It has been on my heart to lay a very simple foundation for those who are new in their faith. When I gave my heart to the Lord, I was so blessed to be discipled right away. I asked ALL the things and had amazing people who patiently answered every single question I had.
I want this blog to be a similar resource for you. If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. If I don’t know the answer, I will find someone who does. (Which means that I will ask my hubby because he is my go-to on all things theology!) I hope that this will also be helpful for those who just want to go deeper in their walk with God. It’ll be a refresher course and give you some practical tools.
I have been asked by a couple of ladies recently how to read and study the Bible. We are told all the time to, “Just go read our Bibles”. But if you don’t know where to start it can feel daunting and overwhelming. Here are some things you need to know about the Bible:
1. As Christians, we believe that the Bible is inerrant. That means that every single word is from God and there are no mistakes.
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work,” (2 Timothy 3:16-17 NIV).
2. The Bible reflects God’s heart. It is a story of His relentless, never-ending pursuit of us.
“God’s Word is perfect in every way; how it revives our souls! His laws lead us to truth, and his ways change the simple into wise. His teachings make us joyful and radiate his light; his precepts are so pure! His commands, how they challenge us to keep close to his heart! The revelation-light of his word makes my spirit shine radiant. Every one of the Lord’s commands is right; following them brings cheer. Nothing he says ever needs to be changed. The rarest treasures of life are found in his truth. That’s why I prize God’s word like others prize the finest gold. Nothing brings the soul such sweetness as seeking his living words. For they warn us, his servants, and keep us from following the wicked way, giving a lifetime guarantee: great success to every obedient soul! Without this revelation-light, how would I ever detect the waywardness of my heart? Lord, forgive my hidden flaws whenever you find them. Keep cleansing me, God, and keep me from my secret, selfish sins; may they never rule over me! For only then will I be free from fault and remain innocent of rebellion. So may the words of my mouth, my meditation-thoughts, and every movement of my heart be always pure and pleasing, acceptable before your eyes, my only Redeemer, my Protector-God,” (Psalms 19:1-14 TPT).
3. The Bible is alive! That means that you can read something on Monday and get what you need out of it for Monday. But if you read that same scripture again on Friday, you might see something totally different. The words never change but our revelation of them is always evolving and growing.
“For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires,” (Hebrews 4:12 NLT).
4. The enemy is not going to let you read the Bible without a fight. The words are guaranteed to change your life if they are able to pierce your heart. Satan throws every distraction and excuse our way. Have you ever read your Bible and not remembered one word when you got done? Me, too!
“A farmer went out to sow his seed. Some of it fell on the road; it was tramped down and the birds ate it. Other seed fell in the gravel; it sprouted, but withered because it didn’t have good roots. Other seed fell in the weeds; the weeds grew with it and strangled it. Other seed fell in rich earth and produced a bumper crop. Are you listening to this? Really listening?
“This story is about some of those people. The seed is the Word of God. The seeds on the road are those who hear the Word, but no sooner do they hear it than the Devil snatches it from them so they won’t believe and be saved. His disciples asked, ‘Why did you tell this story?’ He said, ‘You’ve been given insight into God’s kingdom—you know how it works. There are others who need stories. But even with stories some of them aren’t going to get it: Their eyes are open but don’t see a thing, Their ears are open but don’t hear a thing.’”
Take a second longer to think about what you just read. Is God talking about real seeds? What do the birds represent? What are the differences between the grounds that the seed fell on? How should I position my heart before I read the Bible if I want it to make lasting change in my life? Those questions will help you get passionate about the Bible and see how powerful the Word is in our lives.
Reading scripture is NOT a sprint- it’s a marathon. Take. Your. Time. If your goal is to race through the Bible or check off your religious “duty”, then you’re doing it wrong. I say that with the utmost grace because I have been there! We lose the fruit God is wanting to bring in our lives when we read the Bible with the wrong motives or hurry through it. Read one scripture a day if you have to and really process what God is saying to you through it. It’s way more powerful to read less and understand it, then to read 20 chapters and not remember any of it.
If you’ve never read the Bible, I suggest starting in the gospels. Those are Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. They are the first books of the New Testament and tell the stories of Jesus. Then read through the the New Testament and then read the Old Testament.
If you aren’t passionate about reading your Bible or think it’s boring, be patient with yourself and remember that you have an enemy. I went to the altar and asked for prayer once because I just didn’t want to read the Word. God has developed in me a deep longing to understand and love the Bible, but it took time. Stay with it even when you don’t want to and make it a discipline that you commit to daily. Reading the Bible will grow your faith and help you see that God has had a plan all along. He wants us close to Him and to know His heart. And He does both when we read His Word.