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How can I begin learning the Bible?

1. Pray. Tell God that you want to study the Bible. Ask Him to provide everything you need (e.g., a Bible, uninterrupted time, motivation, self-discipline, confidence, concentration). Ask Him to give you wisdom to schedule a daily time slot for Bible reading and prayer.

2. Schedule time. Pick a time slot that is unlikely to be interrupted. Early in the morning may be best. If you need to get up earlier than normal, ask God to give you the energy and stamina to go with less sleep, or the self discipline to go to bed earlier. Before you go to bed, ask God to get you up and out of bed early enough the next morning to have time with Him in the Bible and prayer.

3. Pray. Each time you sit down to read the Bible, it is vitally important to pray before you begin. Ask God to be your teacher. The prayer could go something like this:

"Father, I would like to know You. Please reveal Yourself and the Lord Jesus to me. Please don’t let me be deceived, believing what is false. I thank You that I can approach Your throne in confidence, because I come by faith in Jesus Christ and His righteousness. Please bring me close to you. Lead me into the truth. Open my eyes to see all that you want me to see. I trust the Holy Spirit to teach me, because Jesus said ‘He will teach you all things.’ I call upon You now, trusting that You will do according to Your Word, as You have said, 'Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.' Thank you."

4. Read. Start the Gospels in the New Testament—Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Read through John a few times, then read Matthew, Mark, and Luke. After reading the Gospels, continue with the books of Acts, Romans, and the rest of the New Testament. Try to devote a minimum number of minutes to Bible reading each day, but don't be concerned about the number of verses or chapters that you cover within the allotted time.

5. Memorize. When you want to remember something you’ve learned during your Bible reading, memorize a verse. Select a key verse or two within the passage--the verse that means the most to you. On one side of a small card (say, 5 cm x 9 cm), write the address of the verse (e.g., John 6:35). On the other side, write the verse (e.g., Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst"). Over time you will build a "stack" of memory verses. Review a few memory verses each day, trying to recite the verse after looking only at the address. As you review memory verses, you will gain a better understanding of them, and remember the lessons that prompted you to memorize them in the first place.


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