Q: My grandmother gave me a Bible for Christmas, but I don’t know what to do with it. She’s coming to visit us in a few weeks and I know she’ll ask me if I’ve read it. I tried, but I didn’t understand it. Please help me. — Z.S.
A: I’m thankful your grandmother wanted you to have a Bible — and I’m thankful too that you want to understand it. No other book is as important as the Bible, because it is God’s word — God’s message — to you, and to all humanity.
When we read a book for the first time we usually start at the beginning, but it’s not the best way to read the Bible. Instead, I suggest you begin with the Bible’s center or focal point, which is Jesus Christ. All the Old Testament points forward to him, and all the New Testament tells us about him. He came down from heaven to forgive us and make us part of his family forever — and through the Bible we discover this great truth. The Bible was “written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:31).
Hopefully your grandmother gave you a translation of the Bible you can understand; if not, I suggest you find one. Then ask God to help you understand what you read, and begin reading through one of the Gospels in the New Testament (I often suggest John).
In this way you’ll learn who Jesus was and what he did. But more than that, you’ll discover that God loves you. Your grandmother gave you a great gift, but God wants to give you an even greater gift: Jesus Christ. Invite Jesus to come into your life today.
Write “My Answer,” Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; or go to BillyGraham.org.