If you are interested in getting into the Bible for yourself, here are a few suggestions.

First of all, if you have a hard time understanding the Bible, get an ESV Study Bible (ESV stands for English Standard Version, it is the translation that we use at the church). The ESV Study Bible will give you a description of each book of the Bible at the beginning of the book, and then will give explanations for verses that will help you understand what the Bible is saying. It's a great tool; take advantage of it.

Also, if you would rather listen to the Bible than read it, an audio Bible is available on the ESV website (esvbible.org). Type the passage that you want to read or hear into the search box, hit enter, and it will bring you to that passage. If you click on the "Listen" icon, then you will hear a voice reading the passage for you.

If you are brand new to the Bible, I would suggest reading one chapter a day. Pick a book of the Bible, read through it one chapter a day, and then go on to another book. Start in Matthew, which will tell the story of Jesus. Matthew is 28 chapters, so to read through it at a chapter a day would take 28 days. And then you could go on to other books, maybe Genesis, Psalms, Proverbs, Acts, Ephesians, Philippians, or James. But any book of the Bible is good—it is all God's intentional word to us.

If you want something more than a chapter a day, here are two Bible reading schedules. The first is from the Discipleship Journal. This schedule will take you through the Bible in one year, which takes about 3 chapters a day. The second was put together by Robert Murray M'Cheyne, a Scottish pastor who lived in the early 1800s. Following this schedule will have you read the Old Testament once and Psalms and the New Testament twice each year (this is the one that I have tried to follow for a number of years).

Discipleship Journal Bible Reading Plan

M'Cheyne Bible Reading Plan

But the important thing is just to start—start digging into God's word. And if you are jumping into the Bible for the first time, start small, with a chapter a day. If you want to start running, you don't start with a marathon. It's the same way with the Bible: if you want to start reading, start with a plan to read one chapter a day. Then, once you have made a consistent discipline of one chapter a day, then build up. But get into God's word. It's the most beneficial thing that you can do (Hebrews 4:12).

John Luhmann

John Luhmann has served as a pastor since 1999 and has served at Sovereign Hope since 2005, where he focuses on the preaching/teaching and leadership of the church. He is a graduate of Wheaton College and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He is greatly blessed to be able to devote his life to the church and God's word and loves to see the fruit that God produces in people's lives through the gospel. John and his wife Korinda were married in 1994 and are currently raising their seven children.