The Bible. The most read, most published, most common book in the world. The old testament prophets would have LOVED to live in our time when the Word of God was completely revealed and available in every bookstore, on every mobile device, and even in a lot of homes. (1 Peter 1:10-12)
So, are we guilty of taking this for granted here in the 21st century? Not only is the Bible itself available so readily but so are a plethora of Bible teachers who will study it for you and tell you what it means so you don’t have to study it yourself.
Maybe you find yourself thinking, “I love the Bible but it’s confusing and I don’t know the first thing about studying it. In fact, it’s hard for me to even read it regularly.” You are not alone in these thoughts. We would like to suggest to you a few resources (in no particular order) you could use to help you fall in love with the revealed Word of God, The Holy Scriptures. Resources to help you be able to sing “The B-I-B-L-E, yes THAT’S the book for ME!” and mean it.
The ESV Study Bible – This is an excellent resource for reading the Bible with a few notes from Biblical scholars in the footnotes on every page.
Search the Scriptures – This is a companion book to use alongside your Bible. It has a three year plan to read through and study the whole Bible. It starts with Genesis and Luke and each day will have reading from the Bible and a few inductive questions to help you think about the main points of the passage.
Bible Study Fellowship and Community Bible Study – These worldwide organizations are great at teaching and studying the Bible verse by verse. Both meet in the Kalamazoo area and have groups for men, women, singles, and even whole families. Check out their website for more information.
A Good Whole Bible Commentary – There are many commentaries out there but you want to be sure you get one that comes from the perspective of interpreting Scripture inductively and literally. Check with your pastor and he would be glad to make some recommendations.
Precept Ministry – excellent resources available from this organization on how to study the Bible. They even have a great book called “How to Study the Bible for Kids” that we are going through right now with our 8 and 11 year old.
The other great thing is to find people around you who know the Word and ask them to study it with you! You’ll be surprised the insight and knowledge you can learn by simply talking about the Word of God with other people who love it and are studying it with you.
Most importantly, pray! If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit is with you and HE promised to illuminate the Scripture for you as you read them with a heart for understanding. The Word of God will not return void so any time spent in the Word of God will only help you. Try keeping a journal and write down 2 things every day as you read the Bible – 1. Who is God? What is He like? and 2. What is true of mankind? What are we like?
Studying the Bible is a rich and rewarding activity, but it is not always easy. A little work goes a long way, and having the right resources is essential to dig in and study the Word of God!
The thing that makes me very sad is when people are so caught up in their “religious” beliefs that have been taught to them for years that they refuse to accept truth when The Holy Spirit reveals it or when the truth doesn’t line up with their own wants that they choose to ignore it and take scripture out of context to make themselves feel better , they may even actually believe it. Very sad how do you help someone like that?