I know I ought to read the Bible, but I'm having a hard time getting into it. I made a New Year's resolution to start at the beginning and read the Bible straight through this year, but finally I just quit. Do you have any suggestions?


I suspect many people have done what you did—started at the beginning of the Bible (like we do with almost any other book), but then they got bogged down and stopped. They found the first books of the Bible too difficult to understand, or perhaps they didn’t see how they applied to their lives.

But let me suggest another way to go about reading the Bible. Instead of starting at the very beginning, start at the center—that is, start with that part of the Bible that tells us about Jesus Christ, who is the true center of the Bible. Both the Old Testament and the New Testament point to Him, for He is the heart of God’s plan for us.

I often suggest people begin with the Gospel of John, because it was 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). From there you can go on to the other Gospels, and to other parts of the Bible. As you read, ask God to help you understand what you are reading, and to apply its truth to your life.

Once we understand who Jesus is and what He has done for us, the rest of the Bible will begin to make sense (including the Old Testament). God has given the Bible to us so we can know Him and grow closer to Him. May that become true in your life every day.