My grandmother gave me a Bible for Christmas, and I know she hopes I'll start reading it like she does. But I never realized how big the Bible is. Where should I start? I'm in high school, and I don't have a lot of extra time. — J.K.
Yes, the Bible can seem overwhelming when you first come to it—and no wonder, because it covers the entire history of the world, from before its creation until the end of time (and beyond).
Whenever people ask me a question like this I often think of the old quip about eating an elephant. How do you eat an elephant (it asks)? The answer is simple: one bite at a time. In other words, if you tried to swallow an elephant all at once, you'd never succeed—but if you took it little by little, you just might be able to get the job done!
And the same is true with the Bible. Don't try to "swallow" it all at once; instead, "eat" it a little at a time. How can you do this? First, set aside a few minutes each day—perhaps only five minutes at first. (Even the busiest person can find an extra five minutes if they really want to.) Then make it your goal to read a small portion of the Bible during that time—perhaps only a paragraph or two at first. I often suggest people begin with one of the Gospels (such as John).
The most important thing, however, is to ask God to speak to you as you read. The Bible is God's Word, and He wants you to come to know Christ and His will through its pages. The Bible says, "How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word" (Psalm 119:9). This is God's promise to you.