GETTING STARTED: HOW TO READ THE BIBLE
“Visit many good books, but live in the Bible. All human books grow stale after a time,
but with the word of God, the desire to study it increases.”
– Charles Spurgeon
I remember when I made a commitment to follow Jesus. The first thing the church handed me was a Bible. I didn’t know anything about the Bible. I was told that this book was God’s Word. Everything from cover to cover was all true. Then I was encouraged to read it, learn it, and live by it. No explanation, no understanding…just handed me this book.
When I first opened it, I had no clue where to even start. I remember coming across the book of Leviticus…I became even more confused. I was drowning in words I couldn’t even pronounce. I couldn’t understand what they meant by “live your life by this book”? Live my life by this book? I couldn’t even understand it. After a while, I just gave up trying to read the Bible. I figured the Pastor read it on Sunday morning and by me following along that would count for something. I just took what he and my Sunday school teacher had to say as truth. They seemed like loving people who loved Jesus, so why would they stir me wrong? I was basing all of my understanding of God on what I was being told about the Bible.
Maybe you have a similar story. You received a copy of the Bible, but no one took the time to explain it. They told you to read it, learn it, live your life by it. And maybe you lost interest in reading it because you didn’t understand it. If we are all honest, we could admit that we all know some Bible stories. We know the story of David and Goliath and the story of Jesus walking on the water. We know the stories, but do we understand the role that the scriptures are supposed to play in our lives? Can this book be trusted? Do we understand this book that we have all been given?
While there are multiple reasons as to why we should read the Bible, I want to give you two:
1.The Bible is essential to discipleship
In Matthew 28, just before Jesus was ascended, He said, hey…this is what I want you to do. He said all authority is given to Me. And I want you to go and I want you to make disciples of all nations. He didn’t say, I want you to make converts. He said I want you to make disciples of all nations. And He said, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. Now listen to what Jesus says to the people who believed in Him. He said, 31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32 ESV
2. The Bible provides spiritual nourishment.
“Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Matthew 4:4 ESVNot proceeded. That’s past tense. Proceeds. The Bible says He speaks. Doesn’t say He spoke. He speaks. What happens is you’re reading this Bible and all of a sudden, the Holy Spirit illuminates something in your heart. It is God speaking to you. That’s what man lives by, Jesus says. Every word that proceeds. Not proceeded.
HOW TO READ THE BIBLE:
1. Pray and ask God to reveal what He wants you to see in His Word.
2. Start with the book of John or start a reading plan (See suggested Reading plans below)
2. Take notes while reading and ask,
“What is happening in this story?”
“What is the Holy Spirit telling me?”
“How can I apply what the Holy Spirit is telling me?” <—Called an Obedience Point
3. Share with someone what you read and learned.
BEST PLACE TO ORDER A BIBLE:
Paul’s Leather Company has the best Bibles that I have ever owned. I currently have two from Paul’s Leather Company (NLT and ESV). They are handmade with top quality leather and they will last a long time. You can even custom your Bible.
PASTOR ROBBIE’S FAVORITE BIBLES & STUDY TOOLS:
BIBLE READING PLANS:
PASTOR ROBBIE’S HIGHLIGHTING METHOD
Why I use a color-coding method…
Instead of just using random colors, I have used a system of highlighting that has allowed me to quickly look at a color and know what it means. See below.
Black-> General note or thought
Blue-> Attributes of God
Red-> Words of Jesus
Green-> Anything that pertains to grace
Pink-> Promises of God
Orange-> Greek/Hebrew words (Word-studies)