Growing up in church, ingrained in me was pretty much the, read your Bible and go to heaven or don’t read the Bible every day and go to hell.
While this was never explicitly stated, the jostlings of this unspoken law were danced around.
Well, I did read the Bible, even marked it up with highlighters, pens, and made attempts to journal and other things as well.
But, even though I pursued reading, I missed the point of reading until after I hit rock bottom later in life from depression.
What I hope you will take away from this post is not only where to start reading the Bible but,
- How reading the Bible will help in discovering your purpose
- How to choose the best place for you to start reading today
- How to never run out of knowing what to read next.
It sounds heavy and weighty, but I also hope to show you that it is not burdensome, tedious, or a hefty and stifling pursuit.
Reading, studying, and meditating on the Bible will quickly become fun and meaningful.
Let’s get started,
3-Places to Begin Reading and How to Choose
While John is a fantastic book and many wise shepherds of men say that John is the best book of the Bible to begin reading first, I found it more useful for my life to “best guess” the first places to start in one of these three ways.
- A New Testament Psychological Writing
- Determining your Psalm of the Year
- Learning How to Hear God Direct What to Read Next
Here’s how to accomplish uncovering these three places to start reading the Bible.
A New Testament Philosophical Writing
In the words of Sir William Ramsey, “In Paul, for the first time since Aristotle, Greek philosophy finally made a leap forward.”
Two of the first fruits to cultivate in your life are peace and hope.
The peace that you are well off, taken care of, loved, and accepted.
Hope that your current situation will soon pass into a new and brighter future.
This is psychology.
“Paul’s teachings about salvation are unavoidably psychological… his most brilliant and profound passages, such as Romans 6-8, Colossians 2-3, and Galatians 2, 3, and 5” from a spiritual discipline book that I call the hope book, Spirit of the Disciplines.
Romans, Colossians, and Galatians are philosophical and theological (mind) and practical philosophy and practical theology (actions).
But, when it comes to actions, there is an advantage that those churches the letters Romans, Galatians, Corinthians, and had over us in our time.
Because Paul planted the churches and lived with each of these members for sometimes years, statements like, “Follow my example as I follow the example of Christ” 1 Cor 11:1, were added with him as a model.
A luxury you and I do not get to have.
Seeing how Paul fasted and how often, how he rejuvenated himself from crowds in times of solitude, how he earned, possessed, and used his money, and more.
Only one of Paul’s writings is most like our current situation: why?
Colossians is the only writing of Paul’s to a place that he never visited, precisely like our time today.
I picture it kind of like this if a dad was distanced from his children and was a few days away from dying, what few words would he write to his children on how to take care of the family and thrive after he is gone, what would be those critical messages the father would convey?
What he would write would be the essential and necessary make or break essentials to impart, nothing more, nothing less.
Crave hope and peace that your life will soon be abundant?
That is the short and sweet but profound language expressed in the four chapters of Colossians.
Reading the Psalms
“A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life” elevated the importance of reading the Psalms for me.
In this almost 300-year-old book, William Law flushes out a practice called Chanting the Psalms and explains why.
Just like memorizing a song by singing the song, when you do similar things like these with scripture, they become embedded in your thoughts and can be recalled to your mind at later times.
Around the same time, I learned of an old rabbinic practice, determining your Psalm of the year, and have since been reading a single Psalm a few times each week for a year at a time.
How to Determine Your Psalm of the Year
Your Psalm of the year is determined by taking your age plus one year and reading that Psalm number for one year.
So, if you are 33, your Psalm of the year would then be Psalms 34.
A silly thing this caused me to research, since there are 150 Psalms and remembering somewhere in the Bible there was a reference to God putting a “limit” to the number of days a man would spend on earth, I thought it would be awesome if that reference were 149 years.
Well, that did not end up being the case, but it was a fun thought while it lasted, which is the way to never run out of ideas when wanting to know where to read next.
Experiment and Adapt With Focus
The goal is to uncover what Jesus says to John in Revelation 2:17 for your life,
“To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone, a new name written, which no one knows except him who receives it.”
God formed your DNA on purpose, your personality, and your soul.
It has written on it a new name that only God knows now, and will reveal to you when you are able to receive it.
“to him who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance.”
Like Thor, being unable to possess and use the crazy powerful hammer, in clear sight to your Father and many in your life, is untapped potential and power in you.
Hidden Manna is experiencing and living a Sabbath life.
God completely sustains your life; your cup is full and overflowing because you love your “secret name,” and you love your neighbor in the unique vocation God has placed inside of you.
To get there, you have to be able to hear God in His whispers to you.
He is, has, and will continue to speak them; your focus is twofold.
- Uncovering your new name, who are you?
- Fight harder, more energetic, wiser each week to crush noise and distractions so you can hear God’s “still small voice” 1 Kings 19:12
Glimpses of Passion
It is possible in seeing the verses above, 1 Kings 19:12 and Revelation 2:17, that you feel intrigued to read those passages and decide for yourself my interpretations are correct, or will be your conclusions as well.
Engage in these hints of passion; this is precisely the dance that God wants you to have with you.
From a lesson, keynote, study with friends, or sermon, one, three, or five passages might stick out to you, and you feel inspired to go deeper.
A passage you have read or heard in the past might pop into your mind, and you wonder, is this what I think it is saying?
Take action, read it the next a.m. or the next scheduled solitude session and if it speaks to you go deeper in it, meditating on it, writing about it, comparing it with other sections of scripture you feel are connected and as you make this a habit,
Revealed over time are more layers of your unique name, your purpose.
Will you write a book or seven books before you move onto eternity?
Will you help stir an uprising in “Christianity” like Paul, Luther, Wesley, or any other system revolters of their time?
Will you equip leaders of your kids, friends, or study partners to be world elevators?
You have received, one, three, five, seven, eleven talents inside of you.
Those currently around you, those you will impact in the future, and God; are yearning to see if you bury them, or double them.
I bet that you will double them since you had the inclination to learn how to start reading the Bible and took action on researching it.
The only way to fail in anything is to continue to research and acquire knowledge that never turns into experiments of action that then turn into experience and wisdom.
By your side in launching action experiments and sticking to them, let me know if I can help in any way in the comments.