The Bible is God’s Word to mankind. The Bible gives us an overall picture of what God has done in the past and wants to say to us today. In the Bible we discover what God says so we can love and obey Him.
Jesus told his disciples that, “If you remain in me and my words remain in you…” their prayers would be answered, they would bear much fruit, and this would prove that they were truly his disciples. That is why your commitment to discipleship training begins with Bible Reading. Many Christians find it helpful to make a habit of reading systematically through the bible – the whole Bible – one book at a time, one chapter a day, every day! You too can begin this easy and refreshing habit of daily Bible reading. And we will show you how.
Sadly, many Christians rely solely on printed devotional books written by men rather than reading the actual Bible for themselves. Other Christians limit their Bible reading to a few favourite books and verses. But God through the apostle Paul urges us to read the whole Bible because it is useful for us.
“The whole Bible was given by inspiration from God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realise what is wrong in our lives; it straightens us out and helps us do what is right” (2 Timothy 3:16-17, Living Bible).
If you can read the newspaper, you can read the Bible. If you can read a textbook, you have all the skills you need to read the Bible. All you need is a simple plan and fifteen minutes each day devoted to listening to God speak to you through His Word. Don’t worry about how long the Bible is. Think of the Bible as a library, consisting of 66 individual books. Just pick one from the “shelf” and read it from beginning to end. Return that book and select another. By following this easy plan, you will have read all the 66 books in 2-3 years. You will be one of the few disciples of Christ to have read the whole Bible! Make this your goal, follow these simple steps, and you too will experience the joy of discovering what God says and obeying it.
- Select the Bible or New Testament that you will read from every day. It should be a modern translation and a Bible you feel free to make marks in.
- Select one book to begin your systematic Bible reading. We suggest that you begin in the New Testament with the Gospel of Mark.
- Each day pray before reading, asking God to open your eyes and ears to hear Him.
- Read through the first chapter once for a general overview. Do not go on to chapter 2 yet. Re-read chapter 1 a second time, pausing to think about and Mark few keywords or ideas that particularly impress you.
- Use a pen to make your marks: Circle a keyword, underline an interesting phrase or use a vertical line in the margin for longer highlights.
- End your reading by asking God to focus your attention on one and only one thing that you marked today. Ask Him how He wants you to apply the key thought that you marked to your own life. Thank Him for speaking to you.
- The next day, use the same plan to read chapter 2 of the book of the Bible you chose. Continue to read and mark one chapter each day until you complete this book. Don’t skip chapters; don’t skip from book to book. When you finish reading the book of the Bible you chose, begin to read another book, beginning with chapter 1.
- If you miss one day of Bible reading, simply do two chapters the next day.
- By using this simple plan for fifteen minutes a day you will read through the entire New Testament in only nine months. You will complete the whole bible in less than three years! To get started, do the following exercise by reading and marking these verses from Mark chapter 1