In the last couple of months I have had a few people ask me how they should begin a serious reading of the Bible.  They have had access to the Bible and have tried to read it before but then got bogged down and did not get very far.  Here is the advice I normally give and perhaps it will be helpful for you in sharing with someone else.

If the person is not a believer in Jesus or is shaky about their faith, then the Gospel of John is the place to begin.

If the person is a believer in Jesus then the following method will help them to have a better understanding of God’s Word:

1.  Gospel of Mark – a synopsis of the life of Jesus Christ (shortest of the Gospels)

2. Philippians – the Christian life (4 chapters)

3. Acts – the history of the early church

4. Romans – important teaching and application

5.  Gospel of John – our message to the world

6.  The rest of the New Testament (NT) including Matthew and Luke

7.  The Old Testament (OT)

The first 2 books are great in content and also shorter in length.  It is important for the readers to have a sense of accomplishement so they are encouraged to continue on.  After they have gone through the Scriptures this way once then they can start a reading plan that has a portion of the OT and NT each day.  Proverbs can also be particularly helpful for someone wanting to live a life honoring God.  Isn’t there a phrase: “A proverb a day helps keep sin away”?


II Timothy 3:16-17, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

Since we have finished the first month of 09, it is a good time to look at how we are doing in our Bible reading and Bible study.  What is the difference between the two, and why do we need both?

Bible reading gives us a general overview and helps us to see the forest.  Bible study normally focuses in on individual trees and gets into details of bark and leaves.  Those who study but do not read often miss the big picture of God’s character and work, and those who read but do not study miss out on many precious points.  Bible reading and Bible study are complimentary, and we should pay attention to both.  At times we will spend more time reading large chunks of Scripture and other times we will be more focused on book or topical study.

I’ve been blessed so far this year by reading Isaiah for my personal reading, Genesis for our church’s house fellowships, and studying Romans in preparation for preaching.  It has been a very good mix.

How much do I have to read each day to read the Bible in a year? The answer is 3.26 chapters a day.  For some reason I thought it was 3, so I am a little behind at this point.  Going forward my plan is 4 chapters a day so that when I miss a day I will not be behind.

I’d love to hear how you are doing.  I know some of you are already feeling defeated and need some encouragement to stay after it, and others of you are way ahead.  Let us all remember that it should be much more about spending time with God and knowing Him then it is checking off a to do list.