I grew up a church kid, literally was part of Children’s Ministry, Youth Church, Praise Leader and attended a private Christian School. I knew the popular scriptures, church songs and sayings; “When blessings go up…” you know the rest!
Even with all that church in me, I always felt as if something was missing. I would seek counsel with church elders and they would tell me: “You need to stop sinning!” Or “Don’t question GOD!” This harsh rejection caused me to go further away from Jesus and by the time I was a sophomore in college I proclaimed that I was Agnostic.
I didn’t know what to believe, who to believe and where to find answers.
After longing for a better understanding of GOD and going through many seasons of doubt in my faith, I finally attended a church that encouraged me to read the BIBLE for myself. In my many years in church I had never learned how to effectively read and study the bible; which leads to a true relationship with Jesus. As I began to dig into the BIBLE I would be brought to tears at how much I learned from reading and spending time studying. I vowed that my purpose in life would be to teach others how to fall in love with reading the Bible.
Here are some ways those new to reading the Bible can find enjoyment in pursuing relationship with Jesus through Bible Study:
Purchase a Bible Translation You Can Understand –
There is much debate on what versions and the accuracy outside of readying anything other than the King James. Listen, if you are unable to understand the language you will not be able to study properly and most likely become discouraged. I personally like the New Living Translation, Common English and The Message.
Pray for Understanding–
Before reading say this simple prayer “Lord, please give me clear understanding and revelation as I read your word. Help me to understand, retain and find what I need as I read today.”
Do not start in Genesis–
The many years I struggled with reading the Bible, I wish I would have known this! Start in the Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John. This is where you meet Jesus AND learn about the story of his birth, life, death and resurrection. You will understand who is, why he came and his love for you! The bible is so much easier to understand when you know who Jesus is first.
Read in Context–
The bible in the original text format did not have verses and chapters, they were later added to make it easier for reference to readers. To effectively read the bible you have to know who is talking, who they are talking to and what they are talking about. If you area only reading the scripture you will miss the context of the reading. The NLT (New Living Translation) gives a summary of who wrote the book, when, and purpose, this sets the tone and makes the study much more enjoyable.
The study of the BIBLE is not a sprint as your relationship with GOD is a marathon. Don’t feel condemned if you are not completing the Bible in a year. Set aside some quiet time daily and as you read begin to reflect on how it can be applied to your daily living. One very popular method of studying is called S.O.A.P. Scripture, Observation, Application, and Prayer! This will help you focus and study better.
Join a Bible Study–
There is nothing better than getting with a group of believers to help you through this journey. Join a local group or find many of the free online resources to follow with other women. It’s a great way to be accountable and find support as you become a Word Warrior.
Reading the Bible helps develop your character as you grow in your relationship with Christ. It helps you hear clearly from the Holy Spirit, guides your prayer life and it is the key to everything you need to get you through.
I noticed how much easier life was for me once I became a true Word Warrior!