Bible Reading Simplified

     Since I began sharing “Scripture Sunday” posts back in January, I’ve received several direct messages, comments, and emails from readers asking questions mainly along the lines of “How did you get into reading the Bible?”, “Where in the Bible did you begin reading?”, and “What do you underline and/or take note of in your journal?”  Now, I’m no Bible expert nor am I trying to claim to be, but I would love nothing more than to share the little insight on Bible reading I have with y’all!  In today’s post I’m doing just that, explaining how I go about reading my Bible.  There’s certainly no “right” way to read the Bible, but these steps have really been working for me this year and I hope they do for you too!  Enjoy!

Set Aside a Time and Place to Read Your Bible

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     One thing I’ve learned over the past year or so is that you have time for whatever you make time for, including reading the Bible.  Set aside a time and place where you will routinely read your Bible each day or maybe even week.  You might like to get to school early on Wednesdays and fill your extra half hour in the parking lot reading a Bible you keep in your car.  Maybe you follow the Scripture readings in a daily devotional first thing when you wake up every morning.  Meeting up with a friend at Panera every Tuesday and Thursday night to read Scripture together might be more your forte.  Personally, I love crawling into bed with a candle lit and my lamp on around 8:30 p.m. to read the Bible.  My bed feels like a cozy, safe, relaxing place and I find it pretty easy to focus on Scripture there.  There’s no “right” time or place to read your Bible, it’s really just whatever works for you personally.

Choose a Nice Bible That’s Understandable For You

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     Reading the Bible will seem a lot easier if you’re reading a translation that makes sense to you.  I’ve noticed that among my Bible study group, most of us have English Standard Version and New International Version Bibles.  We rarely have a hard time understanding what we’re reading and that makes reading the Bible seem a lot more approachable.  I, being a lover of pretty pink and floral things, love my bible from E Squared, which I customized to my exact color, flower, and verse quotation preferences.  All E Squared Bibles are New International Version and I think they’re awesome Bibles to read from, plus the pretty cover will only encourage you to use it more!  Feel free to check out E Squared’s hand painted customizable Bibles here.

Decide Where to Start

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     There’s really no “right” place to start reading the Bible, and I’d be lying if I claimed there was one.  I began reading the Bible in the first chapter of Genesis when I was eleven, but eventually reached a slightly less enticing patch later in the Old Testament and ended up taking a break for a year or so.  I do think the beginning is a good place to begin, so you get the full image of God’s love for you before we sinned, but you must be aware that you will reach areas that are harder to read.  Back in February I joined a couple friends and one of my YoungLife leaders in a challenge to read through all the Gospels by the time we went to YoungLife camp.  I loved the Gospels and I think Matthew would also be a great place to start.

Underline/Highlight Special Verses

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     This one’s probably pretty self explanatory.  Underline or highlight any verses you find especially important, interesting, beautiful, comforting, reassuring, strange, etc.  It’s also smart to underline or make note of any verses you are confused by so you can ask a parent, friend, adult, or religious leader (I love texting my YoungLife leaders, they’re awesome resources) about them!

Journal About Your Reading and Things You Found Important

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     Bible journaling isn’t for everyone, but it sure has helped me!  I journal every time I read my Bible and during every Bible study.  I included a picture of what a typical page from my Campaigners Bible study looks like.  I always write what the notes are from and the date in cursive at the top of the page (ex: “7/31 Nightly Reading” or “8/3 Campaigners”) as well as the book, chapter, and verses I’m reading/studying in my faux calligraphy.  I then take notes on anything that stands out to me or is prominently discussed in Bible study, including important verses, a different perspective, modern translations, and good reminders.  Now, what kind of journal should you use and where should you find one?  The answers are any kind that works for you and anywhere!  The business previously mentioned that sells hand painted Bibles also sells hand painted customizable journals!  These are the perfect size and are so pretty.  The front of mine says “He makes me brave” surrounded in flowers in the bottom right corner and has my name, also surrounded in flowers, on the bottom of the back.  I haven’t started using my new E Squared journal yet because I’m determined to finish using the spiral journal I currently have from Marshalls, but I’m super excited to start journaling in it!  Check out E Squared’s hand painted journals here.

Thanks for reading!  I hope this post gives you some sort of guidance as you begin reading the Bible on your own.  Feel free to get in touch with me if you have any other questions.  Again, I’m not at all trying to claim to have any type of special knowledge on how you should read the Bible, but I’m always happy to help you take these steps that I wish I’d taken earlier.

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The Bible and journal from E Squared featured in this post were sent to me in exchange for a feature in my blog.  However, all opinions are honest and my own.  I don’t feature products I don’t truly love!

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