One of the most transforming ways to grow with God is to read the Bible. We believe the Bible is fully inspired by God—it is His Word—and through His Word, God reveals His character, ways, and mission. God’s Word also invites us into greater freedom and hope, so I try my best to engage with the Bible daily because I need His Word to guide me through each day.
Here’s the reality though, reading the Bible can be an intimidating, especially if it’s your first go around or if it’s been a while.
The most challenging part is simply getting started, so here are four places you can begin reading the Bible if you’re looking for a jumpstart:
1. The Gospel of John – This is the best place to start for new Christians. John masterfully unpacks the true identity of Jesus. Although the other Gospel accounts (Matthew, Mark and Luke) do this, the book of John especially focuses on who Jesus is, not just what He did.
2. Romans – This is a good place to start if you want a clear understanding of the Gospel, which is the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ. Romans will build your confidence in your faith and give you powerful examples of what a Christian life should look like.
3. Psalms – The Psalms are full of encouragement! They offer hope, healing, and help us better understand the unfailing Presence of God. If you’re feeling stressed or anxious, the poetic style of Psalms is not only relatable but also very comforting and uplifting.
4. Proverbs – Proverbs is best known as the book of wisdom. It offers God-inspired guidance for our day-to-day living. It’s a great place to start if you’re looking for pithy, practical direction on how to live out this Christian life.
This list is in no special order; although, I would encourage new believers to start with John followed by Romans, while reading one Psalm or Proverb a day. For others, I’d encourage you to join all of River Valley in SOAP.
SOAP is a reading plan designed to help you engage daily with God’s Word: It’s an acronym that stands for Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer.
We pick the chapters of the Bible for you. Normally, there are two chapters per day, and we cover almost all of the Bible each year. You can access each day’s readings on our app.
What do you think God is saying to you as you read?
Personalize what you have read by asking how this all might apply to your life.
This can be as simple as asking God to help you apply His Word. Remember, prayer is a two-way conversation, so be sure to listen to what God has to say.