At the turn of each year, people tend to stop and evaluate their lives and see where they would like to change. We often call these changes “New Year’s Resolutions”. We all know how they tend to turn out. We get excited at first, but quickly lose momentum within days or weeks.
Often the reason for that failure to follow through is a lack of planning and tools to accomplish the goal.
Many Christians decide to renew their efforts to pick up their Bibles for study and time with God each day. If you are new to the discipline of daily Bible study, this can be intimidating!
Where do you start? How can you set reasonable goals? What if you get behind and can’t catch up?
Pastor Ben’s Advice:
First, don’t feel too much pressure to understand everything you read. Don’t put your faith in your own ability to understand, but instead put your confidence in God’s promise to us that His “word will not return void.” Just. Read. It. Understanding will come with practice and the sovereign work of the Holy Spirit.
Second, don’t start in the beginning. The Bible isn’t organized like a typical book. It’s an anthology of smaller books collected together in one binding. Reading it cover to cover is not a good way to read it.
Check out this overview of the Bible to get your bearings before you dive in.
I suggest either using a Bible reading plan, or starting in one of the first 3 gospels (Matthew, Mark, or Luke). The advantage of a reading plan is that you get a sense of accomplishment and momentum as you move along. The advantage of reading whole books at a time is your sense of context is much greater. For beginners, I highly recommend using a reading plan.
Here is a great collection of Bible Reading plans to choose from. I like the 5 day ones for folks that are new to this. That gives you the weekend to catch up. ;-)
Whatever you do, don’t allow yourself to get discouraged when you miss a day or two or 10. Don’t get frustrated when you fall asleep at 7am and sleep through your time. Just keep at it. Begin each day by asking God for help, and He will supply it.
If you need help getting started, or if you ever need help with a difficult text, Living Hope Church members and leadership will be over joyed to help you. All you have to do is ask.