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...
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...
There are two different ways you can break up your time spent in the Bible. They are reading and studying. You might be thinking those are the same thing, but they are actually very different. Today, I would like to share with you what it means to read the bible, versus what it means to study the Bible.
First, let’s start with reading the Bible. When reading the Bible, the goal is familiarity with the text and understanding what you are reading and how it fits into the bigger picture of Scripture. You will probably want to read larger chunks, from 2-3 chapters to complete smaller books of the Bible to see how it flows. The purpose of this is not to understand 100% of what is there, but instead to get familiar with the way that the story is being told, the main details, and how that story fits into the larger story of the Bible. Reading plans that are one year or less are usually for the purpose of reading the Bible instead of studying it. I like to read through...
When studying the Bible, one key thing to take note of is the genre of literature. This means, what style of writing that particular book of the Bible written? There are several different types of literature in the Bible. Narrative, poetry, wisdom, and prophecy are all found in the Old Testament. The New Testament contains gospels, letters, and apocalyptic writings. These genres help us to see how to interpret what we are reading.
Narrative is telling a story of someone in the past. We cannot take narrative as something actionable, or something to do, because it is simply descriptive of what happened in the past. If we took Noah’s story in Genesis as actionable, we would all be building arks for no reason. Instead, that story serves a larger purpose in the story of scripture. That purpose is to show that God will protect His people and that He values faith in Himself.
The books of poetry in the Bible are full of metaphors and grandiose...
One of my very first memories of reading the book of Genesis was in 6th grade at an upward basketball game, hiding behind a stack of chairs. My friend Rebecca had told me that she read the book of Genesis the night before, and not to be outdone, I obviously had to read the whole book too. I remember wondering why Enoch was “taken” instead of dying like all the rest of the old guys and I can pinpoint my fascination with the story of Joseph to that read through. That fascination led me to check out books about Joseph regularly from our church library.
Fast forward a few years and my plans to read the Bible all the way through were constantly stunted about the time I finished Genesis, so it is probably one of my most-read books of the Bible.
Genesis is the first book of the Bible and the beginning story of all creation. The word genesis literally translates to “origins.” This book tells the story of how God created humanity, how...
Last year, Rhett and I went to the Grand Canyon and viewed it from the rim. We could look over the edge, see the mark it made in the earth, and get a sense of its size but that wide view was it. We didn’t get up close and personal and we couldn’t quite grasp the scope of the canyon from the top. from that little taste, I knew I wanted more.
This year, we hiked the Grand Canyon from rim to rim. We started on the North Kaibab trail, and hiked down into Phantom Ranch. We camped at the bottom, and then hiked up the Bright Angel trail to the south rim. We saw several of the creeks that fed into the Colorado river, and dipped our feet in them. We came within a few feet of a deer that was grazing. We saw lizards, a snake, and so many different types of bugs. The trees were gorgeous, and their ability to thrive in a desert ecosystem was awe-inspiring.
If we had settled for visiting the rim, yes, we could say that we had been to the Grand Canyon. However, because I have...
I love reading by Bible. But that hasn’t always been the case. When I was around 12, I confessed to my dad that I actually didn’t really like reading my Bible. This is not something a pastor’s kid, a regular church attender, a “good girl” should say.
But it was true.
I wanted to like reading my Bible, but I found it hard to understand, and there were often other things I would’ve rather been doing.
Let’s be honest, reading the Bible can be hard, and we don’t always like to, or want to. But we need to, because God’s Word is powerful. Through reading and studying the Bible, we come to know God more and are transformed into who He created us to be.
After graciously listening to me, my dad spoke a phrase that has stuck with me ever since: A divine interaction takes place when we read God’s Word.
2 Timothy 3:16 says, “All Scripture is God-breathed…”
In Genesis 2, we read of God creating man. Verse 7 says...
Are you ever intimidated when reading the Bible? What if you have questions? What if you don’t understand it? I have asked myself these same questions before. The size alone of a Bible with the small print can be enough to make you hesitant to crack it open.
I got the chance to talk with Lisa Hensley the other day, and she said a something that really struck me about the Bible. She said, “truth is not challenged by questions.” I love how true that is about the Word of God. God is not threatened or offended when we have questions about His Word. He is not offended when we don’t understand something. Instead He offers that we come closer, that we look deeper into His Word and who He is.
One of the first verses I ever memorized was Psalm 119:11. It says “I have hidden your word in my heart that I may not sin against you.” All of Psalm chapter 119 is about valuing God’s Word, and putting it to practice in our lives. I want that to be true...
Here in Middle Georgia, everything is personalized with a monogram. Purses, cars, earrings, luggage, notebooks, cups, everything. You can even buy the machines that cut out the vinyl that personalize everything. We have taken it to a whole new level.
So how come, when we read God’s Word to us, we feel like it’s not personal? We feel like it isn’t relevant to our lives. But that isn’t the case. The Bible is living and active (Hebrews 4:12), and is relevant to our lives today!
So I challenge you today. Take out your journal, and write out Ephesians 3:14-21 and personalize it. Where it says “you” write your name. Write it like it were a prayer from Paul, specifically for you.
How would your life be different if you took the Bible as a Word for you? Would your life change? Would you read it more, and do what it says (James 1:22).
I absolutely love shopping for books. It is one of my favorite pastimes. The smell of the books, the rows and rows of shelves combined with the hushed atmosphere is the best way to spend a Saturday morning. But there is something even more special to me about picking out a new Bible. I know it is the book I will spend the most time with over the next year, and I want to find one that is just right.
[Now at this point you could be thinking that I am obsessed with books. To that I say, you are not wrong.]
Bible translation plays a huge role in what Bible to get. If you get a translation you don’t understand easily, but the cover is pretty, you are probably less likely to read it. So that brings us to the first point.
If you can’t understand it, it’s not worth it. We are lucky that in English, we have so many different translations to choose from. They range on a scale from word for word translations, to a thought for...