“I love Proverbs. It is one of thee books to read. So much insight. So much of God’s wisdom.“
Someone asked me recently why they needed to read the Book of Proverbs. I asked this person if they ever got trained at work or did their company just throw them into an office and hoped for the best. I smiled because I knew the answer. I asked this person if they had ever practiced any sports. I knew the answer to this also. I asked them if they were ever able to play in games without ever going to practice with the team. Of course they smiled because they knew that playing sports, or playing music or getting better at something requires education and commitment to always get better at whatever it is that people want to do.
Then I looked right at them and asked,” When God tells us to be approved workers in His kingdom(2 Timothy 2:15), did He want us to be good at being Christians? Of course I got some chuckles from the person, but it made me think.
“Most of us don’t know where to start. There are 66 books to read. Some are longer than others. Some are incredibly spell binding to read; while others it takes some doing to read such and such person begat this person etc..“
I have a rule of thumb—When someone asks where to start reading the Bible, I suggest the start with 2 books in the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) and 2 books in the Greek Scriptures (New testament).
These are the books I suggest:
In these books, a person just starting on their journey will get the most out of their faith. Yes, I know that there are so many other books like Genesis, Luke, Corinthian Letters, Revelation etc., but these are the ones that will cement someone’s faith.
Books of Psalms and Proverbs. The Gospel of John and Paul’s letter to the Romans.
The second thing I suggest is to pray for guidance and also for explanation to what is being read.
- An example of this would be—Proverbs chapter 1, Going through this, these words are what grabbed a hold of my mind this time around:
Vv 2–Perceive— to discern understand or consider what we are reading. I like this definition— to observe mark or give heed to. In other words one must pay full attention to and be completely intentional of what one is reading. Then I tell them to read every chapter in one sitting, if possible.
“Because when you read something all at once you see things that you may have missed by reading just a few verses. Then go back and pick important words that stick out as you have read.“
Vv3—Receive—to get, lay hold of, get, marry, take a wife.
We are to receive this wonderful gift of God’s wisdom and grab on to it as if life depended on it, because it does. We are to hold on to this precious gift like a husband does to a wife. This is how much God’s love is, He wants His people to fully grasp the meaning of each word and chew on it or grab on to it so as not to lose it.
Vv5–Hear— Here’s the cool part. To hear is the same word used in the Shema in Deuteronomy 6, where God’s people are to recite the great verse, “Hear O Israel, the LORD our God, The LORD is One!” (Deuteronomy 6:4)
So this hearing is not just listening intently but shouting it to the ends of the world. To let your whole body, soul and spirit merge into one being and say, “LORD, I know You’re are here. I know you are God, the Creator of all things and everything that is in this universe! I hear You and I Obey!
Because that word also has the meaning to obey.
Vv7—Fear— when we realize who is giving us these words. Words that are not of men but from the source of all understanding and knowledge. This is when our eyes are opened spiritually. This moment of knowing your Maker, is an awesome, fear inspiring and honorable thing.
Because we realized then and only then, how awesome Our God is; and how incredibly loving He is to us, who are sons of rebellion. God is willing to see us through this spirit awakening or arising to the point of unfathomable patience and long suffering on His part. How does He do this?
He takes us from what Galatians 5 describes our inner being:
“19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity, and debauchery; 20 idolatry and sorcery; hatred, discord, jealousy, and rage; rivalries, divisions, factions, 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.“
And slowly God gives us some of His character in 2 Corinthians 13:–
“…3 If I give all I possess to the poor and exult in the surrender of my body, but have not love, I gain nothing. 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no account of wrongs. 6 Love takes no pleasure in evil, but rejoices in the truth. 7 It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.8a Love never fails…”
And in Galatians 5 he continues to get rid of the selfishness we have:
All this change takes place when you put your trust in Christ and humble yourself by asking Jesus to forgive you of all the things you’ve ever done wrong. The very moment you ask Jesus to forgive you, to guide you into your future, and start communicating with Him by praying and reading His Word, you start seeing a transformation that may or may not be immediate. But stick with communicating with God, and people will notice the changes in you.
Here’s how to know Him personally: