How To Read The Bible: 3 Tips For New Christians

It has been an exciting year because many fraternity and sorority students have decided to start following Jesus here in Greater Los Angeles. Here is a fun story of a few.

Because of this, I have had more conversations this year than any year I can remember about how to read the Bible, and pray, and hear from God. It feels so complicated when you are first starting out.

And, of course this makes perfect sense! How would someone know how to pick up this crazy book and know how to comprehend it!?

Here are a few simple tips for daily Bible reading:

Start With A Gospel

Start with a Gospel (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John). Gospel means “good news” and these four books tell the Good news of Jesus. As a new person to the Bible, your goal is to get to know Jesus and what he is like. Most people only know Jesus from what they have heard or seen. But you can now figure out who he is by reading yourself! I recommend starting with the Gospel of John. It is the fourth book in the new testament and it is written to convince the reader that Jesus is God. But, you could pick any gospel.

Ask Three Questions

  1. What am I learning about Jesus?
  2. What am I learning about God’s view of people?
  3. What is this scripture urging me to do?

I would read the Bible with a journal and keep a running list of what you are learning about Jesus and God’s view of people. You can also keep a running tab on what you are sensing the scripture is urging you to do. As you start seeing who Jesus is, how he views people, and acting on those ideas…you will be following Him! You will look back and realize just how far you have come.

Be a Doer

Many people ask me, “how do you learn to hear God’s voice.” Here is a great article on that. But simply put, if you are reading your Bible regularly and asking the questions above, you can be confident that it is God speaking to you through the Word compelling you to take action.

As you put the words into practice, you will soften your heart towards Jesus and be able to hear him more clearly going forward and have an easier time following him. Many people can’t hear the voice of God because he has spoken to them already and they haven’t done what he has asked. Just like any person in your life, if you are ignoring their requests, their voice starts to drown out. Be a doer of God’s word! Put into practice what you are learning.

If you see something in scripture that is really challenging you to change or act in a very different way and it seems too hard for you, ask a mentor or friend and talk about it. But don’t just ignore it.

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