TWO REASONS TO START READING THE BIBLE
(1) Your kids will mimic you.
When your kids see you reading the Bible on say, a Tuesday, it becomes a normal activity for them. The Bible will start to live for them, it will be alive and active for your entire family. It won't just be a Sunday (or every other Sunday, or once a month) point of reference. Do it. Let them see you do it. You will be giving yourself, and them, such a gift.
(2) You're gonna learn so much.
There is a point, when you read the Bible regularly, of overwhelming awe: "This is jam-packed! I should have started years ago! I'm never going to learn it all." Lessons - life lessons, parenting lessons - bounce off each page. That is God talking to you, and no, you're never going to learn it all. That's okay. But don't you want to get started? Don't you want to become familiar with at least parts of it? Don't you want to build your foundation, so when the tough parenting questions come ("How do I handle this?") you will know where to turn?
Two Ways to Start(1) Open your Bible
A study guide or devotional book is great, but not necessary. Simply pick a book, and start. You don't have to read it in chronological order. You don't have to be a theologian. You don't have to have a plan. You can say a prayer and trust God to lead you. Right now, I'm reading Proverbs - one chapter a day, though I'm not covering seven chapters in a week. It takes time. Read at your own pace.
(2) Use Technology
If you don't have a Bible, or if sitting down to read isn't your thing, there are many other options. If you're reading this, you've got access to a computer. Here are a few FREE resources for reading the Bible online, on your phone or tablet, or listening to it (as you work out, fold clothes, commute) - come on! You can do it.
- Bible Gateway - This website has it all: keyword searches, every version imaginable, devotional plans, audio Bibles, and iPhone and iPad versions. I use it often.
- Bible Study Tools - All of the above, plus commentaries and videos. Sharp looking site.
- Faith Comes By Hearing - This site offers daily podcasts, with characters using different voices, music and sound effects. There is a kid's version as well, which we are going to check out.
- YouVersion - This app is on my phone. You can share a verse of the day, search the Bible by keyword, sign up for a reading plan (with a reminder!), bookmark your spot, and listen to an audio version. It works for any phone, or you can use it online.
Are you motivated yet?
How do you do it, and what tools do you suggest?
*This post first appeared in 2012, but I figured the picture and the message are needed this time of year. I, for one, need a little sunshine and a kick in the pants. As an update to the original post, I eventually finished Proverbs. I am now working on John. There were some others in between, but not Isaiah. I tried Isaiah, I really did, but man, it is intense. So don't let one tough book through you totally off track. Also, I still haven't used Bible Study Tools or Faith Comes by Hearing, but Bible Gateway and YouVersion are a regular part of my life.
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