1.You have been baptized.
2.You have developed a common practice of spending time with God.
I am making the above assumptions about you. If my assumptions about you are wrong, please do those first before you move any further in discipleship. You can read about these two areas at these links – Baptism – Spending time with God.
It is not that a person cannot benefit by studying and practicing other areas of discipleship without having done those two things. Rather, it is about having a solid foundation on which to build solid practice of discipleship. The PrecisionFaith model of discipleship is about a precise, systematic, and intentional approach.
Baptism is one thing. Most disciples and church people that I know have been baptized. However, when you talk with them about spending time with God, that’s another story. And, as a result, many Christians are frustrated and uncertain about their faith.
Jesus came so that we can have eternal life. He defines eternal life as knowing the Father and the Son whom he sent. (John 17:3) “Knowing” is about relationship. A relationship can only be found by spending time together.
Keep all the teachings of the Bible you want. Read all the Bible you want. If you don’t have a relationship with God and the Son, it will not matter. This is why I teach the importance of spending time with God. There are many ways a person can do that. Figure out what works best for you.
After you have been baptized and developed a consistent practice of spending time with God, the next step is to developed a practice of reading the Bible.
Psalm 119 can help you understand why this is important. Granted, Psalm 119 is speaking about the law of God (the first 5 books of the Bible), but the principle is the same for Christians. The Bible gives us guidance, direction, and instruction. It also gives us joy, happiness, and peace.
The Bible itself does not do this. Rather, it tells the story of God and Christ who provides the guidance and joy. Reading the story recalls that to our minds, our hearts, and our souls.
Where to Start
I have written two articles about where I tell people to start.
In a nutshell, start in the Gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John. As followers of Jesus it only makes sense to start with the stories of Jesus and his teachings.
As I always teach, start small. Don’t try to immediately commit to reading the Bible for an hour a day; especially if you haven’t been reading the Bible.
Start by reading a small section. A few verses. A simple story or teaching of Jesus. Most Bibles and Bible apps are broken down that way.
Use An App
Another option, though it will tend to provide random verses of the Bible not necessarily from the Gospels, is to use an app that gives you a simple verse of the day (Ex: YouVersion, Biblegateway.com).
Something is better than nothing.
As you become consistent in reading the Bible, you can increase the time you spend. You may even learn how to make that part of your spending time with God.