I got this question yesterday and I thought it was valid for everybody:
I’ve been trying to read my Bible more, but when I do, I feel like what I’m reading doesn’t really apply and I want to get the most out of what I’m reading, but can never seem to do so. Do you have any suggestions on what passages or books I should dig into?
Here’s my thoughts on this topic:
First off, if you want a long-term relationship with your Bible, you’ve got to change your lens. It’s not ALWAYS going to apply to your life at that moment. It’s about understanding God, digging into who He is and trying to figure out why He does what He does. There is a reason for everything from the endless lists of geneology to John 3:16. Yes, some of it is more interesting than others, but in order to grow into a mature Christian, we’ve got to move past the need for only self-gratification from His Word and into a student of God.
Now, that being said, God’s Word is living and active and there will be plenty of times when it jumps off of the page, applies to your life, and sucks the air out of your chest from conviction or illumination. And a very real issue is helping newer Bible readers lean towards passages that are more geared to that experience. Below I have included a list of New Testament passages that are keys to understanding Christ. Many of these chapters are the ones that are “easier” to read and you’ll find it enjoyable. I would recommend interspersing some of the other chapters between Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, since they are all similar. I also suggest having a plan, following the plan, and not just randomly opening the Bible to see what God has to say. The Bible is a historical book and needs to be read within context. You can get great plans at www.youversion.com that comes right to your technical devices, too!
Basically, the key is to find some balance. Keep reading no matter what the emotions behind it. The Bible is like vitamins, not medicine. If you take it regularily, you’ll stay healthy…but you need all of your vitamins, not just the ones you like! I would eat pizza and dessert everyday of my life if I could, but the reality check is that I need a good vegetable now and then. You’ll also find that the more you eat your “vegetables”, the more you like them.
If you read a chapter in your Bible and feel as if that was a “waste of time”, just know that it wasn’t a waste and never will be. Compounded over time, the Bible becomes a solid foundation in your heart and life. So, relax, keep reading, and enjoy the moments that are especially breathtaking. There will be plenty!
Matthew 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 17, 26, 27, 28
Mark 1, 2, 3, 4, 10, 15, 16
Luke 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 22, 23, 24
John 1, 3, 4, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20, 21
Acts 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15
Romans 5, 6, 7, 8, 12
1 Corinthians 1, 2, 13
2 Corinthians 4, 5, 8, 9
Galatians 5, 6
Ephesians 4, 5, 6
Philippians 2, 4
Colossians 1, 4
1 Thess. 2, 4
2 Thess. 3
1 Timothy 1, 3
2 Timothy 3, 4
Hebrews 10, 11, 12, 13
James 1, 2, 3
1 Peter 1, 5
2 Peter 1
1 John 1, 2