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I want to believe more in God. I have started to attend church but still I don't understand a lot of the bible and would like to know best way to read it.
Thanks so much for your question about how best to read the Bible. I was really encouraged to hear that you want to believe more in God, and that you have started attending a church.
You say in your question that you don’t understand a lot of the Bible. It’s ok to say that, and I hope that doesn’t put you off reading more. There are many parts of the Bible that anyone can understand. But, there are also some parts that are much harder to understand. Even Peter, when he was writing in the New Testament, said
There are some things in [Paul’s letters] that are hard to understand. (2 Peter 3:16)
If you think about it, this is exactly what we might expect from God’s Word. If it was simple on every page, it would lack depth and people would say that it was too simplistic. But if it was so complex that you had to be an expert to read it, then God’s message of good news would not be available to everyone.
A man called Augustine, who was a leader in the church in the 4th century, said that the Bible is like an ocean. It is shallow enough for a child not to drown in it, but deep enough that an elephant can swim. As we start to read the Bible, we are like that child, and the Bible welcomes us in.
So, where’s a good place to start? If it was any other book, you’d probably start at the beginning, wouldn’t you? On page 1 of your Bible, you’ll find the book of Genesis. Genesis is great for finding out who we are and where we come from, but I’m going to suggest that there are better places to start reading the Bible than at the very beginning.
My recommendation is that you start by reading Mark, or John. They’re both in the New Testament, and they are both biographies of Jesus, written by his companions. Reading about Jesus is a good place to start because the fullest way God has revealed himself to us is in Jesus.
Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. (Hebrews 1:1-2)
I recommend the book of Mark because in the first half, everyone is asking about Jesus, “Who is this man?” Jesus even asks that question himself,
“Who do you say that I am?” (Mark 8:29)
And then in the second half, the question is what Jesus came to do. Why did he come to this world?
“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45)
The book of John is so helpful because John says that he wrote it with a specific purpose:
These are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. (John 20:31)
As you say you’ve started attending church, and I recommend you start reading through the book that your pastor preaches from on Sunday mornings. You could also ask your pastor to recommend some Bible notes that would give you a daily reading with some words of explanation and encouragement in your faith.
And of course, each time you pick up the Bible to read it, ask God to help you understand, to help you to believe, and to help you follow what it says.
In summary then, if you are looking for a good place to start reading the Bible, then Mark and John, both in the New Testament, are good books to start with because they introduce us to the person of Jesus Christ, who is God.
I do hope this general answer to your question goes some way to helping you grow in your understanding and faith as you look to find peace with God through Jesus Christ our Lord. If you want to know more about what Jesus has done for you please watch the video on the main part of our site: www.lookingforGod.com
In closing, I want to encourage you to get more involved with your local church. It would be good to speak to a Christian leader or another trusted church individual regarding your question. I know they would be delighted to further answer you as well as offer prayer and support as you continue your spiritual journey: http://www.lookingforgod.com/churchfinder
Please use our Interactive Answer Matrix and feel free to ask another question. Our helpful staff are praying for you and waiting to try and answer to you from the Bible, and will be delighted to tell you more about Jesus Christ the Lord, the Saviour of the world.
Here are some more Bible verses for your further consideration:
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12)
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. (Romans 10:17)
All Scripture references are taken from the English Standard Version of the Holy Bible.
If anything in this answers affects you directly, then please feel free to call our confidential prayer line in the UK on 0845 4567729, where trained Christian volunteers will take your call and pray both for you and with you. If you are outside of the UK then you may submit your request for prayer on line at http://www.ucb.co.uk/prayerline
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