The word of God is living and active, and sharper than any double-edged sword (see Hebrews 4:12.) When we open the Bible, we can be assured that the words we are reading are meant for us, our situation, and will add value to our every day. The Bible, if we will let it, will transform our lives.
Many Times we sit in uncertainty, trying to figure out right from wrong and truth from opinion. In these ties, we often want to hear from God without reading His word, our “road map” for life. The more we commit to time in our Bible, we will start to receive hope, wisdom, truth, and direction–even in moments of utter despair, we can find peace within His words.
God doesn’t call us to have a great understanding before we open our Bible; He simply asks us to sit at His feet and learn from Him because He cares for us.
When we read the Bible, we learn about who Jesus says He is, and not only is that good for our lives, but it’s good for the lives of the people around us! When we let God’s Word shape us, we start to see family dynamics changed, communities built up, and the world transformed.
Starting in the New Testament is a great beginning–if you want to get very specific, you can dive into the book of John. This book will teach you about the ministry of Jesus and who He says He is for the world, and our individual lives.
Reading one to two chapters a day is encouraged and will be a nice pace to prayerfully observe and apply what God is saying through His Word.
As you continue to read, it is encouraged to start incorporating the Old Testament into your daily reading, which may look something like this: Choose a book from the Old and New Testament to work through until completed, and read one chapter from each daily (these are merely suggestions).
The Old Testament speaks to the importance of why Jesus had to come and rescue us. You will find that much of the Scripture in the Old Testament speaks to the coming of Jesus in terms of foreshadowing and prophetic words that were delivered by God’s appointed prophets (people who spoke on behalf of the Lord).
SOAP is a great tool to use while reading through Scripture. Just like our body needs daily cleaning, so does our spirit, and God’s Word will bring a refreshing that our spirit needs.
Scripture – Take your time reading each chapter. Write down what specific verses catch your attention.
Observation – What is God speaking through these verses and throughout the entire chapter? What do these verses mean?
Application – From these verses, what principles can you apply to your life right now?
Prayer – Communicate with God verbally or by writing in your notebook/journal and ask Him to help you apply this to your life.
Journaling is highly encouraged as you read through the Bible and use the SOAP tool. This will allow you to write down God’s promises for your life and to draw back on what you are reading.
NIV (New International Version)
NLT (New Living Translation)
These translations are not better than others; they will provide for an easier understanding as you start to read your Bible.
While reading your Bible, it is important to remember that the Scripture is “God-breathed,” meaning that the words are inspired by God, written during a specific time period, and yet still applicable for us today. With that being said, Scripture is intended to evoke an emotional response from us as we allow it to shape our everyday lives.
Feelings you may experience while reading the Bible:
Love – But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions–it is by grace you have been saved. Ephesians 2:4-5 (NIV)
Encouragement – But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.
1 Peter 2:9 (NIV)
Conviction – All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 3:16 (NIV)
Purpose – Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Matthew 28:19-20 (NLT)