As a self-proclaimed “book worm,” I read A LOT of books these days. Particularly since finishing my Master’s Degree and joining a book club with some amazing ladies, I’ve had (and made) more time to read more and more books again. I’ve also joined a women’s small group study that reads faith-centered books as well. All of this to say… I read A LOT.
I haven’t always been a great reader, but it’s something I learned to love while I was in college. I would read and study for my classes but I’d also be sure to read for enjoyment here and there as to find ways to break up all the studying. Hey, whatever works right?!
I’m going to be honest and tell you, I haven’t always had a very close relationship with the Bible. I was familiar with the Natitivity story (where you at, Christmas), the beginning of man with Adam and Eve, and other big Bible stories like Noah’s Ark, David & Goliath, etc.
Even when I converted to Catholicism, I wasn’t too familiar with much of the Bible. I grew to learn more and more through daily and weekly Mass readings but even then, I wasn’t too focused on studying the Old Testament. I became fairly familiar with the New Testament while learning about the apostles and early Christianity movement. As a result, I stuck in the New Testament for the longest time – because that was what I was most comfortable with! I know, the First Reading of the Mass is from the Old Testament but homilies always tended to focus on the New Testament as well – therefore, I tended to stay where I was comfortable!
As embarassing it is to admit, I initially learned many of the Old Testament Bible stories in motherhood while reading through toddler Bible story books with my sons. That’s how I initially became familiar with Old Testament stories.
It wasn’t until very recently that I began a true Bible reading plan to get me acquainted with the Old Testament and salvation’s history. After gradually familiarizing myself with the very beginning of humanity and BC Bible times, I absolutely believe that everyone ought to be familiar with the Old Testament so they can better understand (and appreciate) God’s ultimate lamb, Jesus Christ (man, those Isrealites can drive me crazy sometimes)!!
It began while I was visiting with one of my aunts recently. I was telling her how the Old Testament just seemed intimidating, outdated, and just so overwhelming to try to read and understand. My aunt, understanding my hesitations and intimidations, directed me to a Bible reading plan that her church is working through this year. Side note: my aunt is not Catholic, but that doesn’t disqualify her or her denomination from the conversation…we study the same book, worship the same God, and preach the same Gospels. I wholeheartedly believe that everyone deserves a seat at the table.
So I looked into her church’s Bible reading plan. This particular plan is broken down into weeks and directs the reader to a few chapters each day, and it’s in chronological order. I typically read through more than a “day’s worth” according to the plan but I just go at my own pace – faster at times and slower at times. While there are plenty of Bible reading plans available for download, this one came to me highly recommended (by my aunt) and so it was the easiest one for me to access! The order of this reading plan helps the reader understand the historical and political climates during the time (many of the other Bible reading plans do this as well). Pinterest and Google are your best friends in this department of finding Bible reading plans. Also the YouVersion Bible App has plenty of Bible reading plans to help you read the entire Bible in practically any given timespan.
Remember, I’m a 100% book worm and I love reading. Before committing to reading (and understanding) the Bible, I would pick up book after book to help me improve myself…my finances…my prayer life…my journey through motherhood, etc.. I’d also read book after book in any genre just for the fun of reading and getting pulled into a story!
I have the utmost admiration for books and literature. Books inform us.
Since working through a Bible reading plan, it’s transformed my faith and prayer life. The rich literature throughout the Bible is something I’ve never noticed until now. Understanding the symbolism and historical times have greatly helped me understand and appreciate humanity’s need for Jesus Christ to save us.
I have grown to have the utmost respect and admiration for the Bible, both Old and New Testament. I have broken from my old habit (and comfort) of just staying within the New Testament. I am still working through the Old Testament but I’m thoroughly enjoying learning about salvation’s history and all these amazing Biblical characters.
Books may inform us, but the Bible transforms us.
The Bible transforms your heart and mind. When you read, understand, and appreciate the entire Bible, you are better able to appreciate the ultimate sacrifice for salvation.
The Bible transforms our faith life into one of abundance and appreciation.
I highly (repeat, highly) recommend you pursue a Bible reading plan to help you work through the entire Bible. Again, Pinterest and Google can be a grea resource for you! Read at your own pace, don’t overwhelm yourself. I also recommend you invest in a journal to help you write down important timelines or your favorite Bible verses. Lastly, invest in a Bible that you can read easily (font size and translation). The best one is the one that you’ll use!
I personally use this Bible – it is a collaboration between Blessed is She and Our Sunday Visitor. This Bible is a beautiful Catholic journaling Bible with margins on every page and script Bible verses throughout the entire Bible – it is absolutely beautiful! I highly recommend it. This is not a paid endorsement, it’s just a product that I personally use and love!
Remember, books inform us…the Bible transforms us.