For many years I used devotional books to guide my daily time with God. Each book had a daily reading that started with a story from the author’s life and finished with a single Bible verse. It was inspiring and easy to read.
One day, I realized my daily time with God didn’t involve any actual Bible reading. I wanted to make sure that I was allowing God’s Word to be the basis for my time with him each day. The question was, how (and where) to start?
I couldn’t just open up my Bible and start reading. Where would I start? How would I make sure that I understood what I was reading? Sure, I grew up in church and was familiar with the Bible – but I didn’t yet have the skills to read, understand and apply this book to my life!
Sure, I grew up in church and was familiar with the Bible – but I didn’t yet have the skills to read, understand and apply this book to my life!Amy Csoke
Thankfully, I discovered a Bible reading Guide from Scripture Union. It was unlike any other devotionals I had at the time. It was the exact tool I needed to start reading God’s Word daily and it continues to improve my time with God each day.
1. Read: A Clear Reading Plan
According to Answer the Public, one of the most googled questions for Bible reading is “where to start Bible reading.” Bible reading guides make it easy because every day they give you a passage to read.
The SU Bible reading guides work through the entire Bible systematically. You will spend approximately two weeks in a section of the Bible before moving to another. They also help you read through the whole Bible every few years. Over the last decade, I’ve probably read through the Bible twice with the guides.
Another benefit is you don’t pick and choose what to read based on what you want to hear. Recently we worked through part of the book of Job – I find Job tedious to study (beautiful, but tedious) – I wasn’t excited about this study, but I pressed on, and in the end, God spoke to me in a fresh way through Job.
Bible reading guides make it easy because every day they give you a passage to readAmy Csoke
2. Reflect: Understand the Bible
The Bible is a foreign, ancient book. If we aren’t careful, we can misinterpret it. A Bible guide helps readers understand the context of a passage, the significance, and how it connects with our lives today.
Take, for example, the story of the Good Samaritan (a parable Jesus tells in Luke 10). Many of us know that a man was on the side of the road, that the religious people walked right past him, and it was a Samaritan who stopped to help him. It’s a nice story – made better when you understand the enmity between Jews and Samaritans. Once you know that they were fierce enemies, it helps you better understand Jesus’ illustration of who we are to love.
The authors of the Bible reading guides are experienced pastors, academics, and theologians. They bring clarity to the passage by explaining the context, cultural dynamics, and how to apply the Bible to your life today.
The authors of the Bible guides are experienced pastors, academics, and theologians. They bring clarity to the passage by explaining the context, cultural dynamics, and how to apply the Bible to your life today.Amy Csoke
3. Respond: Apply the Bible to your life
Recently I was making hamburgers. I looked up the recipe and then got started mixing the meat and seasoning without paying attention to the recipe. A bit of salt, garlic powder, pepper, breadcrumbs, and a few shakes of Worcestershire Sauce later – the burgers were ready to be grilled. After the first bite, my husband asked how much salt I had used – and I wasn’t sure. Even though I had “read” the recipe, I hadn’t followed it at all – and the result was a bland burger.
James 1:22 warns us not to read the Bible and not do what it says. It’s like me not following the recipe – reading it was pointless since I did not follow it.
The Bible reading guides conclude with a Response section every day – this is often a question to reflect on in prayer. I usually pause to journal and take time to consider what God might be saying to me through his Word.
Reading the Bible should have an impact on our lives. SU Bible reading guides give you a nudge in the right direction with questions and prayer prompts.
Reading the Bible should have an impact on our life.Amy Csoke
4. Routine: Building a Habit
Life is busy, and often it is easy to skip reading God’s Word in exchange for extra time on chaotic mornings. With a Bible guide, you can spend 5 minutes (or 60) reading, reflecting and responding to the Bible. Knowing that it can be short and sweet if needed has helped me build a routine that starts with the Word each morning.
With a Bible reading guide subscription, you will never have a time when you don’t know what to read next. SU sends you each guide in time for the new quarter – or if you’re using our online Bible reading guide (theStory), then you will keep getting daily emails until you unsubscribe!
So there you go – 4 reasons why you should get your hands on a Bible reading guide! I can tell you from experience that it will make your Bible time more meaningful and will be the best tool (aside from your Bible) that you purchase. Extra perk – it’s cheaper than any books out there – even the ones on sale! TheStory is even free!
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