The Word of God is like a puzzle, but not just any puzzle. The Word of God is more like a three-dimensional puzzle or even a multilayered puzzle. But, as in many experiences in life, it is best to start with the basics and build the simple puzzle before moving on to more complex ones. I will help you get started by providing you with free printable bible study lessons and worksheets complete with an explanation and instructions.
Bible Reading Plan
A simple reading of the Bible has inherent benefits and I encourage you to do so on a daily basis. Using a printable chronological reading plan can help to keep you on track and motivate you as, day to day, you see the progress you are making. As a minimum to your understanding of the Scriptures, it is recommended that you develop this habit. At first, you might not see the benefit, but over time it will become evident to yourself and to others that you are reading the Word of God.
Hurdles Along the Way
Once you start reading the Bible you will likely encounter some encouraging moments when you learn new things, make connections between different stories and start to sort out some details. You will also likely encounter some discouraging moments sprinkled with questions, doubts and concerns. Certain details may not make sense to you and you may even encounter some apparent “contradictions” that may shake your faith. Please don’t despair or get discouraged.
On a personal level (and after having many doubts and concerns of my own), when I come across something that “doesn’t make sense” or seems “contradictory” or I “can’t figure it out”, I now get encouraged. I have come to realize that somewhere in the there, in the middle of my confusion, there is a hidden gem that I can uncover. My hope and prayer is that over time, with your hard work and dedication, you will come to the same conclusion and get encouraged when you come across something you don’t understand.
Bible Study Plan
Once you discover your first “gem”, you will be encouraged to find another one. The Scriptures themselves encourage the reader to dig a little deeper, to study and to investigate. This requires time and effort. In this day and age with so many things to keep you busy, it can become a chore. But once you begin this journey of digging a little deeper and discovering the hidden jewels, studying will become more natural, uplifting and encouraging.
Study of the Bible can and should include different methods. Besides basic note taking and highlighting, effective methods of study also include charts for visualization and tables for summaries. Putting information into an organized framework sometimes helps us to see what is not visible in the actual text. If you are artistically inclined, drawing can also be an effective way of making the Scriptures come to life for you (and you can share it with others).
I will help you get started with printable Bible study worksheets and printable Bible study guides. Once you become familiar with them and gain experience, you will be able to develop your own methods of summarizing and displaying the truths outlined in Scripture.
Bible Study Tools
As you begin to develop your study habits, you will also become familiar with different tools like a Bible dictionary and a Bible concordance. You will be able to find some of these Bible study tools for free online and if you prefer holding a book in your hands you will also be able to purchase them. In a future post we will cover more about some of these Bible study tools.
As you begin, the most important thing is to have a Bible in hand that you can read and to make sure you read it. Remember to establish a good bible reading plan as your foundation before trying to build on it with tools that you may not be familiar with.
I will cover different Bible versions in a later post and for the time being, the best version for you to use is the one you are reading.
A Helping Hand
The purpose of studying is not to robotically dissect the information in order to assimilate it. The purpose of studying is to break down the information in order to understand what is going on and why. The Creator has left clues all along the way and in many forms so that we would get to know Him and understand the plan He has for humanity (and more specifically, for you).
What we would like to do is to help you get started and encourage you along your journey. The eunuch in Acts 8:31 recognized his need for help when Philip asked him if he understood what he was reading. “And he (the eunuch) said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.” I cannot head over to your place and physically sit with you, but I do offer to sit with you “online” and guide you as you begin to study the Scriptures. I cannot guarantee you an answer to all your questions but I will do my best to at least point you in the right direction.
Remember that the greatest help a believer receives is from the Spirit of God. The Lord Jesus Christ promised His own that the Spirit would “guide you into all the truth” John 16:13. So when you read, or when you study, PRAY. Ask the Lord to guide you in your Bible reading and in your Bible study and ask Him to reveal Himself and His truth to you.
Proving the Scriptures
Do not be afraid to put the Scriptures to the test. As we read in Acts 17:11 of those who heard Paul preaching “they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.” Even though Paul was a great teacher / preacher, the Bereans didn’t necessarily take his word at face value, and they put what he said to the test. They compared what he was saying with what they read in the Scriptures. They wanted to make sure that they were following the truth and not just what a man was teaching. I want you to do the same thing; don’t believe me, trust the Scriptures.
A great way to test the Scriptures is with other Scriptures as not one Scripture stands alone nor does one Scripture contradict another Scripture. Another way to test the Scriptures is through your own living; you will begin to notice how accurate the Bible is in regard to your own daily life.
Action Point: Printable Bible Reading Plan
Don’t wait, start now. Print off the Chronological Bible Reading Plan we have prepared for you and start reading. There are three different Bible Reading Plans for you to choose from depending on how much time you can dedicate to reading.
It takes an average reader about 100 hours total to read through the entire Bible. You can choose the plan that best suits you; reading the Bible in One Year (about 15 – 20 minutes per day), reading the Bible in Six Months (about 35 – 40 minutes per day) or reading the Bible in Three Months (about 75 – 90 minutes per day).
Remember, you don’t want your reading to be a chore, so chose something manageable. In a future post we will look at different types of Bible Reading Plans. For now, let’s make sure that you are reading on a daily basis. If you miss a day, don’t get discouraged and don’t give up. Just pick up where you left off and keep going. Trying to “catch up” on the missed day (or days) will overwhelm you and discourage you.
- Download the One Year Bible Reading Plan
- average of 4 chapters per day
- reading time about 20 minutes per day
- can be completed in 10 months if no reading days are missed
- Download the Six Month Bible Reading Plan
- average of 8 chapters per day
- reading time about 40 minutes per day
- can be completed in 5 months if no reading days are missed
- Download the Three Month Bible Reading Plan
- average of 15 chapters per day
- reading time about 90 minutes per day
I will be praying for you on your Bible Reading journey. Don’t be afraid to send us an email to let us know how things are going.
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