Did you make a New Year’s resolution to start reading the Bible more regularly?
It’s mid-January and now is about the time some of us start to lose steam. I want to encourage you to hang in there! Many times, all that’s needed, besides commitment, is some tools. Well, you’re in luck! Below is an article that I hope helps you stay the course with your Bible reading goals.
Why is it so hard to read the Bible? I mean, most of us really want to —yet we don’t even come close to a consistent reading plan. And when we do open it, we’re sort of lost. Allowing the pages of the big book to fall open randomly, we search for a morsel of something useful, reducing God’s Word to a fortune from a Chinese cookie.
Or perhaps we may know some familiar scriptures extracted from memory in times of need that we sprinkle like fairy dust in hopes of a changed situation. Psalms and Proverbs are great for that. But deep inside, we yearn. Surely it’s supposed to be different than this.
If we’re going to get anything out of Bible study, we must throw away our misconceptions and preconceived notions.
What the Bible is not
A rule book
Mythical fairy tales
Complex book of cryptic prophesies
Two separate stories: the Israelites in the Old Testament. Jesus and the church in the New Testament
What the Bible is
A story about God, life, and His people
We must approach the Bible as a story—a true story in which we are a part of, and hasn’t ended yet. However, if we attempt to read the Bible as a typical story, we may likely become confused and frustrated.
“The Bible is most of all a Story. It’s an adventure story about a young Hero who comes from a far country to win back his lost treasure. It’s a love story about a brave Prince who leaves his palace, his throne–everything–to rescues the ones he loves. It’s like the most wonderful of fairy tales that has come true in real life!
There are lots of stories in the Bible, but all the stories are telling one Big Story. The Story of how God loves his children and comes to rescue them.
It takes the whole Bible to tell this Story. And at the center of the Story, there is a baby. Every story in the Bible whispers his name. He is like the missing piece of the puzzle–the piece that makes all the other pieces fit together, and suddenly you can see a beautiful picture.
You see, the best thing about this Story is–it’s true.” Sally Lloyd-Jones, The Jesus Storybook Bible
Beckie’s Bible Study Tool Box
Here’s a convenient PDF of The Tool Box. Just click and print! Beckie’s Bible Study Tool Box.
A Good place to begin is by getting familiar with the Bible. Here’s how:
Maps And Timelines
From Google Maps: https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/viewer?oe=UTF8&msa=0&ie=UTF8&mid=1uR5a0eI379UMHAtfhCjiJcJIlYQ
Overview of the Bible Reading Plan
2.Chronological Reading Plan
Although the Bible is not in chronological order, this plan is an outline of how to read that way.
3. Bible Studies. Here are a few studies I recommend for beginners or even the seasoned Christian.
Seamless: Understanding the Bible as one Complete Story by Angie Smith
Experiencing God: Knowing and Doing the Will of God by Henry T. Blackaby
4.Online Resources and Commentaries
(@BibleGateway & @BibleGatewayApp) is your rich social and personal connection to freely read, research, and reference Scripture on your desktop, laptop, tablet, smartphone . . . anywhere; in more than 200 versions and more than 70 languages! Its simple yet advanced searching capabilities allow you to quickly find and compare particular passages in multiple Bible translations based on the keywords, phrases, topics, or Scripture references you have in mind. You’ll be inspired and encouraged – whether reading with your eyes or your ears (audio Bibles) – as you rely on Bible Gateway for all your Bible reading needs.
Blue Letter Bible
Our mission is to facilitate in-depth study of God’s Word through an on-line interactive reference library continuously updated from the teachings and commentaries of selected pastors and teacher who hold to the conservative, historical Christian faith.
Search, read, and study the Bible in many languages.
5. Bible Study Apps
Here’s a link to The Top Ten Apps
What did you find helpful? Do you have any questions? Please comment below.
Love the part about “What the Bible is not….” Another good read! Thanks, Beckie!
Thanks, Shira! So glad this was helpful.
Reblogged this on snasocialwear.
Love how you broke it down! So food
Thank you, Beckie, for this focus on God’s Word. The more we know the Bible, the more we’re able to discern God’s will for our lives and the lives of His people.
We’re blessed to have many fine translations of the Bible from which to choose. If a reader hasn’t yet found his or her favorite, the Bible Reviewer blog introduces some excellent choices. Lord willing, we can read them all!
Mary, Thanks so much for your comment. I’d like to update this post and include the link for the Bible Reviewer blog. Will you send me that, please?
More great tips and link-ups to make Bible study more inviting, Beckie! I liked the idea of reading the Bible chronologically, and I may try that system next go around. I’m now in my 40th week of using my Bible study guide, and loving every minute of it.
Martha, Wonderful! I’m open to any other suggestions that others have found helpful. I’ll gather the info. and post it here. Thanks a ton for your encouragement. I’m praying that someone has found a tip that will draw them closer to God.
Great post! Thank you for the insights and the tools 🙂
Thanks for commenting, Patty. I’m glad it was helpful.
This is great info Beckie. Thank you for sharing. I’m a huge fan of Bible Gateway 🙂
I love poking around the layout of friends kitchens and craft room and their tool boxes! Thanks Beckie!
Thanks, April! Hoping something was helpful.
Thanks for all the great resources, Beckie! I may lose track of time on that blue letter bible site …
Thanks for sharing at The Loft.
Jerralea, I’m pleased it was helpful. Thanks for taking the time to comment. Blessings!
I love your quote, “We must approach the Bible as a story—a true story in which we are a part of, and hasn’t ended yet.” This is the way I look at the Bible. It’s the best epic literature ever written!
Heather, Amen to that!