Since life is short, death is sure and eternity is endless, every rational person should be concerned about his standing with God. The only sure and reliable information we have about forgiveness and a blessed eternity is the book God gave us; the Bible. Wise folks will invest the necessary time and energy to read the Bible and understand its message. The following suggestions will be helpful.
· Start with Genesis to see how it all began. It is the book of beginnings.
· Read Exodus to see the emergence of the Hebrew nation, the birth of their religion and the giving of their law.
· Rather than getting bogged down in heavy reading at the first, move next to Joshua, Judges and Ruth and see how the Hebrews had to learn the hard way that to enjoy God’s blessings a people must be faithful to him in all things.
· I & II Samuel are thrilling historical accounts of the birth of the Hebrew monarchy. They tell the stories of king Saul, David and Solomon. They lay the foundation for the coming of David’s most famous heir, Jesus of Nazareth.
· Esther is a thrilling story that illustrates how God takes care of his people. You will love it.
· Job is a wonderful book that probes the question, why do the righteous suffer and why do the wicked sometimes prosper? Read the first three chapters and the last to get an overview of the story. Later you can return and read the rest.
· There are 150 Psalms. Rather than trying to read them all at once, read the following for a good sampling of the treasure contained therein. Ps. 1,2,8,14,15,19,22,23,32,33,51 and 119.
· You will enjoy all the Proverbs and greatly benefit by the wisdom they offer.
· Ecclesiastes tells of Solomon’s frustrating search for happiness without God and then how he finally got it right in his old age.
· The Prophets of Israel were God’s preachers who sometime predicted distant events by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Some of them are difficult for the novice to understand. For a sampler, read the first nine chapters of Isaiah and savor his vision of God and his prophecies of the coming Messiah. Read Daniel 1-6 and see how God showed himself superior to the heathen gods of the Babylonians and protected his people. By all means, read Jonah which taught the Hebrews that God loves all people of the earth, not just them.
LET’S READ THE NEW TESTAMENT
Reading God’s word will deepen your faith, enrich your life and broaden your understanding of the really important things of life. The Old Testament was originally given to the Hebrew people to teach them God’s will and to show how He had worked in their history rewarding or disciplining them as they deserved. The New Testament was written for all men of all nations while Christ rules as King of kings and Lord of Lords.
· The first four books are called gospels. They tell the story of Christ’s life, death and resurrection. First, read Mark’s Gospel. It is briefer and move at a fast pace. Then read John’s account. Mark stresses the humanity of Christ while John emphasizes his divine nature. John was written that we might believe in Christ (John 20:20-31).
· Next read the Book of Acts. It tells the actions of some of the apostles, namely Peter and Paul. It records the ascension of Christ, the coming of the Holy Spirit and the establishment of the church. It shows us how people were saved in the teaching of the apostles.
· There are 21 epistles or letters written by chosen men, guided by the Holy Spirit. Some of them are to individuals but the majority are to churches. Romans teaches us how we are made acceptable to God by obedient faith in his Son. It refutes those who teach that man in any way earns his salvation. The Corinthians letters deal with the kind of problems congregations faced in those early days and give an insightful glimpse into the life of the church in Corinth, warts and all. Galatians was written to respond to Jewish Christians who were seeking to bind the customs of the Law of Moses on Gentile converts. Ephesians stresses the glory and value of Christ’s church. Philippians exhibits the responsibilities and rewards of Christian fellowship. Colossians was a response to those who tried to meld the message of Christ with Greek philosophy. The letters to the church in Thessalonica give us correct information about the second coming of Christ. The epistles of Timothy and Titus were written to young preachers setting forth their duties. Philemon is a letter to the master of a runaway slave whom Paul had converted, pleading for leniency and forgiveness on the master’s part. Hebrews was written to Jewish Christians as their nation faced a looming, devastating war with the Romans. It shows the superiority of Christ and his system over that of the Mosaic economy. James was written to Hebrew Christians to help them understand the meaning of saving faith. Peter’s two epistles were written to encourage faithfulness in the midst of tribulation. John’s three short epistles stress the importance of staying true to the gospel and of rejecting false teachers. Jude’s epistle is a rallying call for Christians to stand up and defend their faith against those who would corrupt it.
· Revelation is a marvelous book of prophecy designed to show the suffering saints at the end of the first century that Christ and his church would survive and prevail over the idolatrous empire whose emperor had launch a war of extermination against them.
I challenge you to develop a habit of daily reading a portion of God’s Word. It will deepen your faith, enrich your life and broaden your understanding of the most important things of life.
Return To the Beginners PageHome / Bible studies / Bible Survey / Special Studies / General Articles / Non-Bible Articles / Sermons / Sermon Outlines / Links / Questions and Answers / What Saith The Scriptures /Daily Devotional / Correspondence Courses / What is the Church of Christ / Book: Christian Growth / Website Policy / E-mail / About Me /