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31st July 2016
The Bible is one of the best ways that we can get to know God. Creation can reveal to us some truth about God, but it's only when we start to read His word that we can really get to know Him personally.
Reading the Bible regularly can sometimes feel quite hard. Here are some tips to help you get started:
Start with a Bible...
There are lots of ways to engage with the Bible now. We can read it, listen to it, even watch it. Find the way that best works for you.
If you like reading, get a good printed Bible. Choose a good translation like ESV, NIV or NLT. Our brains engage better with text on a page than with text on a screen (and a book can't distract you with notifications!) so it's always better to read from an actual printed Bible.
If you prefer to listen, rather than read, try an audio Bible. There are lots of audio Bibles available now. Have a search on YouTube for lots of audio Bible options. The Bible.is app is also great for audio Bibles as it lets you download chapters or whole books to listen to on the go.
If you're more of a visual person and like to watch things, The Lumo Project are producing films of the four gospels. These films use only the words of the gospels themselves, but are fully dramatised to bring the story to life in front of your eyes. They are a great way of engaging with the Bible in a different way from usual. So far the Gospel of John is available to buy and download or on Netflix. You can also get extracts on the YouVersion app. The other Gospels will be released later during the year. You'll have to either read or listen to the rest of the Bible for now though!
Find a time and place...
Most Bible reading doesn't happen because we never plan to do it. Find a regular time when you can stop and read the Bible. Choose a time when you're awake and ready to engage with God. Try and find a place where there aren't too many distractions too. If necessary, leave your phone and your tablet and your laptop in another room! The more you spend regular, repeated time reading the Bible, the easier you'll find it to do. Make it a habit and a regular part of your day.
Choose what to read...
The second reason that Bible reading doesn't happy is because we don't know what to read! Reading plans can be really useful; they tell you which chapters to read that day. Each plan has a target (e.g. to read the Bible in a year or to read the Gospels in 90 days). They are really helpful for giving structure to your reading. There are lots avaiable on BibleGateway.com or Ligonier.org. You can also find them on apps such as YouVersion's Bible app. You could also use one of the two reading plan options on the blog of one of our members, Adrian Pursglove.
Pray and read and pray and read...
Before you read, ask God to come and speak to you through what you are about to read. As you read, pray that the Holy Spirit would bring revelation so that the truths you are putting into your mind are understood in your heart and make a difference to how you think, feel and live. Use what you read to shape your prayers.
Posted by Andrew Bunt