When I first had an inkling to read the Bible, I asked a friend how best to approach it. She said that first she prayed to God and asked to be directed to what she needed for the day. Then she would randomly open the Bible and begin to read. While this worked for her, it proved a miserable approach for me. I couldn’t make sense of anything!
What I’ve learned over the years is that it is difficult to make sense of the Bible without help. Therefore as we begin The Bible Challenge on September 30 (click here for more information), I highly recommend the following:
- Use a Bible with commentary and supplemental information. I recommend the Harper Collins Study Bible in the New Revised Standard Version. It is a great aid in helping make sense of what one is reading.
- Incorporate a devotional based on your daily Bible readings. I encourage you to use The Bible Challenge: Read the Bible in a Year. It provides a short devotional, as well as questions to consider and a short prayer for the day.
- Attend the special lectures we are hosting on different aspects of the Bible. And talk to others about what you’re reading and thinking.
- Finally, it’s not a race. If you need to go slower to engage the readings in a meaningful way, that’s ok. Instead of reading all the texts for the day, focus on one section of the Bible for the year. Some decide to read only the Old Testament readings for the year, while others would rather focus on the New Testament.
The bottom line: you don’t need to do this alone. Make use of the wonderful resources available so that this is a spiritually energizing experience!