We’re told we need to read the Bible daily. “It’s good for you,” someone says. Off to the store, or the internet, we go looking for reading plans and devotionals. They just don’t fill us up. Unsatisfied, we ask ourselves, “where do I start?”
With a pen in hand, I love to dig into my Bible like it’s the best tasting meal ever. Searching for applicable truths that are ready for action. Snacking on devotionals has its place, reading and studying the Bible is the meals I have been enjoying. If you ever wondered where to start, here’s my Bible Reading Plan in order.
- Gospel of John: Christ reveals himself as the Son of God. You can wade or dive deep in it’s theological richness.
- Gospel of Mark: Jesus never stops in this Gospel. The first Gospel recorded highlights Jesus as a servant. My favorite parable lives in the pages. The Parable of the Sower.
- Romans: Recommended to me by Pastor Jaime. It’s the closest I’ve seen to a systematic theology in the Bible. Highlights color the pages in my Bible. Romans 12:1-2 remains a favorite verse and reminder.
- Galatians: Known as the book of Christian freedom. Paul addresses a controversy in Galatia. The details are in Acts 15. I turn to it when I face burnout.
- The Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7)/James: Christian Living 101. Welcome to BASIC training.
- The Gospel of Luke/Acts: Written by the historian Luke. Acts picks up where Luke ends. Acts stands as a testament of what believers and the Church can and should do in the world.
These served as the foundation. Don’t end with this, the deeper I go reveals much more room to explore. I worried at one time that I would bleed the Bible dry of insights. No more, it gives, and gives, and gives. No wonder it’s called “God-breathed” in 1 Timothy 4:13.
Looking At The Big Picture
I encourage you to look at the big picture as well. The foundation covered about sixty years of history. Now it’s time to look at how it all came together over the course of thousands of years.
- Read the Bible Cover to Cover
It looks daunting. There are plans that let you read the Bible in a year. You can if you want. These are my recommendations:
- Get an easy to read translation like the New Living Translation (NLT) or the Message. The point isn’t study, it’s to get the overview of the Biblical narrative.
- Read it chronologically as the events happened in history. Here’s a link to Blue-Letter Bible’s reading plan. You’ll jump around as the story unfolds. I’m following this plan before bad.
I firmly believe in the importance of this. Biblical illiteracy is staggering among even believers.
The issue is that it’s a matter of ignorance, people just don’t know. They crumble when their beliefs are challenged. I’ll point you to some resources that will help at the end of the post.
- Read Hebrews: It takes the Old and New Testaments and beautifully ties them together. It even makes Leviticus make sense when you finish reading it.
This is what I’m doing now. I call it Learning under Jesus. It’s an in-depth study of the Gospels. I haven’t hit the halfway point yet and already on my second composition book.
- Do a Chronological Study of the Gospels: My study Bible, the Zondervan Life Application Study Bible, has a section called the Harmony of the Gospels. That’s my outline. You can use the Blue Letter Bible link if you don’t have one.
We’re called to be life-long followers of Christ. I decided to start where the disciples did, at Jesus’ baptism. From it I learned history and a progression of understanding. I jokingly refer to it as Seminary with Jesus.
Check out the Equipping the Saints page. For challenges to your faith, or your own doubts and questions, I recommend the following:
- God’s Crime Scene/Cold-Case Christianity: J. Warner Wallace was an atheist cold-case homicide detective that investigated Christianity. God’s Crime Scene builds a case for theism, a creator. The latter looks at the historicity of the Gospels.
- I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist: A step deeper, this book lays out the arguments for and against Christianity.
- Is God A Moral Monster: Those questions you have about how can you reconcile God in the Old Testament and New are addressed here.
- Tactics: How to talk about your faith without being pushy.
That’s it. For future reference, I’ll add these to the Frequently Asked Questions page. Where are you going to start?