow along with this 28-day study and use the devotionals and questions to apply what you’re learning along the way. 

3. Journey To Change

When we’re feeling alone in our circumstances, it’s easy to start wondering, “Where is God? Why would He allow this?” 

Reading stories of people in the Bible comforts us because we can know that the God who met them in their desperation is the same God who promises to meet us in ours. Journey To Change is a study that tells the stories of 21 ordinary people like us who met Jesus and saw their lives changed. 

When we found ourselves desperate and uncertain of what God is doing our my lives, reading my Bible is the difference maker. God meets us on those pages, and through the stories in the Bible, God reminds us of who He is and how much He loves us. 

So whether you find yourself needing wisdom, a reminder of how much Jesus loves you, or someone to relate to,  the Bible has the hope and encouragement you need each day.

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