If you follow me on social media (you should, by the way), you likely see me post on Facebook most mornings (not every day—no perfection here!) that I’m enjoying “C&B” or “Coffee + Bible.” I’ve had people ask me often how I do this—what I read, and where should they begin? I love this question, and I’ll start with the biggest secret: there’s no right answer. The important thing is just to begin building a habit.
If you’re new to reading the Bible, start in the New Testament.
There are a couple books in the New Testament that are especially fit for beginners. The book of John or even the book of Romans are good starting places. Brew yourself a cup of your beloved coffee, get somewhere comfortable, open it up, and start reading. I’ve heard it said, “Don’t read it to finish, read it to change.” Some days I’ll read a few verses, some days a few chapters! The key is, whichever book you start, read it all the way through, in order. I do not recommend casually opening the Bible, sticking your finger on the page and picking a paragraph to “focus your day.” Don’t get me wrong, I’ve done that, too. But the Bible is like other books in that you need to read it in context. And there is actual danger in taking its words lightly or misreading it by mish-mashing sections that do not actually relate to one another. Context is key. Just like you wouldn’t open a Nicolas Sparks novel or a Harry Potter book and turn to page 122, paragraph three and expect to understand what’s happening, you should read Scripture as it was written.
Begin with a simple prayer to clear your mind.
Before I start reading for the day, I pray a quick prayer, something like “OK God, help me to ignore the distractions around me and hear from You this morning. Show me something about Yourself or about myself and speak to me now.” Side note on distractions: my son is usually next to me watching a show or LEGO building video on YouTube. If you wait for a time when you’ll be completely alone to read for hours, interruption-free, it will likely never happen. Again, perfection not required here, ladies!
What is God saying to me through this passage?
When I’m reading, I’m looking to see if the passage tells me something about God, something about me or some combination of both. Then I’ll write a note in my journal or work in the Bible study book I might be using at the time. Right now I’m doing Lauren Chandler’s Steadfast Love Bible Study, and I’m enjoying it. It’s a little more in-depth than some I’ve enjoyed in the past, so if you’re new brand new to the Bible I’d recommend getting a study from The Daily Grace Co. on Instagram (@thedailygraceco) or Kelly Minter’s All Things New study!
The main point is this: just start reading.
Pray along the way, and don’t get so worried about doing it right. Study with a friend, and make it a habit at least a few days a week. You’ll come to love it, I’m sure of it.
Bonus: Want to read with your littles? I try to read a couple times a week with my son from his Jesus Storybook Bible. I usually can’t get through the page without tearing up. It’s so beautifully written, and he connects so well with the way she tells each Bible story relating it back to Jesus.
If you’re feeling inspired to start your morning with some C&B and you’d like your very own “Coffee + Bible” mug, designed by my friend, Kristi Hendriks of For the Field Apparel, order here! She created this mug as a fundraiser for me and my son after my husband passed away unexpectedly in October 2017. You can also start following me on social media today on Facebook or Instagram.
For more encouragement in growing your faith, check out:
Beginning Faith: Walking This Life with Grit, Grace and God
How to Read Your Bible: for Beginners
How to Pray: for Beginners
TobyMac’s Son’s Cause of Death Reminds Us That Faith Doesn’t Protect Us From Pain
How to Make Journaling Your Sacred Space
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