I would love to say I get up early every single day, pour a cup of coffee, and spend two hours reading my Bible and praying. I would love to tell you about how I set my alarm, put my comfy socks on, and jump out of bed. I would love to say immediately I am fresh and ready to go.
My reality isn't as spiritual. I hit the 'snooze' button around three times. I roll (literally) out of bed, stumbling around to get my socks and robe. This morning I almost fell walking down the stairs to the kitchen. I really shouldn't expect to walk before coffee.
In the early morning minutes before my children awake, I usually sit on the couch and breathe in. Sometimes I get distracted by my phone. One particular morning I thought I had gotten up a little bit earlier than normal. Instead, I looked at the clock and realized I had exactly 18 minutes before my boys needed to get up for school. I sighed. Most mornings look a lot like this. By the time I do carve out time to read my Bible, I usually get stuck with the the first step: where to read?
It is so big and there is so much in there. Where in the Bible do I read? How can I decide where I should read where I will understand it and be able to gain something from God?
If you are a beginner Bible reader (don't worry, everyone has to start somewhere), I want to say this: way to go! I mean it. You are starting. Starting is literally the hardest part when it comes to beginning anything new. New habits, new routines, new goals are always the toughest at the beginning. If you have decided to make Bible a priority in your life it can be frustrating not knowing where to start.
If you have never read your Bible or it has been a long time, let me take a little mystery out of it. I want to give you three places you can start reading your Bible – today. Don't try to figure it all out as you read. Just read the words on the page. Take them at face value and if you don't know what a word means (which happens to me all of the time) look it up in a dictionary. Here are the three places you can start reading today:
The first place you can start is at the beginning! Just start with Genesis 1. Although the Bible is not written entirely in chronological order, this book of the Bible is literally the beginning of everything. I love Genesis because it is filled with narrative, or stories. This would be a great place to start because some of the stories will be familiar, but if you read them again you are bound to find some interesting nugget of truth you never had heard before.
For a long time I've loved the Book of Psalms. The word 'psalm' means songs. And that's what the book is all about: songs and prayers written to God. If you are struggling through life, I'm sure there is a psalm to address your problem. Just start with Psalm 1 and read a psalm a day. I did this for two years and it has changed my view of God tremendously. If you want to truly know the character of God, read the psalms!
The first four books of the New Testament are called the 'Gospels'. They all tell the same story: how Jesus came to the earth, lived, died, and rose again. In the Gospel of John we read a different take on Jesus' story. If you want to explore how Jesus was truly God, this is the perfect book to read. John tells amazing stories and records some of the sweetest words spoken by our Saviour. When you read the book of John you will discover amazing truths about Jesus Christ!
So where will YOU begin? I hope you will start reading, even if it's not with one of these books of the Bible.
Try to remember....
1. God's word is meant to be read.
2. God's word is meant to be understood.
3. Reading and understanding the Bible is a lifelong endeavour.
Don't compare your beginning to someone else' middle or end. Just start today!
Sarah Frazer is a writer and Bible study mentor at sarahefrazer.com where she shares tools for deep-rooted Bible study. Being a mom of five and a wife to busy husband doesn't allow much margin. Instead, she carves out time with God in the minutes and quiet moments throughout her day. Download her free Bible reading plan here.