How can I get started reading the Bible? I actually made a New Year’s resolution to read the Bible every day (like my grandmother did), but I got bogged down and finally gave up. Maybe you could give me some pointers.
— Mrs. J.H.
Dear Mrs. J.H.: I’m thankful for your grandmother’s example; even if she didn’t realize it, she was showing you what is really important in life: living by God’s Word. She knew the truth of the Psalmist’s words: “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path” (Psalm 119:105).
Let me suggest three things to help you get started with your reading of the Bible. First, use a modern translation you can understand; if you don’t already have one, your pastor or local Christian bookseller can give you suggestions. Be sure also it has type that’s easy to read. (My wife used to say that the devil liked nothing better than a Bible with print that was too small to read!)
Second, start with one of the Gospels in the New Testament (I often suggest John). The reason is because the whole Bible points to Jesus Christ — and the Gospels tell us about Him. Later you’ll want to turn to the Old Testament (perhaps Psalms or Proverbs at first), but start with the Bible’s center: Jesus Christ.
Finally, ask God to guide you as you read. Ask Him to help you understand what the passage is all about, and ask Him also to help you apply it to your life. Even if you only read a paragraph or two at a time, God can use it to tell you of His love, and teach you how to live. Let the Psalmist’s prayer become yours: “Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law” (Psalm 119:18).