Q: This year I made a New Year’s resolution to read through the Bible, but like most of my resolutions it’s fallen by the wayside. I gave it a try, but the Bible is just too big, and I couldn’t make much sense out of it. Did I do something wrong? — S.L.
A: No, you didn’t necessarily do anything wrong, and I commend you for wanting to read the Bible. The Bible is God’s written word, and nothing could be more important than knowing it and applying it to our lives. As the Psalmist said, “The unfolding of your words gives light” (Psalm 119:130).
At the same time, it probably would have been better for you to approach the Bible in a different way. Instead of starting at the beginning (as you do with most books), the best place to start reading the Bible is about three-fourths of the way through — that is, with one of the Gospels of the New Testament (I often recommend John).
Why is this? The reason is because Jesus is the center of the Bible’s message. The Old Testament points forward to him, and the whole of the New Testament is focused on him. In other words, once we understand who Jesus is and why he came into the world, the rest of the Bible will begin to make sense. As the Bible says, “In these last days God has spoken to us by his Son” (Hebrews 1:2).
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Don’t give up reading the Bible, but make it part of your life every day. Begin in one of the Gospels, and ask God to help you understand what it says. Not only will you begin to realize who Jesus is, but you’ll want to commit your life to him and learn more about him through reading his word.
Write “My Answer,” Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; or go to BillyGraham.org.