I’ve heard many of my Catholic friends and family say they don’t read the Bible. They say it’s a sealed book and far too complicated. One person said he started reading the New Testament for the first time and ran smack dab into Matthew chapter 1 and the genealogy of Jesus and that was enough for him. A research study from just a few years back revealed a startling 44% of Catholics rarely or never read the Bible. I would encourage Catholics and everyone else to read God’s Word every day. Jesus said, “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). Reading and studying God’s Word is more important than taking our daily meals.
You might be asking yourself, “I’d like to read the Bible, but it’s such a huge book. Where do I start?” First start with prayer. Each time I pick up God’s Word I ask the Lord to teach me the things I need to learn. If you’ve never read the Bible before you might want to begin with the Gospel of John. It reads pretty easily and really drives home the message of the deity of Jesus and why He came. Then continue reading the entire New Testament. After you finish the New Testament then start with Genesis and read through the Old Testament. How many chapters you read each day is up to you. I found if I read just three chapters a day and five on Sundays I’ll complete the entire Bible in roughly one year. If you read the Bible regularly, prayerfully, and with a tender heart the Lord will reveal wonderful things to you.
After awhile you may want to dig a bit deeper into the Bible and there’s some great tools out there to help you. My wife and I have our daily devotion time together where we read aloud the next chapter from a specific book of the Bible we’re studying through. In preparation, I like to do what I call a “deep dive” study. I’ll read the chapter with a Bible dictionary at the ready. You can’t beat The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary. I then read the commentary on the chapter from a good one-volume Bible commentary for some scholarly insight. MacArthur’s, Moody’s, Baker’s, Holman’s, and Believer’s are all decent. I’ve found that Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance is an invaluable tool for word studies. I then wrap the whole thing up by reading J. Vernon McGee’s reverently folksy commentary on the chapter from his Thru-The-Bible commentary compilations for great insights and life applications. It doesn’t get any better than that folks. Study God’s Word long enough and you’ll even start to get excited over those genealogies.
Whether it’s only a chapter a day or a “deep-dive” study every day, every person will benefit from reading God’s Word daily.