When first coming to Christ we are usually taught the importance of spending time with Him each day in bible study and prayer. This is excellent advice because if we wish to grow as believers then we need to continually feed ourselves through the reading of God’s Word.
However, where do we start when first reading the Bible? Do we just start at the beginning in Genesis or should we start with one of the gospels instead?
How do we develop the habit of regularly reading the scriptures?
Also what about those of us who may have been Christians for several years, but if we are honest are struggling to spend time reading the Bible?
I personally would suggest that using Bible reading notes is a good place to start both for the new believer and the experienced one. There are a vast variety of different ones available both in paper and electronic format to aid us in the study of scripture.
The majority of Bible reading notes that I have used over the years follow a similar format:
- A passage from the Bible
- Comments from the author on the passage
- Closing prayer
Some also have further questions, challenges or thoughts for the reader to consider, in addition to the above.
I know not everyone would necessarily agree with my suggestion of using Bible reading notes but I believe there are a number of benefits from using them.
The Development of a daily habit
The vast majority of Bible reading notes have a reading for every day of the week. Therefore just as following a daily dietary or exercise training plan assists us to develop good daily habits in these areas, then using Bible notes can do the same for us spiritually.
Not needing to decide which passage to read each day
There have been times, when not using notes, that I was unsure which book of the Bible to read next. However, this is not an issue when using notes as the decision has already been made for you. All you need to do is read it!
Introduces us to parts of the Bible that we might not normally read
It can be very easy for us just to gravitate towards our favourite passages of scripture. However, Paul told Timothy “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. “
Someone once said to me that when eating food you cannot just eat cakes only! What this person meant was that a varied diet was important. One of the advantages of using notes is the author may spend some time in a part of the Bible that you would not normally read. This will help enrich and deepen our understanding of the whole Bible and how God has worked throughout time.
Introduces us to wide range of contributors
Many Bible reading notes have a range of different contributions who write for them. This provides an opportunity for us to read writings from people who we might not encounter under normal circumstances. It is a good balance to ensure that we do not only read our favourite authors and their particular theology. This may well challenge our thinking on occasions, but hopefully will also enrich us as we consider passages in perhaps a different light than previously.
Exposes us to good Bible teachers
God has given His church those who have the gift of teaching. Therefore using Bible reading notes, written by those with this gift, enables us to benefit from their ministry and grew in our knowledge of the scriptures.
As mentioned earlier, it is important to read the scriptures daily and feed ourselves spiritually. If you are struggling in this aspect please let me encourage you to consider using Bible reading notes. There are many different types available and you should be able to find something that is suitable for you. Just enter Bible reading notes into your favourite search engine and have a look at the results that appear. I have put a couple of links below to ones I have used myself: