Some books or sections of the Bible are fairly easy to understand, but others are more complicated. When reading, remember that the books of the Bible were written thousands of years ago, and have been translated from different languages and made into many versions through the years. So, the fact that it is unfamiliar should not come as a surprise. Getting good at anything takes time and effort.
Learning the Word of God is worth time and effort. Many people put countless hours into sports, movies, music, videos and other hobbies. God did not give believers a movie, or a painting, or a symphony. God gave Christians a reasonably thick book, filled with all the information necessary to live a productive and satisfying life.
Six times in the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus asked different people, "Have you not read?" He was challenging them to go to the Word of God for answers. Many years before Jesus walked the earth, prophets of God spoke and wrote to God's people, encouraging and challenging them to return to the Word and learn the ways and will of God. To forget or, worse, to ignore God's Word, has proven to lead to times of testing.
"My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge." (Hosea 4:6)
"For My people have done two sinful things: They have turned away from Me, the well of living waters. And they have cut out of the rock wells for water for themselves. They are broken wells that cannot hold water." (Jer. 2:13 NLV)
Jeremiah's words mean that Christians have not only turned away from the source of life, but have formed their own religions without power and without success.
"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work." (2 Tim. 3:16-17)
Only the Bible reveals the will of God and His plan for Christians. God's Word has everything needed for the powerful and abundant life that Jesus spoke about.
"Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue." (2 Peter 1:2,3)
The Bible is so full of information, guidance and principles that it can be difficult to know where to start reading. The following are some simple suggestions:
- Read about Jesus and his ministry in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
- Read about the first Christians in the Acts of the Apostles.
- Read the letters of Romans through Thessalonians, which are specific instructions to Christians.
- Read Psalms, which are songs and prayers of praise to God and honest expressions to God about many things in life.
- Read Proverbs, which is a collection of wise sayings, giving advice and counsel for everyday life.
- And never forget to read the words and warnings of the prophets.