Reading the Bible

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The Bible is God's communication to us. He speaks to us through the Bible. In John 14:26 Jesus told His disciples that as He was going away, the Father would send the Holy Spirit to be present with those who believe and one of His purposes is to "teach us all things." Many seemingly believe they must do nothing and the Holy Spirit will just deposit whatever knowledge they need in their brains in a miraculous moment. Others see the Bible as just another book that is purely an intellectual exercise. Both views are wrong. The Bible is God's Word to us (2 Timothy 3:16-17, 2 Peter 1:19-21, Isaiah 55:11, Psalm 119:105)and to learn and understand it, we must read it regularly with the knowledge the Holy Spirit helps us understand it. The treasures of the Bible are open as we read it. Bible reading and Bible study are two different tasks and both are extremely important. When reading, when you find something you want to study deeper, simply make a note of it, and keep reading. The only things that Satan wants you to do less of than studying the Bible is to read it and he will do whatever he can to stop you from reading. Parents should also get a children's story Bible and regularly read it with their children, even at the table following the evening meal or at bedtime.

Some helpful comments on How To Read The Bible, by John Bonnell

The literature of the Bible is divided as follows:

Historical Books
Genesis - Esther
The history of God's people Israel
Poetical or Wisdom Books
Job - Eccleiastes
Books that reveal to us the heart of God's people as they walk in His wisdom
Major Prophets
Isaiah - Daniel
God foretelling to His people that which He would do
Minor Prophets
Hosea - Malachi
Not of lessor importance, just shorter in length
Gospel Accounts
Matthew - John
The life and work fo Jesus
Literally the actions of the Apostles who first followed Jesus
Letters of Paul
1 Corinthians - Philemon
God's revelation to the early church through the Apostle Paul
General Epistles
Hebrews - Revelation
God's wisdom given to His church

Any regular reading of the Bible is a step in the right direction. It should be read over and over, always asking God, by His Spirit, to give you a heart to understand and then apply God's truth. One suggested program of daily reading is:

  • 1 Chapter per day from Genesis - Job
  • 1 Psalm per day Some are short and you might actually read several, a few are long, especially Psalm 199 and you might break it into a day or two
  • 1 Proverb per day There are 31 chapter in Proverbs and some read the Proverbs of the day. For example, Proverbs 10 on the 10th day of the month. You can either skip or double up on the chapters in months with only 30 days or in February
  • 1 Chapter in the Prophets Major & Minor.
  • 1 Chapter from the Gospels
  • 1 Chapter from Acts - Revelation

Some have found it useful to have a separate Bible for reading in which they keep tabs of paper as markers so they know where they are in each section. They then use a study Bible for intense study. In both cases, it is not only OK but highly recommends to underline or use colored markers on texts that have specific meaning to you.

The above reading program is ambitious for sure but ANY regular reading of the Bible will be a blessing in your life.

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