Reading the Bible
For many people who begin their walk with the Lord, the first thing that comes to mind is growing in their relationship with God and also reading the Bible. After all it's important to read the letters that the men of faith inspired by God wrote for us to experience God and that relationship we seek. But a question will quickly arise for people who haven't read the Bible before or who want to get back into reading it which is "Where do I start?" The whole Bible possesses an abundance of knowledge so anywhere you start will be fine, but there are places that are better to begin your studies than others so this article will help guide you along a path that will make you grow and receive.
The very beginning
Now that introductions are out of the way here is the first place I recommend everyone new in the faith to start. The very first place would be in the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. These four books of the Bible give an account of the birth, life, and death of Jesus Christ as he walked the Earth and transformed the world through His ministry. The reason why this is the greatest place to begin your study of the Bible is two fold.
The first reason why I always recommend the four gospels first is because these books give an account of Jesus. When a person is born again and accepts Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, it's always best to start learning about the man who lives on the inside that they just accepted into their lives. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are the best books to start off with because it shows the character and life of Jesus. Having a more intimate and personal relationship with Christ starts by getting to know him. Know Jesus's nature, what he said, what he believed, and what he did. This will propel you forward in your ability to have relationship with God and also begin to transform yourself from the inside out because of the One living within your spirit.
The second reason is because of the simplicity and power of these books. Getting started in the Old Testament can be difficult without having a knowledge of the covenant we live under now, and also get very wordy and confusing. The four gospels is more simplistic because it shows Jesus and His ministry, so there are a lot of parables and stories that can begin to bring to light the powerful words that will be throughout the rest of the Bible. Seeing what Jesus directly said will help guide you and begin to bring understanding to your spirit and mind what the rest of the Bible is saying.
Beyond the Gospels
Once you have finished your studies of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, you can then begin to spread out into wherever you feel comfortable next. I do feel that there are still some great places to continue your studies if you are still seeking direction as to where to go next. The apostle Paul has some of the most profound revelations from God, more than anyone else and he wrote half of the New Testament! This is truly a great place to continue your studies is by reading the books that Paul wrote.
Most notably would be reading the book of Romans next. This is Paul's masterpiece on the message of love and grace that is the nature of God. Having a true revelation of what the book of Romans is saying will really set you free from any kind of condemnation and guilt from sin. It paints a new picture in your heart of who you really are and how God really thinks towards you. Romans really needs to be that next book you go to once you finish the four Gospels. You will be blessed and have a much easier walk with the Lord.
How did it start?
Now that you have these first 5 books read and you are beginning to really get revelation knowledge from God, the next book I would highly recommend reading next is the book of Genesis. This is the first book of the Bible and the start of the Old Testament, and gives an account of the beginning of creation and how the world was formed. You will get a grasp on God's intentions for the world and mankind, and what happened when sin entered the world.
This will be helpful in reading beyond the first 5 books I have recommended because now you have a true grasp on God's nature and knowledge of Jesus who lives in you, so the next thing should be knowing how we came to be and what has happened as a result of sin coming into the world and corrupting God's perfect plan and purpose in the Earth.
Much more to follow!
Now that you have this basic guide to starting to read the Bible, you are in good shape to go wherever you like. This is definitely not what you have to do, but this is where most Christians, myself included, started when we began our walk with the Lord. From here, there's no end because there is unlimited knowledge in the Bible so wherever you go from here will only continue to build upon the knowledge, wisdom, and revelations you have already received.
Should you still be confused as to where to go next, I can put in one last recommendation that reading the New Testament will be more helpful for a growing Christian because that is the books of the Bible that pertain to the new Covenant that we as believers are under today. Learning about what we as believers have been given by God and growing in that will propel you forward in your walk with the Lord and continue to give you knowledge that can practically be applied to your life today. Once you have read that through, then getting into the Old Testament will be helpful in learning where we came from and how much better we have it today as believers than those back then. God bless!