Some Tips for Starting your Journey through the Bible: Why Jesus is an Open Book
Hello there! How’s it going?!
I wanted to write this blog because I’ve been getting more and more requests from people who are being drawn to the Bible who never have before. I believe there is no mistake in God’s timing for this. As the world gets crazier, He is drawing more people close. If you are one of these people, I am so glad you are here and I just want to say I pray this blog helps you begin to find your way through it. I’m telling you it is truly sharper than any two-edged sword (Hebrews 4:12). It will come to life if you let it and you will get to know Jesus. There is nothing like it.
Please know, if you are at this place you may be a bit intimidated by all of this. You are not alone. A lot of people who grew up (like me) with religion textbooks and church on Sunday or Sunday school have no idea what it means to study the Word. It’s a big book and so intimidating. Believe me. I’ve been there. I had no idea where to start when I finally got my own Bible. On the other hand you may be one of those people who was raised on the Word and you walked away from it, but you feel God drawing you back. Whatever the case may be, you are right where you need to be.
Jesus is an open book and all you have to do is pick up the Bible to find that out. It’s His love letter to you. His story will teach you why He died for you and how much He truly loves you. It will also show you who you are in Him so you never have to find your identity again in anything of this world. It will teach you that you are chosen, set apart and created for a purpose. It will give you the hope that nothing in this world can give.
So here are just a few things I want to tell you to help you get into it.
- What do I do first? Get a Bible or read it for free on the Bible App.
- How do I know which one to pick? Find a translation that works for you. I mainly read the New International Version. The English Standard Version is also good. But if you really have no idea what you are reading and want to see it in plain english, I would maybe get the New Living Translation or The Message. Both are great. Then you can work your way to some of the other traditional ones. But sometimes those can be intimidating. Now, the beautiful thing is that the Bible App has all the translations. So you could get one Bible and read the other versions on the App which is often what I do. It may also help you to get on the app and read a few different versions to see which one you like.
- What’s important to remember? Remember I said this is a love letter from the Lord. So try not to read it like a textbook. Jesus speaks to our hearts so take it slow. Read it in bits and pieces.
- Get a devotional (or find one online that speaks to you). “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young is a great starter one. Anything by Joyce Meyer. Read the devotional but also get your Bible out and read the scripture that is at the top of that day. So read it there and then go into the Bible to read more around it. Read the paragraph. Read the chapter. Get it in its context. That will help you want to read more and get you reading more than just one verse.
- Get a journal where you can write down these scriptures, so you can remember them and remember where you are when you read them. Journal about them because that’s how the Lord is speaking to you in your season.
- Use Google. I have done this a thousand times. Go to it and google whatever you are struggling with. Maybe it’s anxiety, fear, or grief. You can literally say, “What does the Bible say about _____?” It seems too simple but the search always gives you a huge list of Scriptures you can look up and go deeper into whatever your struggle is.
- What books? Some people like to start from the very beginning. Some like to start from the gospels. Some like to start in the New Testament. I started in the New Testament just because there was a lot of the promises of God in there. Then I worked my way around to the others.
- What if these approaches don’t work? There is a book that helped me a lot called, “The Purpose Driven Life” by Rick Warren. It helped me a lot when I was in a dark place and can give you a sense of who you ]are in Christ.
- Other options. God can speak to you through people, circumstances, locations, nature – so many ways. But it’s the Scripture that really puts the powerful Words into what He speaks over you. So I encourage you to go beyond reading a Scripture on an Instagram post or a meme, and get into the Word. Give it time. You will not regret it.
My prayer for you is that you fall in love with Jesus while reading the Bible. Give him a chance to work in your life. Pray for the clarity to see what he wants you to see and the presence and patience. Pray for the removal of any preconceived notions about what you’ve previously thought. God will reveal himself to you in those words on those pages. He will speak to your heart and my friend, I can tell you from experience, there is nothing better.
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