Q.DEAR BILLY GRAHAM: I made a New Year’s resolution to read straight through the Bible this year, but I’ve already given up. I’d never read the Bible before, but the Old Testament was too much for me. Any suggestions? — H.M.
By BILLY GRAHAM
Tribune Media Services
A. DEAR H.M.: I commend you for wanting to read the Bible, and I hope you won’t give up on your reading just because you got bogged down in some of the Bible’s more difficult parts.
Remember, the Bible is God’s word, and God wants to use it to change our lives. The Psalmist declared, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path” (Psalm 119:105). No wonder the devil wants us to keep it on the shelf!
How can you make your Bible reading more profitable? Perhaps you remember the old joke about how you should eat an elephant. The answer (so the joke goes) is simple: Don’t try eating it all at once; instead, eat it one bite at a time. The same can be true of the Bible: Read it one bite at the time. In other words, take a portion of the Bible (such as one of the Gospels) and go through it little-by-little — reading it, understanding it, and then applying it to your life. Later, you can expand your reading to other parts of the Bible.
Why do I suggest starting with one of the Gospels? (The Gospel of John is a good place to begin.) The reason is because the Gospels tell us about Jesus Christ — his life, his ministry and especially his death and resurrection. All the Old Testament points forward to Christ, and he is the center of the Bible’s message. Put Christ at the center of your life, and once you do, you’ll understand the rest of the Bible more clearly.
© 2013 Tribune Media Services 2/12