Author's Note: I've added an audio post to go along with this blog. Let me know in the comments how you like it or didn't like it. I'm wanting to do this more ad your feedback will be useful. Thanks!
I am, with this series of posts, likely speaking to several different groups of people. First, are those mature Christians who have studied the Bible for many years. Maybe, like me, they received the Lord into their life at an early age and have been walking with Him ever since. This group, I hope, will keep me on my toes and make sure I stay accurate in what I say. (So log in and comment if you have a concern or question about what I’m saying.) :>) A second group consists of those people who are either new Christians or have been Christian for a while but haven’t yet had opportunity to learn the basics of Christian life. Finally, there may be individuals checking out these posts who would not identify themselves with Christ, but are investigating the Christian faith and want to know more about this ancient book on which Christians base their faith. Maybe they have been unsuccessful in finding a belief system that satisfies them or it could be that they have a family member who has been talking to them about Jesus. Whatever your reason for following this series of blog posts, remember this: when you read the word of God (the Bible), God will meet you where you are at and is willing and ready -- even eager -- to discuss the truth contained in His word. Even if you are not sure about God’s existence, He will be standing next to you, ready to answer your questions. If you want to meet Him, you just have to let Him know.
There are scads of ways to approach studying the Bible, all of them beneficial, but the simplest is this -- just read it! That’s it. Sometimes I think that is the best way to approach Bible study, simply because it gets to the heart of what the word of God really is. The Bible is the book where God tells us about Himself. As such, it’s more than just words printed on paper. The words you read in the Bible are full of His life, and the simple act of reading them will begin imparting that life into your soul. It’s not magic, it’s His Spirit at work. Not only that, but you will be handing God the Holy Spirit an opportunity to reveal special things to you that He wants to talk about. How great is that? What an opportunity! If Bible study is new to you, this is the technique I recommend. First, set aside a time each day for your Bible reading. (I do my Bible time first thing every morning because that’s what fits my schedule best.) Second, pick a book of the Bible you are interested in. Maybe you want to read through the Gospel of John to help you get to know Jesus. Perhaps the first book of the Bible, Genesis, is what you want to read. It is good to inform yourself about how the universe began and learn of God’s early interaction with mankind. The book of Genesis will fill you in on those topics. I love the book of Acts because in it I learn how the early church got started. For now, pick a starting point and just read. You can dig deeper later. I’ll discuss other methods you can apply to your Bible study later in this series. For now, just read.