There are many ways to approach reading and studying the Bible. A Bible reading plan will help us stay on track and keep us from random wandering. That is not to say there won't be times the Holy Spirit will lead us to "timely" readings that aren't planned or structured though.
Many people like to use a "Through the Bible in a Year" Bible reading plan. Discipleship Journal offers a new "5x5x5" reading plan that will take you through the New Testament in three months by reading the Bible for 5 minutes 5 days a week. They include 5 ways to dig deeper as you read also.
You may be just beginning and not know how to study the Bible or even where to begin reading. We're here to help!
After all, we all had to start somewhere! Here are a few pointers and suggestions on where to begin!
Take 61 days and read through the key Bible stories in the chronological order in which they occurred. Bible Gateway provides this Chronological Bible Reading Plan.
YouVersion offers 150 different Bible reading plans you can access through your phone and put into whichever translation you choose. These include reading the Bible through in a year, those specifically for youth, family plans, and so much more!
Talk about variety! Gospel.com has put together five different Bible reading plans in over 50 translations/languages! Choose to read straight through, chronologically, Old Testament/New Testament readings each day, etc. You can even choose to start on the 1st or 15th of any month! Don't wait for a new year...start now with these versatile plans to read through the Bible in a year.
Most Bibles contain an introduction to each book of the Bible giving information about the author, when it was written, etc. Use this background information to "set the stage" for your study. This will give you insight into understanding the setting in which the writings take place.
The Gospel of John is a wonderful place to begin this Bible reading plan. It gives such a personal account of the life and teachings of Jesus. As you read, stop after each chapter and pray. Record what God reveals to you. Note any common teachings; highlight repeated words & phrases.
Biblica.com offers a reading plan that will help you stay on course as you read one book of the Bible at a time. It's available both in
English and Spanish.
Crosswalk.com offers many tools such as concordances, commentaries, Bible dictionaries and more which can be used to search any topic throughout the Bible. Tools such as Strong's Concordance are also available for purchase in book form to use for this type of Bible reading plan. Ask the Holy Spirit for wisdom and leadership as to what topic to choose. It could be anything from marriage to angels!
Recently, a close friend of mine was searching where to begin studying the Bible and asked for my suggestion. She had just purchased Kay Arthur's book on how to pray. I suggested she do this type of study and find all the Scritpures that teach on prayer as well as actual prayers recorded in the Bible such as Daniel's, Jesus', Peter's, etc.
God wants to speak to us right where we are.
Remember the movie, "A Night with the King"? It is based on the life of Esther. You can now rent the movie on DVD. Study what the Bible says about Esther and her character.
It was revealed to her that she was positioned as queen "for such a time as this." Study how she discovered God's purpose and plan for her life and how she relied on God for the strength and wisdom to follow it. It's all found in the Old Testament book of Esther!
Study history also though and other Old Testament books will reveal what a crucial pivotal point this was for God's chosen people of Israel. Then ask the Holy Spirit to help you relate this to your own life and what God desire to do through and in you; it's exciting!
The lives of Bible characters are recorded for a reason - to teach us about our Heavenly Father and His wonderful plan. Bible characters such as Daniel, David, Ruth, Peter, Lydia, Mary and so many others followed God.
They weren't always perfect either; think about what we can learn from Jonah's mistake of running away from God! Don't be fooled that just because you learned about these when you were little, that you know all there is to know about them. God's promises are new every morning!
Sharing in the learning of God's Word with other believers can be an exciting time. It's always so amazing to hear what the Holy Spirit has revealed to others through Scripture. There are many times that this will spark an idea or interest of study for ourselves.
God created us to be His body and work together. Time studying the Bible together is important; let this be a vital part of your Bible reading plan!
Of course there are many wonderful Bible studies written to guide you in your Bible reading plan. We have found several free Bible study lessons here online.
There are also wonderful studies that you may purchase by inspired authors such as Beth Moore, Max Lucado, Charles Stanley, Joyce Meyer, and so many others.
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