It’s the morning after Valentine’s Day as I sit here writing this post. Time is moving so quickly. My babies are growing fast. Life feels like a whirlwind, leaving me scrambling to get from one place to the next. I feel the world’s pull on me to do more, to be more. The weight of all my responsibilities build up, And I feel like I can’t keep up.
Then I walk away for a moment, and I open God’s word. The never ending cycle of life’s obligations come to a stop for a few minutes, while I seek wisdom from the perfect words of my savior.
My time with God has not always felt this way. In my early days of becoming a Christ follower, I would open the Bible and be so confused by the words. The Bible seemed too thick, too complicated, and to be honest, too far fetched for me to understand. That is when I learned about the power of Holy Spirit. I would pray for the spirit to give me wisdom and discernment to understand what I was reading. Once I had the help of the Spirit I started to better understand. Messages started to come out of the pages that were so applicable to my every day life. I believe the gift of discerning and understanding the Bible is available for anyone who asks for it. Once you have it, you will not believe the way the Bible comes to life.
The other thing I had trouble with when I first began studying the Bible, was knowing where to begin. My personality caused me to always want to begin at the beginning, in Genesis, therefor there are numerous times when I would set out to read the Bible cover to cover only to get lost and distracted before I reached Exodus, the second book.
My advice for beginners would be to start in the New Testament. The first four books are accounts of the birth, life and death of Jesus written from four different perspectives. They are easy to read and understand, especially with the help of Holy Spirit. These first four books, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John contain the actual words of Jesus. His words are written in red. We have the actual words of our Savior to read and learn from, that in itself is an amazing gift.
When shopping for a Bible there is no shame in finding a version that is easy to read. I would still be lost if I was trying to use the King James version. The version I use and love is the NIV Study Bible. There are many different versions out there to choose from. Lots of these contain commentaries and resources on every page to help you better understand what you are reading. I think the next Bible I buy will be “the Message” version which is probably the closest in translation to our present way of speaking.
That reminds me, a must have for new readers is the YouVersion Bible app. This app is so handy. I prefer doing my daily studies in my real bible that I can hold, but anytime I don’t understand what I am reading, I can pull up my App and read that section in different translations until it makes more sense. The You Version app also is full of reading plans based on topic or plans for reading the Bible cover to cover. It is really an awesome resource!
I know this post may seem elementary and may not apply to everyone that reads, but I truly believe there is upmost importance for every single believer to become experts on the book God has written for us. We must learn for ourselves what God wants to teach us, not just hear secondhand somebody else’s interpretation. Paul tells the Philippians they must “work out their salvation with fear and trembling.
“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,”
So I urge you to take responsibility. Make it your mission to not only read the Bible, but to know it. Your very salvation, and the salvation of those you love depends on it.
4 thoughts on “Studying the Bible….where to begin.”
Love your FRESH perspective!
Thank you Val 💜
Tatum! This is long, but I don’t know that it will make sense unless you have to whole picture and I just felt I needed to share with you…. I decided last August I was going to start a devotional – Allee had to be at school early for practice and I had an hour or so before the store would open. So, I bought the Devotional Bible for Women. I like to flip through a new book when I get it and in the back was the One Year Bible Reading Plan. I’ve never made it all the way through the Bible, but I decide it’s time and now I have a list that will help me stay on track. Of course it’s August, so do I wait until January to start my mission or just jump in – jump in we go! The daily readings are broken down to read Old and New Testament together. I start deep in Psalms and the end of Romans and it’s the King James Version. I also had a Study Bible for Women, still not NIV but helpful, and I stay determined. Then the holidays hit. I am at the store needing to get things done, but still determined. This time I turned to bible gateway.com and let it read to me while I wrap presents! Now that things are back to some sort of normal, I still let the computer read to me in NIV and I read along in my original little devotional bible. In Genesis & Exodus, I’ve spent time following along but also googling images that went along with the daily scriptures so I could better understand what they were building and creating.
Today I started Numbers. Again, easy for me to get lost in so back to google we go! Numbers has to be more than all the tribes and census I read in the first two chapters right? I found a great article on Life, Hope & Truth that helped and it has me looking forward to more of what is to come in Numbers. Bottom of the page….hmmm Facebook link. Click over there and first post I see Scripture Writing Challenge for February! It’s February 19 – I guess we jump in again. Romans 12:2 Back to FB for a quick look and what is at the top of my feed but YOU!!! First, prayers JoJo is better today. Second, I started from the bottom of your blog and have read each one! When you referenced Romans 12:2 I thought I am here for a reason today and I get to the most recent post Studying the Bible…..where to begin. On top of that you are writing out scripture and I KNOW I am here for a reason!!!!
so THANK YOU! Thanks for being brave and putting your heart out there and sharing your story. It is obvious He has great plans for you and what you are doing!
Wow Carla!!! I am so glad you took the time to share your story with me! I am so encouraged that my blog gave you some confirmation to your study plans and that God spoke to you through it. That is my prayer for this blog- that God can use it to encourage and uplift others who are also seeking Him! I’m inspired by your actions to make bible study a priority in your life even through the busy seasons! God Bless you and your family!