“I AM the Way, the Truth and the Life.
No one comes to the Father
except through Me”
Pastors Noreen & Henry Kevern
God’s Word is Love
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking,
and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly
equipped for every good work.”
2 Timothy 3:16,17
God’s Word to me is the source for all of my life. The Bible is our instruction book, to be used to teach us about Who God is and who we are and what we are suppose to do to build our relationship with our Creator. God is made real to us in the Holy Scriptures because our faith increases as we learn His Word and we become full of His wisdom by His Spirit. Reading the Bible is for some though, a daunting task. They begin reading it cover to cover, and are overwhelmed by all that they are reading. They read it as a task and not as a love letter from God. They fail to become one with God and thus miss out of building their relationship with God.
I would like to suggest to you, a method of learning the Scriptures. I approach the Scriptures with an attitude of hope and faith that is increased by the Holy Spirit, Who teaches me and inspires me in my life. The Word brings comfort and hope in times of trouble and trials, joy in times of happiness and keeps my life focused on my Creator. The Scriptures provides the guidelines in my life and are always fresh and new to me. They are not stale, meaningless words written thousands of years ago, but are to me the peace and wisdom, my daily bread the Spirit fills me and guides me in life. I suggest daily reading one Proverb, as there are 31 Proverbs one for each day of the month. On the first I read chapter 1 and continue each day. Then read about 5 chapters or 15 minutes of the book that you are studying. Example: You start on the 12th and you read chapter 12 in Proverbs, you turn to Mark and read chapters 1-5. Get a notebook, as you will be taking notes and have questions, so begin slowly until you build up your time. Most days for me by Bible time can take several hours, or if I have appointments, I usually spend an hour. I also like to read the Bible at night before going to bed or Henry and I spend time discussing some Scriptures and their meaning, and comparing what the Holy Spirit is saying to each of us, sort of a mini Bible study. Some of you will jump in with both feet, feeling the need to devour as much as you can. Read as the Lord leads you. There is no time structure for reading His Word. You may want to read in both the morning and the evening as well. Some may want to read the chapter of Proverbs in the morning and before going to bed, work on the other books. You will find that you will want to fill your life more and more with His Word even if at first it seems like a chore. Remember that this is His story and God wants to teach us in our time and circumstances and you will begin to see how His Word is still fresh and new, with His instructions for our lives. Some things will not be the same as for today, for example, we have refrigerators to keep food fresh but eventually food does spoil. We can each have a Bible but then, there were scrolls and only certain people had access to them.
It should take you about a year more or less, to complete this first study of the Bible. After you have completed the entire Bible, I would suggest daily readings as follows but feel free to choose your own daily schedule. Read a Proverb a day, followed by a Psalm, then a book from the Old Testament and then the New Testament. (You can follow a reading plan, invest in a Bible like the Bible in one year or many have a reading plan or find a reading plan online). You will have found that some books are very small and others are quite long. So you will either read an entire book or several chapters from each book. Here is where you can write in the margins or put sticky notes on the pages with the insights that will come to you while reading. You can go back to your notebook and look at your notes and even start a new one as well. Some people like to do an entirely new notebook and then compare notes from their first study. They find that their knowledge has grown and that they are able to make comparisons to other books in the Bible where they correlate in both Testaments.
In approaching the Scriptures, I would like to suggest that the first thing you should do would be to place yourself in the Spirit. Ask the Holy Spirit to become for you, wisdom and truth, and to open your eyes, heart and soul to approach God’s Word openly, full of faith and to let God move your mind to His understanding. Let the Word be for you, the building blocks for your life. As a believer in Jesus Christ (or someone wanting to learn about Jesus), I would suggest that you start with the Gospels (beginning with Mark then Matthew and Luke, then on to John) to learn the life of Christ. First read the Gospels and then go back over them, keeping a notebook or journal. (You should do this for the whole study of the Bible. I write in my Bible and use sticky notes, and note cards in my Bible as well). Review the parables, learning their meaning. Next, study the teachings in the Gospels, finding out what is required of you as a believer. By starting your path here, you come to know the Good News, what your Savior taught and learn God’s righteousness. “I am not ashamed of the Gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the Gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: The righteous will live by faith.” (Romans 1:16,17)
It is by faith that we receive God’s grace. We walk in the way of the Lord and we are learning to make ourselves pure and righteous before our God. “How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to Your Word.” (Psalm 119:9) The Scriptures are the way of the Lord. By reading and studying, we invite the Lord to fill us so that we might become righteous. We are to let the Word become who and what we are. That means that we do not only listen, study and learn, but we are to be the Word in our lives. “Do not merely listen to the Word and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” (James 1:22) God’s instructions are our guidelines to living a godly life.
After you have finished with the Gospels, I suggest that you read Isaiah. Isaiah prophesies about Jesus and it’s a good book to read after the Gospels, as you will begin to see how you will be able to correlate the Old Testament with the New Testament. Many people do not understand how both connect and this is one way to start connecting the dots as it were. Then I suggest that you go to the beginnings: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. Here you will discover the beginnings of the Jewish nation and come to know those who first accepted God into their lives. Adam, Eve, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Lot, Isaac, Jacob, Esau, Joseph, all their stories and many others will enrich your faith. And those are just some of the people in Genesis. Exodus introduces you to Moses, the giving of the Law, the 10 Commandments. Leviticus gives explanation of the laws and regulations, of rewards and punishments. Numbers is about the number of people in each clan, the number of offerings, about when the Israelites leave Sinai and their rebellion along the way and much more. Deuteronomy is more of the laws and commandments, ending with the death of Moses.
As you can tell, there are a lot of things to learn especially concerning the laws. Jesus did not come to abolish the law but to fulfill it and to teach us to practice and teach these commands, that our righteousness must pass that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law in order to enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:17-20) So in reading the aforementioned books, it is necessary to believe that Jesus makes learning and putting into practice these commands part of our lives.
From here I would go to Acts and read the beginnings of the church and how people became believers in Jesus Christ. That way you have both beginnings in mind, the beginnings of the Jewish nation, and the fulfillment of God’s promise of Jesus and the way we came to form the church, the beginnings coming to faith in our Savior.
Next, the letters of Paul, James, Peter, John, and Jude, these are the instructions for believers. They are a lot to absorb and are sometimes confusing, but very important. Then head back to the Old Testament (or Jewish Scriptures) to learn about Jewish history, where they settled the land (Joshua, Judges, Ruth), the political kingdom (Samuel, 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles), how they worshipped and the wisdom among God’s people (Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs), the prophets with their warnings (Isaiah [I realize that you have already read Isaiah, but as you read it this time, you will have more insight and understanding], Jeremiah, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah), the kingdom falling to surrounding nations (Ester, Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel [Ezekiel and Daniel also include prophecy), and their return to the land (Ezra, Nehemiah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi these include prophecy as well). And I would finish up with Revelations that foretells the end of the world and Jesus’ return (You will discover that the prophets had also been foretelling of what was coming in the end and the new beginning. You might want to go back and read them again).
This is not going to be accomplished quickly. This is learning your way in life, the Word of God. So relax, and let the Lord lead you in His Word. Don’t let it become a task but go into this learning process with hope and faith, letting the Lord’s Word fill your whole being. “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home, and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.” (Deuteronomy 6:4-9)
The beauty of the Word is that it never grows old. The Scriptures have meaning for all of your life. They are not to be learned and studied once, but are to be part of your daily life, for only by continuing to come daily to the Word, will it be upon your hearts. “But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on His law he meditates day and night. (Psalm 1:2,3) Let your life become one with the Lord, building your relationship through His Word.
There are many Bible studies online. Your church may have some, or you can start one yourself. You can contact me if you would like me to send you some, or help you with one. You can do them alone or with others. Just make the Scriptures the core of your life so that you learn the way of the Lord. We are here to learn to love God and to live a life of faith by the grace of God. May the Lord’s Holy Spirit fill you with His knowledge and wisdom as you begin this journey in the way of the Lord and may you be filled with joy as you discover the riches that are the Bible, His story.