The Bible is Good News for life!
 
The bible is full of great truths about God and humanity and the relationship between the two. It is the place to discover the tremendous depth of God’s unconditional love, and the place that provides direction for everyday life.
 
Most Christians agree that reading through the bible is a rewarding experience, but it’s easy to make excuses  and not make the time to read scripture. However, today is different…today is the day that you move beyond the excuses and begin reading the bible every day!  Here’s how…
 
PRAY     PLAN     PARTNER
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PRAY
Simply start with prayer! Pray that God will help you prioritize and take action to read. Pray that Christ will be your example…Christ was willing to give his life for our salvation, we can surely give a little bit of out time. Pray that the Holy Spirit will give you the wisdom to understand and apply scripture to your daily life.
PLAN
Make a plan! Take a few minutes right now to make a plan.  What is the best time for you read (morning, noon, night)? What reading plan works best for you (see plan ideas below)? What will you read (physical bible, tablet, smart phone) and is it readily available?
PARTNER
Find a partner! Invite someone to join you in your commitment to reading the bible daily or at the very least someone who will check-in on you regularly to encourage you as you read each day. Having an accountability partner will significantly increase your chances of successfully reading each day.
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The Bible
 

The Bible, or commonly called “Scripture,” was written over a period of about 1,500 years, and it is made up of 66 books – 39 books in the Old Testament, and 27 books in the New Testament. The Bible was originally written in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek but has been translated into many other languages over time.

The Bible was written by more than 30 people and because the authors had different experiences with God, each story is different. We can see lots of different sides of God when we read the Bible, however, there is one clear message throughout the Bible: the relationship between God and His people (us) is a covenant. Covenant can mean “promise” or “bond.” Throughout Scripture, God pursues a complete and wonderful relationship with His children – those of the past and us today. He loves us, has a plan for our lives, and promises to always be with us. 
Selecting a Bible
When reading the Bible be sure to have a good translation (not a paraphrase) that is easy for you to understand. There is no “right” translation to use. Select a Bible that you will read and use to grow in knowledge, love and relationship with God. Before purchasing a bible visit an online bible provider (biblegateway.com) and read different versions of the bible until you find the right fit for you. At Living Life we primarily use the Common English Bible (CEB).
 

Children:

If you plan to read the Bible with children or young people, the CEB, the NIV, the NLT, or the CEV are very good choices.   The language in these translations tends to be more readable and modern. These translations also avoid some of the difficult phrases and words you often find in other translations, which also makes them excellent choices to use with anyone not familiar with the Bible. There is also a new NRSV study bible for kids called “Connect Bible” printed in 2012 by Spark House that is highly recommended.

For Teens:

There are a lot of options for teens; the final decision is simply a matter of preference. The important thing to remember when looking for a Bible for a teenager is that this is the first Bible he or she will likely read on a more regular basis. With this in mind, you will want the Bible to offer “help” through study notes, introductions, a detailed index and concordance, and maps. Most study Bibles include these things and other useful information. Next, you will want to consider a translation. Teens usually prefer a more modern translation (like the CEB, NIV, NLT, LAB or CEV).
 
Selecting a Plan
There are various plans to help you read the bible. Maybe you want to start with reading 5 minutes a day or maybe you want to read the whole bible this year or maybe you want to focus on a specific topic.  In any case, there are all types of plans and many great guides to help you along.  Here are two places to get started.
Bible.com may be the best resource for reading the bible. They offer over 1,000 bible translations, dozens of reading plans, an app and audio bibles. Be sure to download the app, and if you have kids, the kid app.
Bible Gateway is a resource that will allow you to search scripture, create reading plans, view dozens of bible translations and much more. To learn more about their specific reading plans click hereDownload the app.

Getting Started

  1. Set aside some time for Bible reading. Make it a part of your daily routine.
  2. Pray before reading. Ask God to open your heart and mind to His words in Scripture.
  3. Open the book and read the chapter or Bible story you have chosen out loud. Underline or highlight words/sentences and write down questions and insights that jump out at you.
  4. After you have read the passage, ask some or all of the following questions:
    1. What did I learn about God from this passage?
    2. What did I learn about humans from this passage?
    3. What does this passage tell me about my personal relationship with Christ?
    4. How does this passage call me to grow in my faith?
    5. How does this passage comfort, help, or heal me?
    6. Is there a command to follow?
    7. Why did the author feel this was necessary to write about?
    8. How does this scripture help me live life in my day-to-day routines.
 
If you don’t feel like you’ve learned anything, don’t get discouraged. Be honest with God and pray to Him. Say something like, “God, I have no idea what you mean by this passage. I’m frustrated. Please open my mind and my heart to you and help me understand what it is that you’re saying here.” Then, close your Bible and try again tomorrow or move to another book of the Bible and spend some time reading.
Bible Reading Ideas
  • Study a word such as; faith, love, hope, joy, sin, forgiveness or humility.
  • Study the characteristics of God, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit.
  • Compare the similarities of the Gospels.
  • Study the women of the Bible.
  • Learn the many names of God, Christ and Holy Spirit.
  • Find a reading plan online and follow it each day.
  • Study a theme such as; baptism, miracles or righteousness
  • Study Jesus’ parables.
  • Study the prophets and their general message or warning.
  • Study the Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23).
  • Memorize 3-5 verses that you want to guide and direct your life.
  • Study a specific book. What is the context, why was it written, how does it matter for today?
  • Study the life of Jesus.
  • Study the death and resurrection of Jesus.
  • When reading place yourself in the story. What do you hear, smell , see, feel?
  • Read one chapter of Proverbs each day for a month.
  • Study key characters, places or events.
  • Find an accountability partner and read through the Bible together.
Additional Online Resources
BibleGateway is an all inclusive resource that will allow you to search scripture, create reading plans, view dozens of bible translations and much more. 

Biblex.com

BibleX is on online Bible study that will help you set goals, structure your learning and even connect you to others online who are wanting to learn more about God and the Bible.

Bible.com

This is a free online bible that helps bring God’s word into your daily life. If you are wanting the bible on your phone or tablet then be sure to visit here and download the YouVersion Bible app.