The Bible can seem a little daunting if you are picking it up for the first time. Yes, you can start “In the beginning…” by reading from the start. However, it may help if you pick out individual sections to read. For example, read one of the Gospels and then read some of the Psalms. Next, read Paul’s letter to the Romans and then read the Exodus story. Reading cover to cover does help put everything in perspective, from creation to second coming. The most important thing is that you simply pick up the Bible and start reading it. It won’t bite.
Again, you can’t speed read the Bible. You have to savor it just like a fine wine. That means you have to read, stop, and think every once in a while. You need to re-read. You need to rise above the words and the story and think about the message.
Reflect on how you are living your life in terms of how others lived their lives. Ask the questions and you will get the answers. The Bible isn’t a magic book; it is an amazing book.
I particularly like to read the story of Moses, the exodus from Egypt, and the wandering in the desert. I say this because it captures so much of my life. Like Moses, I was blessed with a comfortable upbringing. However, something in my life had been missing. As I have told you, on finally hearing the call of God I argued with God, just as Moses did.
“O my Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor even now that you have spoken to your servant; but I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.” Exodus 4:10
There has been no burning bush in my life but the call has been clear nonetheless. Like the Israelites, I have been wondering aimlessly in the desert for most of my life. Many times over I have turned my back on God. I have worshiped false gods, like money. Regardless of how many times I have denied God, he is always there with open arms and love.
There you will serve other gods made by human hands, objects of wood and stone that neither see, nor hear, nor eat, nor smell. From there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find him if you search after him with all your heart and soul. In your distress, when all these things have happened to you in time to come, you will return to the Lord your God and heed him. Because the Lord your God is a merciful God, he will neither abandon you nor destroy you; he will not forget the covenant with your ancestors that he swore to them. Deuteronomy 4:28-31
Don’t worry about how long it takes you to read the Bible. You have to resist the temptation to keep thinking about how far you are into it as you would a normal book. It is not a normal book. Again, no speed-reading allowed. The Bible is a book for your lifetime.
The grass withers, the flower fades; but the word of our God will stand forever. Isaiah 40:8
I suggest that at some point you read the Bile from start to finish. Once you have done this you can break it open to any part. I constantly skip all over from Old to New Testament. I travel a lot and use to carry a dog-eared paperback Bible with me. It was falling apart but I can’t replace it because it is autographed by my goddaughter. I caught her exercising her terrible-twos by scribbling in it one day. It was my treasure and friend on the road but I recently retired it to my desk and now I travel with the Bible on my iPad. I really like the YouVersion Bible app.
Many years ago, the person sitting next to me on the plane pulled out the Bible and started reading. I was almost uncomfortable wondering why someone was reading the Bible on a plane, much less in public. It’s funny but that is what I now do all the time and get the type of glances I use to give. Every now and then, someone says, “Great book.” I’ve actually had people ask me if I was a minister. You see a lot of people traveling reading anything but the Bible.
I also am a big highlighter. My travel Bible has yellow highlights throughout. When I see a passage that really strikes me I highlight it. Now I do the same with my Bible app. You have to do what works for you.
I want to underscore that you need to work the Bible. The reflection part is more important than the reading part. You won’t get anything out of the Bible if you don’t simply pick it up and READ!
Read the Bible—it’s the 2nd Real Secret to life!