I recently got the chance to talk with Wales missionary Courtney McClean, and it was refreshing above all else. This girl loves God and His Word! But here’s the thing, even though her deep love for God’s word is evident, even though she’s a Bible college and Seminary graduate, even though she’s working in full time ministry overseas… she doesn’t always want to read her Bible. In fact, at the time of the interview, she confessed that she was in a dry season with God’s word.
Sometimes, coming before the scriptures feels fresh and new and easy. Other times? It feels laborious. It comes in seasons.
So I asked her, “Do you have any tips for someone in a season where they don’t feel like reading their Bible?”
Here’s what she said…
In the Psalms, you see the psalmist’s heart (usually David’s) rawly laid out before the Lord. He too knows what it’s like to walk in the...
I got to interview my friend, Arabah Joy for the Bible Study Summit and our conversation left my heart encouraged. She shared about how she got started in Bible Study, talked about her daily reading and study routine and shared some helpful resources for getting started!
She covered a lot of ground in our 20 minute chat, but I want to take a minute and highlight an important distinction she made between Bible Study and Bible Reading:
Both matter deeply, but they are not the same.
In Bible study you catch the beauty of nuance. Through word studies and context research, you get a glimpse into the intricate ways God communicates with our hearts.
AJ shared a specific example of this in her own life that caught my attention (and I think will catch yours too!) She started to study the word “stumble” as it is used in scripture (specifically as it was used in Matthew 18:6). She knew that as a child, she had been made to stumble by others and struggled to believe that it...
Ruth is a wonderful little love story tucked into the Old Testament, but maybe not in the way you might think. It does have your standard guy meets girl, girl uncovers guy’s feet, guy marries girl love story in it. However, that’s not the only focus.
The book of Ruth opens up in Israel during the time of the judges. If you have read that book, you know that time period was cringeworthy in Israel’s history. The book of Ruth chronicles the story of Naomi, Ruth’s mother in law.
Naomi’s husband and two sons had passed away in a foreign land, Moab, where Ruth was from. Legally, it was okay for Ruth to leave her mother in law and find a new husband. In her kindness, Ruth stayed with Naomi and made the trek with her back to Judah, Naomi’s homeland.
The book of Ruth is the story of how both Ruth and Boaz take care of and ultimately bring hope back to Naomi by following the guidelines and provisions of the Law. Naomi, who was unable to...
Prior to the book of Judges, the Bible talks of a covenant between God and Abraham. God promises Abraham that his descendants, the Israelites, will inhabit the land of Canaan, and God will do all the heavy lifting. All the Israelites had to do was drive out the people living there. As we enter the book of Judges, the Israelites are now living in the promised land, but we will see that they don’t uphold their end of the promise.
If the Bible was a movie, Judges would be the kid that goes into the basement to find out what that noise is while the whole audience screams, “don’t do it!” On our end, we can clearly see that the Israelites are breaking the covenant that they have with God, but they do it anyway. In fact, most of the book follows the same sequence. The Israelites do something God told them not to do, so God disciplines. They repent and ask God to save them, and He does by way of a judge (hence, the name). After that judge dies, the land goes...
In Genesis, God promised Abraham that the land in Canaan was going to be his. Because God is the Creator of the heavens and the earth, He can make promises like that. All the land belongs to Him in the first place. So by the time Joshua is the leader of Israel, it is now time to take over this promised land.
Joshua is a hard book to get a grasp on. The hang-up for people comes in when they see that Joshua and the Israelites are told to kill the people living on the land. At the root, God doesn’t want those people to die. He wants them to worship Him. However, if the people refuse to do that, then the punishment is death.
There are two core stories in Joshua that I want to look at a little closer so we can see God’s heart in this. The first one is Rahab. Rahab was an outsider, one of the people already living in the land of Canaan. She had heard about their God and decided she wanted to follow Him. God welcomed her and her family with outstretched arms and protected...
I remember a while back the hashtag #famouslastwords grew in popularity. There were some funny ones like, “Hey guys, watch this!” Or, “hold my beer.”
Deuteronomy is a much more serious lesson for the people of Israel and the last words of Moses. He had one last chance to tell this new generation of Israelites something before he died and the book of Deuteronomy is his recorded words.
The word Deuteronomy actually means “second law” but it is the same law given in Exodus and Leviticus, just recapped by Moses. Moses repeats some of the highlights from the previous 4 books of the Bible, in order to make sure this new generation follows God. These are his final instructions after leading the people for over 40 years. He is passing the torch and lighting the fire in them to follow God with everything they’ve got.
Deuteronomy is quoted in the New Testament more than any other Old Testament book and is quoted often by Jesus. One of those...
I am writing this post in the middle of the flu season. If there is the possibility of you having the flu, I will see you in 7-10 business days. When it comes to the flu, I don’t want it, I don’t want to mess with it, and I do not want you near me if you have it.
Why is that, you ask? Well, because the flu is contagious. The book of Numbers teaches us that it is not just the flu that is contagious. Belief and unbelief share that same contagiousness.
When you open up the book of Numbers, you can see all that God is doing, and all that God has done to provide for the Israelites. Unfortunately, there begin some complaints and some doubts about that provision and it starts to spread throughout the camp.
God’s people, once wholly devoted are now struggling to be obedient and faithful, and it is because they let that bug of unbelief in their midst and didn’t wipe it out.
Numbers is about God coming in and waiting for the old generation - the...
People regularly ask me what my time in the Word looks like. What Bible do I use? What pens? How long do I spend? What do I read? Today, let's answer a few of those questions.
The first essential when I am reading my Bible is coffee. I make my coffee each morning, and while it is brewing I pull out my Bible, Deep Dive Scripture Journal, and pens. Then I pour myself a cup of coffee and sit down to study.
So my reading plan is chronological. I follow the chronological plan by Blue Letter Bible, and I read it in my normal Bible. A chronological plan follows the Bible in the order the events happened, so sometimes it has you jumping around all over the Bible. Reading the Bible in the order that the events happened helps you to see the bigger story in Scripture, and trace God's faithfulness through the history of the Israelites, and see how the principles apply to our lives today.
Okay, so now I have everything I need for my Bible reading time. I will sit down and first I will pray a...
So let’s do a quick recap of where we are at in the story of the Bible once we hit Leviticus. God created man to co-run the earth with Him. This started off great, but then Adam and Eve brought sin into the world. Oops. This put separation between man and God and God started His plan to restore that relationship between Himself and man. He ended up promising that this restoration would come through the family line of Abraham. Abraham had Isaac, Isaac had Jacob, and Jacob had 12 sons, and those 12 sons turned into an entire nation that was enslaved in Egypt. (Seriously, you need to read the whole story sometime!) God delivers this nation, called the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, and while they are in the desert, He gives them some rules to live by to help restore that relationship. This is where we end up in Exodus.
By the time we get to Leviticus, they already have these rules, and they already have a place to worship God, but there still isn’t a way for the...
I have got a confession to make. The book of the Bible that I have read the most, hands down is Genesis. You want to know why? Because I would start a Bible reading plan, miss 3 weeks on accident (you know this happens) and then feel the need to start all the way over at the beginning each time when picking it back up. So Genesis has been read through a handful of times just because of this!
What do you do when you fall behind on your reading plan? Do you give up or start over? Do you pick up where you left off?
Let’s talk about a few options you have when you get behind.
First, don't stress about it. There is no set plan you HAVE to stick to when reading the Bible, and there are no points off for missing a day. Nowhere in the Bible does it say you have to read the whole thing in a year, so set that expectation aside, and evaluate. Is the plan you are going through too fast? Pick a slower plan. Do you need someone to ask you about it regularly to hold you...