Reading the Bible can be really hard. There is a LOT of history in there, along with some confusing imagery. Even Jesus Himself says stuff that doesn’t always seem to make sense. Yet God’s word tells us that we are to meditate on His words every day (Psalm 143:5). It can feel like an overwhelming task, but it doesn’t have to be.
There are two really important factors that will help you understand and grow from reading the Bible. They are:
EVERYTHING in the Bible is about, or points to, Jesus (2 Corinthians 1:20)
You cannot begin to understand the Bible without the help of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 2:13-14 and Psalm 119:15). This means that no one can understand God’s word without His help.
It’s pretty simple, really.
Here are some tips to help you learn about Jesus through the Bible (with God’s help):
Pray! If we can’t read God’s word without His help, we have to ask for it! Ask God to help you understand what you’re about to read and continue to have a conversation with God while you’re reading.
Enjoy! Psalm 1:2 says “But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.” We were created to love and enjoy God, and we can do that through getting to know him better through His word.
Think about how what you’re reading is going to change your life. How does it change the way you see yourself, God or the world?
Find a devotional book or daily e-mail devotions. They are usually very clear, simple, and use real life examples.
Get a Bible app on your devices and then you can read it while you’re out, like on public transport or waiting in a line. I highly recommend YouVersion – it has so many different translations, reading plans and it can turn verses into images.
Don’t read, listen. If you’re like me and struggle to read large chucks of text, listening to the Bible is a great alternative.
You don’t have to read it alone, you can encourage and be encouraged by reading the Bible with another person.
Don’t be afraid to read a children’s Bible. I recommend The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones – it explores how Jesus is everywhere in the Bible with beautiful illustrations.
If you are into understanding the text at a more intellectual level, I recommend biblehub.com (this one helped get me through Bible College).
There is no one, right way to read your Bible. How you engage with God’s word is different to how I engage with it. The important part is growing in your love and knowledge of Jesus and learning how to follow him.