DEAR REV. GRAHAM: I know I ought to read my Bible, and I try to, but I just can't seem to make much sense of it. How can I get more out of my Bible? Maybe I need one of those modern translations. —M.M.
Dear M.M.: I'm thankful you want to read the Bible and hope you won't become discouraged or give up. The Bible is God's Word and He wants to use it to teach you what to believe and how to live.
Yes, I encourage you to obtain a reliable modern translation of the Bible. (Your local Christian bookstore can help you select one.) Then set aside a definite time each day to be alone with God — listening to Him speak to you through His Word, and also speaking to Him in prayer. It may be only a few minutes at first, but it will help you build your life on Christ.
How can you get more out of the Bible? First, start at the beginning of a book (e.g., Psalms, or one of the Gospels such as John), and read a portion each day. In other words, don't skip around or start at the very beginning of the Bible (like you would with most books), but concentrate instead on something that will be easier for you to understand. Before you begin, ask God to help you understand what you'll be reading and apply it to your life.
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Then ask questions as you read. What is happening in this passage? What does it say about God, or Jesus, or how we should live? Most of all, what difference should it make in my life? Remember the Bible's admonition: "Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says" (James 1:22). Build your life on God's Word — beginning today.