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Read The Book

If you're not already, start reading your Bible today. When I first started in my early thirties, I was totally clueless. Clueless. I started with the Gospel of Mark and was hooked, reading voraciously with an appetite I didn’t understand. Eventually, I landed in a church that offered deep study. Just ask, and God will surely lead you. I’ll share more tips later.

Since then, I’ve gone through major dry spells. Sometimes, I read as a rote act, uninspired. The Word still works, you’re still ingesting truth, and it honors God even when we’re not “feeling it.”

Eventually, I stopped reading for a while, relying on the fragments of Scripture I heard in church or read in my devotionals or Christian books. When we do that, we're only getting a sampling of truth, sometimes taken out of context, and we may miss God’s message for us altogether. This can be dangerous to our spiritual condition.

God is very interested in each one of us personally. He wants to speak to us individually and reveal what He wants us personally to know. We have built-in forgetters!

While church and daily readings are great, there's little more powerful and transformative than reading the Bible itself for yourself. It’s okay to question, to struggle, to wonder. Bring all that to God. If you’re like me, some questions will get answered to your full satisfaction. Some will become meaningless. Still others will remain and God will give you the grace to live with the mystery and tension.

Paul nails it in this letter to Timothy. If that's not clear enough, I love how The (mighty blunt) Message translation puts it in Hebrews 4:12-13:

"God means what he says. What he says goes. His powerful Word is sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel, cutting through everything, whether doubt or defense, laying us open to listen and obey. Nothing and no one can resist God’s Word. We can’t get away from it—no matter what."

Let’s set aside whether you believe every word of the Bible is true. Let the Holy Spirit reveal the truth to you.

Here are some benefits of reading the Bible...

Wisdom & Guidance

• The Bible is brimming with ageless wisdom and genuine insight about who we are and the world we live in. It's literally a handbook for doing life, and there’s an answer to almost anything. Oh, boy! How I wish I’d been more faithful in believing it from the get-go!


• More specifically, during these chaotic times, we can see what’s happening in the world from God’s eternal perspective. Helpful and comforting.


• Jesus said God's Word is food, actual spiritual sustenance. You will experience that.


• We get to know God and Jesus, to draw closer, just like getting to know anyone means spending time with them. You will be dazzled by how He’ll speak to you personally.


• Reading the Bible affirms and multiplies faith. I remember reading Mark that first time. I suddenly knew in my bones that Jesus was who He said He was, and that He was real.

• Often, God orchestrates an unmistakable God-incidence, like reading an answer to prayer or, as happened to me recently, readings from three books that were totally aligned. Such miracles are profoundly uplifting, reminding us that God is real, present, and personal.


• It gives us living, breathing examples of people like us facing relatable human struggles. Simply reading what other faithful experienced and how they coped offers practical tools and great comfort.

Interest & History

• The Bible contains riveting and instructive stories covering the gamut: History, war, leadership, romance, mysticism, drama, family sagas…


• Yes, as these verses say, God’s word shows us the truth about who God is and who we are, underscoring our need for Jesus and how to avoid the sometimes-devastating consequences of being outside God’s will, aka sin. I suggest you not get hung up on dos and don’ts and more about what God is saying to you. Then RESPOND (yes, repent) accordingly to spare yourself and others heartache.


• Jesus promises peace and spiritual rest (among many other benefits) for all who come to Him. The Bible helps me view even my greatest struggles—or global chaos—from an eternal, spiritual perspective. It shows us the path to peace—here and hereafter.

A few Bible-reading tips:

• Pick a simple, reliable Bible translation, such as the NIV or ESV, or even a paraphrase, like The Message or the Passion translation.

• A study Bible will offer explanatory footnotes and other reference material which can be helpful. I just caution you to be mindful of author bias. Those are comments from fallible humans, however learned, which isn’t always an asset. Remember that the apostles were mostly working Joe’s, not scholars or priests. In fact, we are all priests (1 Peter 2:9, Revelation 5:9-10, ++)

• Start with the New Testament (Jesus onward) which is less intimidating and often practical. Or read the Old Testament book of Proverbs (for wisdom) or Psalms (for prayer). Better still, a little of both.

• At this moment, I suggest starting with the Gospel of Matthew, the first of the four Gospels. It provides a substantial overview of Jesus’s life and ministry and also speaks to the challenging times we’re navigating today. John is a favorite, too.

• Paul’s Letter to the Romans, my favorite book, is a deep dive into our sin and salvation.

• There are abundant good Bible teachers on YouTube, podcasts, websites, etc. Hunt or ask a trusted friend or pastor for suggestions. Use Google!

• Meditate, pray, and journal about passages that strike you. God wants to be close to you!


Father: Stir and open our hearts and minds to read the Word you’ve given us to help us know You, ourselves, the world, and how to live, especially now. Please forgive us for not fully appreciating and honoring this treasure, and the freedom we have to experience all it offers. In Christ’s name, Amen. Thank you. I love you. 💖

Thanks bunches! Love, Isabella

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