Those are words that you have probably heard or been told at one point in your life, and with those words comes a lot of pressure. With those words comes the thought, "I haven't read my Bible in four months, so why should I start now? I'm not gonna be able to understand anyways." But guess what? You can let go of that pressure! From the moment you are reading this right now, start fresh. As best as you can, forget about your prior experience trying to read the Bible on your own (unless you are already successfully doing it of course). Are you ready to start reading the Bible for yourself like never before? Let's do it.
why should you read the bible?
A good place to start in reading and understanding the Bible for yourself is first answering the question "why"? Why read the Bible? The main reason for reading the Bible is because it is the main way that God has chosen to communicate with us. One of the most important things that you are going to have the opportunity to do in this life is know God. Despite which major you choose, internship you take, or where you move after college, there will always be different things that you continue to learn about God. Knowing the God that created you and died for you is made possible mostly by the Bible. Yes, you can get taught the Bible by a pastor, teacher, or small group leader, but I would consider those things second hand knowledge. It's kind of like the knowledge that I have about UGA football. I can tell you where every recruit is from, where we rank nationally in red zone efficiency, and even where Kirby takes his kids to the doctor (that's honestly a little weird). But I have learned all of that through other people, through journalists, and through ESPN. I can't claim that I learned any of that from actually being a part of UGA football. In the same way, a lot of times we live off of the second hand knowledge of other people when it comes to God. While that isn't bad, God has so much more to teach us about himself that we often don't get because we aren't willing to dig in ourselves.
As you pursue a firsthand knowledge of God, a cool transition also begins to happen. The more you know about God, the more you will begin to experience the things He is teaching you. The more you will be able to experience who He is. So why read the Bible? Because when we read about God, we know God better. And when we know God better, we experience more of His power in our lives.
some practical steps
So what about some practicals when it comes to reading the Bible? Like I said earlier, take the pressure off of yourself to understand the whole Bible in one sitting. Take it easy and slowly. Pick a book of the Bible (maybe the Gospels or Psalms) and really give yourself to reading it. Maybe grab a devotional book or save the Freshley Blog on your bookmarks so you can read it regularly. Maybe think of a question or topic that interests you and looking up some reading plans that deal with that. No matter what you choose to do, just try to take a step. God will honor that step that you take.
Lastly, don't forget to talk to God. Ask him to teach you and speak to you before you read. Like I said, the purpose of reading the Bible is to know God. The purpose is to have a relationship with Him. That's what it’s all about.
Reading the BIble isn't something you HAVE to do. It is something that you GET to do!