God Wrote The Bible For You
Do you ever feel like reading your Bible is so daunting that you don’t dare to open it? You’re lost before you even start because you feel too intimidated to even try. Or you finally find the time and courage to dive in, but you are worried the ancient scripture will be too hard to comprehend. Worse, you’ve been told that the Bible is boring, limiting, and out of date - and you’ve begun to believe it. Believe me sister, I’ve been there too. But rejoice at this: God wrote the Bible for you as His love letter to you. He wants you to read it because it is our guide to this life and learning about Him. After all, how can we truly love something if we don’t know what it says?
The Bible affirms it’s power, authority, and the benefits of reading it. Hebrews 4:12 in the Amplified Translation reminds us that “the word of God is living and active and full of power [making it operative, energizing, and effective]. It is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating as far as the division of the soul and spirit [the completeness of a person], and of both joints and marrow [the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and judging the very thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Paul told Timothy “all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,” in 2 Timothy 3:16 (NIV). It is necessary for us to read the Bible. Matthew 4:4 (NIV) records Jesus telling His disciples, “it is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” Just like it is essential for us to eat everyday to nourish our bodies, it is also essential for us receive our spiritual nourishment through God’s Word.
Unfortunately, despite the wonderful incite we gain from reading the Bible, most people don’t bother to open up the pages and reap the benefits. The Center for Bible Engagement recently published a study that scientifically proved the power of reading your Bible four times or more per week. The study found that 93% of Americans own a Bible, “only one out of four American Christians completely agree with the statement that they regularly study the Bible to find direction of their lives.” However, there is hope, because those who read their Bible four times or more per week were less likely by 57% to get drunk, engage in sex outside of marriage, gamble, watch pornography, and even have destructive thoughts (anxiety). This list is limited to moral behaviors, so we can only imagine the spiritual benefits of regularly immersing yourself in the Word of God.
Don’t let anything hold you back from reading His Word. It is a lamp unto our feet and a light for our path (Psalm 119:105). What we lack in intellectual understanding, the Holy Spirit makes up in comprehension. When you’re down and need encouragement, open your Bible. When you’re seething with anger, open your Bible. When you’re lost without a clue of what to do next, open your Bible. When you are rejoicing in His many blessings, open your Bible. And let the Holy Spirit reveal Himself to you as the words jump off the page and arrest your soul.
Reading your Bible is not hard, but you must be disciplined in finding the time to do so. Thankfully, there are a wealth of tools you can use to further your learning. To help you in your Bible studies, I’ve carefully selected the following resources to deepen your understanding and equip you with confidence when reading the Word. I hope that this message inspires you to read your Bible and these tools will strengthen your ability to understand Scripture.
10 Bible Study Tools
This revolutionary translation is Biblical summary that puts our precious scriptures into easy to understand, modern terminology. Next time you’re struggling through the King James Version, try using this version to help you along and give you a new perspective.
Bible or Prayer Journal
I write my prayers in a journal every morning after I’ve read the Bible. I love being able to look back on prayers and see how God has answered them.
Out of every resource listed here, this one is my favorite! This app was created by Messenger International and my favorite authors, John and Lisa Bevere. It includes books, full courses, sermons, podcasts, and more. I listen to teachings from this app every morning on my way to work.
Daily Bible Verse App
In high school, I had a Bible Verse of the Day that I wrote on the inside of my wrist or the back of my hand. A little bit messy, but I loved having a message on my hand every time I looked down. I stick to an app today and am honestly still amazed at how God will send me the perfect verse for what I’m facing.
My favorite part about this app is how easily you can switch between different translations of the Bible. You can also highlight, add notes, copy and paste text and a ton of other helpful features. When I need a little encouragement, I often pull up this app and read a passage to reset my mind and focus on Jesus.
Devotionals are an easy way to guide your Bible studies. Although I will caution you on this, your devotional should never replace your daily Bible reading. Use your devotional to focus and lead you in your scripture study. Nothing can substitute His perfect Word. Two of my favorites have been My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers and Embraced by Lysa TerKeurst.
The Bible was originally written in three languages: Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic. Translated from Aramaic, this version gives me chills every time I read it. It provides a wonderful new perspective on the verses we know and love. The footnotes give deeper insight into why they chose certain words in the translation. It is currently available in the New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs.
Have you ever been the girl in church furiously writing every word the pastor said, only to lose your notes later? Then this ultimate Christian note taking app is for you. You can record full sermons, add notes, and even search entire passages by typing in the Book, Chapter, & verse (example: Mark 1:1-10). My very favorite part is that you can organize your notes by Pastor to easily find them later!
I’ve benefited most from watching past sermons on YouTube. I love to look up my favorite speakers and listen to their wisdom as I’m cleaning or driving in the car. Sometimes I’ll put one on instead of watching TV! My favorite speakers include Charles Stanley, Gary Hamrick, Joyce Meyer, John Hagee, Lisa Bevere, Ben Stuart, and Lysa TerKeurst.
Christian Fictional Books
When you think of a Christian book, you probably assume it’s nonfiction theology with an inspirational twist. But have you ever considered reading a Christian fiction novel? It brings the icons of the Bible to life, reminding you that they were real people, not just stories on a page. Let a novel transport you through time and space while touching your heart too. I absolutely love Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. I’ve also read her Mark of the Lion series and it was amazing!