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How to Read Your Bible Effectively

Whether you’re a new Christian or simply new to reading the Bible, you should know how to read your Bible effectively to gain the most from God’s Word.

And that means reading your Bible every day. Like our pastor said one Sunday, if you are only reading the few passages that are focused on during a Sunday sermon, you’re not going to get what you need to live a Christian life. It’s like eating one meal, once a week. No one can live on only one meal a week!


It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.‘”Matthew 4:4

 

Christians should definitely read their Bibles every day, taking time out of their hectic lives to spend quiet time with God and focus on a particular message.



 

Even an Older Christian Needs to Learn How to Read Your Bible Effectively

Today, I’m 61 years old. I’ve been a Bible-believing Christian since I was 21, but it’s only been in the last few months that I started reading my Bible every day.

I was introduced to the daily devotional series “First 5,” which speaks mainly to women, daughters of the Lord. Now, this is a fantastic resource for women who want and need a daily devotional with God.

how to read your bible effectivelyBut over the last week, I’ve felt that since being a Christian for about 40 years, I should have read the whole Bible twice over by now!

I was rather ashamed and embarrassed that I hadn’t!

I’m not alone though; many Christians don’t read their Bibles every day, some because they don’t know where to start or how to study the Word, and others because they need additional resources to understand what they’re reading.

Where Do I Start Reading the Bible?

Now, you can simply pick up your Bible, start in Genesis and read a chapter or two every day. But are you reading your Bible just to say you have, or are you reading it to actually gain knowledge from it?

I wanted to learn from my Bible, not just read it to say I’ve read it. But I wasn’t sure I wanted to buy a large, heavy and expensive “Study Bible” with microscopic print that these old eyes couldn’t see.

study bible

So I decided to do two things:

  1. Ask my church family where I should start. The responses echoed what I’d found on Google, plus an additional resource to help learn and understand what I was reading: “The Bible Project.” More on that later. It is an amazing resource!


     

  2. Google the question and look on some Christian YouTube channels. I found the list below on a Christian blog and saved it in a file that I keep on my PC desktop so I can keep track of what Books I’ve read so far.

    John
    Matthew
    Mark
    Luke
    Acts
    Romans
    1 Corinthians
    2 Corinthians
    Galatians
    Ephesians
    Philippians
    Colossians
    1 Thessalonians
    2 Thessalonians
    1 Timothy
    2 Timothy
    Titus
    Philemon
    Hebrews
    James
    1 Peter
    2 Peter
    1 John
    2 John
    3 John
    Jude
    Genesis and Exodus (First 2 Books of Moses)
    Psalms – Proverbs
    Joshua
    Judges
    Ruth
    1 Samuel
    2 Samuel
    1 Kings
    2 Kings
    1 Chronicles
    2 Chronicles
    Ezra
    Nehemiah
    Esther
    Job
    Isaiah
    Jeremiah
    Lamentations
    Ezekiel
    Daniel
    Hosea
    Joel
    Amos
    Obadiah
    Jonah
    Micah
    Nahum
    Habakkuk
    Zephaniah
    Haggai
    Zechariah
    Malachi

    3 Books of Moses:
    Leviticus
    Numbers
    Deuteronomy

    Revelation

Crushing the Roadblocks to Understanding the Bible

When you were little, did you always ask Mom or Dad (or big sister, big brother) to read to you? My kids did, and my younger grandkids do now. For some reason, many people learn better when they have something read to them, which is why I think audiobooks are so popular!

Audio Bibles on YouTube

Thankfully, you can find many YouTube channels with audiobooks of the Bible in almost any translation: King James, New King James, NIV, ESV, etc., and in a few languages other than English.

No one can use the excuse anymore that they don’t remember what they read, or they don’t like to read or reading is boring. Some of the audio Bibles on YouTube are dramatized with background music.


 

Knowing the Context of What You’re Reading

I watched a YouTube video recently explaining that in order to read or study your Bible, you should know some background or context about the passages you’re reading.

That could entail buying maps of ancient times, study Bibles, a rather extensive, and expensive library of resources.

how to read your bible effectively resources

In other words, you may as well go to school for a degree in theology! I don’t know about you, but that’s not my purpose for reading my Bible.

However, if you want to learn how to read your Bible effectively, you should have some general knowledge of the period of time, the characters in the Bible and a bit of what was going on at the time the Books were authored – and who authored them and why.

And that’s where The Bible Project comes in!


 

How to Read Your Bible Effectively Using The Bible Project

The Bible Project is an absolutely, MUST HAVE resource for reading the Word. It’s free too (although donations are greatly appreciated).

From their website:

The Bible is one unified story that leads to Jesus, but we don’t always treat it that way. At The Bible Project, we make animated videos that explore the books and themes of the Bible.

 

Take some time to explore their extensive library of videos! You’ll be amazed at what they’ve done there!

How I Read My Bible – My Method

Once I learned about The Bible Project, I started using it with my First5 devotionals too. First5 guides you through entire Books of the Bible, one chapter per day in their study plans.

Before I start a new plan or Book of the Bible in my daily devotionals, I’ll bring up the animated videos on The Bible Project site for that Book.

Once I’m done my daily devotional, I go to my List to see where I am in reading the Bible. Eventually, I’ll get to a Book on my list that I’ve already read through in First5, but instead of skipping over it, I’ll review The Bible Project video for that Book again.

Making Bible Reading a Habit

I heard somewhere that once you do something consistently for 30 days it will become a habit. Once you know how to read your Bible effectively, do it every day for at least 30 days and eventually, you’ll realize that if you miss a day, you’ll feel like you forgot to do something. That will be God telling you that you forgot to read the Bible that day!

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