The Bible is a big book. In a day and age where people like to get their information through soundbites and Tweets, it can be difficult to know where to start reading in the Bible. I will say this… there is no wrong way to read the Bible, but many wrong ways that lead away from not reading the Bible. If you don’t have a good plan, just read it... because THAT is the good plan.
I am sometimes asked, “Where should I start reading in the Bible?” I will often ask what they are dealing with, or how much they know about Jesus. Here are a few examples of those conversations when I am asked, “What part of the Bible should I read?”
Me: What are you interested in knowing about?
Person: Well, I’d like to know more about Jesus. I don’t really know much about Him at all.
Me: You should probably read the book of John. It was a letter about the life of Jesus written by one of Jesus’ best friends.
Me: What are you dealing with?
Person: I’m going through a difficult time, and need some encouragement.
Me: You can check out the book of Philippians. It was a letter written by the apostle Paul to Christians encouraging them to know Christ and experience the peace that comes through that deeper knowledge. Another place to find the love and truth of God is in the book of Psalms. In those chapters you will find people wrestling with the troubles of life and finding victory.
Me: What are you interested in learning about?
Person: I just need some direction for living a life where I make better choices.
Me: You should dedicate yourself to reading through the book of Proverbs. There are 31 chapters in that book. If you will commit to reading one chapter per day for the month, it will undoubtedly change your life. It is arguably the most practical book in the Bible, dealing with and giving wisdom into every single aspect of life. It deals with sex, government, money, relationships, crime, attitudes, business… everything. And they are short spurts. Sometimes a one-liner about dealing with difficult people will transform your day. Definitely the book of Proverbs. A proverb is a “wise saying.” The Holy Spirit is called the Spirit of Wisdom, and He permeates that book.
Some people probably don’t believe a book can be that rich in practical daily wisdom. So I thought I would give you an example. Today is the 25th of September. Here is Proverbs 25. I dare you to read it without finding something very powerful that you have to re-read and can apply to a situation in your life today.
1 These too are proverbs of Solomon, which the men of Hezekiah, king of Judah, copied.
2 It is the glory of God to conceal a matter and the glory of kings to investigate a matter.
3 As the heaven is high and the earth is deep, so the hearts of kings cannot be investigated.
4 Remove impurities from silver, and a vessel will be produced for a silversmith.
5 Remove the wicked from the king’s presence, and his throne will be established in righteousness.
6 Don’t brag about yourself before the king, and don’t stand in the place of the great;
7 for it is better for him to say to you, “Come up here!” than to demote you in plain view of a noble.
8 Don’t take a matter to court hastily. Otherwise, what will you do afterward if your opponent humiliates you?
9 Make your case with your opponent without revealing another’s secret;
10 otherwise, the one who hears will disgrace you, and you’ll never live it down.
11 A word spoken at the right time is like gold apples on a silver tray.[f]
12 A wise correction to a receptive ear is like a gold ring or an ornament of gold.
13 To those who send him, a trustworthy messenger is like the coolness of snow on a harvest day; he refreshes the life of his masters.
14 The man who boasts about a gift that does not exist is like clouds and wind without rain.
15 A ruler can be persuaded through patience, and a gentle tongue can break a bone.
16 If you find honey, eat only what you need; otherwise, you’ll get sick from it and vomit.
17 Seldom set foot in your neighbor’s house; otherwise, he’ll get sick of you and hate you.
18 A man giving false testimony against his neighbor is like a club, a sword, or a sharp arrow.
19 Trusting an unreliable person in a difficult time is like a rotten tooth or a faltering foot.
20 Singing songs to a troubled heart is like taking off clothing on a cold day or like pouring vinegar on soda.
21 If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat, and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink;
22 for you will heap burning coals on his head, and the Lord will reward you.
23 The north wind produces rain, and a backbiting tongue, angry looks.
24 Better to live on the corner of a roof than to share a house with a nagging wife.
25 Good news from a distant land is like cold water to a parched throat.
26 A righteous person who yields to the wicked is like a muddied spring or a polluted well.
27 It is not good to eat too much honey or to seek glory after glory.
28 A man who does not control his temper is like a city whose wall is broken down.”
See what I mean? Each chapter of Proverbs is like that. How long did it take you to read that? Like 2 minutes? Did you find something in there that you had to read again? Did one or more of the proverbs point to something you are dealing with right now? What was it? Feel free to leave it in a comment below or on Facebook.
Guess what… tomorrow is the 26th… and there is a Proverbs 26. Make reading the Proverbs a habit and watch the fruit of wisdom grow in your life.
[Bible quotes are from the Holman Christian Standard Bible, unless otherwise noted.]
Find more of David’s work at Heart Of Ministry.
My name is David, and I want to know God more, and help other people find Him.