Q & R
question & response
1. “Why is it important to read my bible?”
There are so many reasons to read your bible. The most important is that the Word is a way we are able to understand God more. As you read, you begin to understand His character and grow deeper into a personal relationship with Him. Just as a in romantic relationship, in order to fall deeper in love with someone you need to spend time getting to know them more. By learning more of who He is you will then be able to learn to trust Him, because you now know that He is trustworthy and you will desire to seek Him more.
It is also so important to be able to read and study your bible because we need to be able to discern whether or not what people are preaching, actually lines up with God’s word. Unfortunately, this is something that happens. Once you seek out the Lord and study His word, you will feel conviction if there is anything being taught contrary to the truth that you have found in scripture. There are red flags that go off inside you. NEVER IGNORE THOSE RED FLAGS! If there is anything that you question, feel confused or uneasy about, the answer is simple: check God’s word. Search scripture to find out what God says about it.
The bible contains wisdom from the Lord, encouragement, truths, action points and examples. It is God’s gift to us, and we are beyond blessed to be able to read and study it. There are many reasons to ready your bible, but the goal is to be young women (or men) who are able to take ownership of our relationship with the Lord, and are able to feed ourselves by reading, studying and applying His word.
2. “What bible version do I read?”
This is a valid question and different people may have a different opinion on which version of the bible they believe is “best.” There are so many versions, but I will share which versions I have read, which ones helped me to understand scripture when I first started reading the bible and which one I read now.
- NIV– This version stands for New International Version. This was the bible version I first started reading. I like it because as someone just starting off, I was able to understand meaning of the passages and it was less intimidating to read. It is a balance between word-for-word and thought-for-thought translations from the original text. All that means is that it will translate to help you understand overall meaning of scripture.
- NKJV– This stands for New King James Version, and is the bible that my family has always read. I grew up memorizing scripture from this version and I actually really love it. It is easier to read than the KJV which uses all the “thou’s” and “thee’s.” It is pretty close in word-to-word translation from the original Hebrew and Greek text (the old testament was originally written in Hebrew, while the New Testament was written in Greek).
- NASB– This stands for New American Standard Bible. It is the translation I currently read and it is understood to be the most accurate word-for-word translation from the original Hebrew/Greek text.
*Note: MSG stands for the Message translation and I want to just let you know that while it may be a good commentary, I would not recommend having it as your everyday bible. The reason being, it is the farthest from accurate when it comes to translation from the original text of scripture. This version helps get an idea of what the scripture can mean, but just be aware that you are not reading word-for-word what the original text says.
3. “When it comes to reading my bible, where do I begin?!”
Rest assured that you are COMPLETELY normal for asking this question. There are many Christians, even church leaders, who have sat down to open up their bible and have realized that they don’t know what to read that day. So don’t feel alone. There are few things that you can do if you don’t know where to begin.
- Some people have chosen to read a devotional, which can help guide you through a passages of scripture each day so you can build from there.
- Others who are going through something specific in their lives might search for a passage of scripture based on topic (i.e. grief, salvation, purity, etc.).
- Some people start with reading a Proverb (there are 31 chapters so 1 for each day of the month), and build from there.
- Some people start reading the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke & John), because they go through the life of Jesus.
- Or you can choose to read books in their entirety. For example, read the book of JAMES from start to finish. This will help you understand the book as a whole rather than bits and pieces.
There are a few ways to choose a passage of scripture, but you always want to pray and ask God to guide you through His word. He wants to reveal Himself to you through His word so trust that He will speak if are truly seeking Him.
4. “What is your study routine?”
5 Steps to My Study Routine:
Just so you know, the fact that you DESIRE to read and understand God’s word (maybe even for the first time) is so pleasing to God! He wants nothing more than to speak and spend time with you as you dig into His word! With that being said, before you start reading just talk to Him real quick. Tell Him how you desire to draw near to Him and that you need His help with understanding what you are reading. He wants to make the Word come alive, off the pages and into the depths of your heart! Praying before you read helps you to remember that you are not just reading about “some things” that “some God” said once, but it helps you to realize that He is so personal and that He is with you NOW, desiring to speak to you NOW, about what’s happening in your life TODAY!
It is SO important to take a second and realize how incredibly blessed we are for having the freedom to read His word. First of all, there are people around the world today risking their lives to hear scripture which is forbidden in their country, because they understand how powerful the truth really is.
“For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
It truly is a priceless treasure to be able to read and find out what the Creator of it all has to say to us. God designed all things and so He has all the answers, why would we not go to the One with all the answers to meet our needs? His word guides us in all areas of our lives. He openly speaks on the things in this life that will lead us off the path of destruction and onto a path of fulfillment, joy and LIFE through a life with Jesus. He knew this life would not be easy, so He allowed us to have His word to actively navigate us through it.
So this is a huge part of my in-depth study routine. This is where I study context (purpose, dates, authors, and background information on what was going on during the time that this passage of scripture was written). This is so important in truly understanding the intended message of His word, rather than just relying on our own interpretation of it. There is a free online study tool which I use in order to study scripture and I found it to be extremely helpful! You can learn more as I walk you through 7 steps of a Helpful Guide to Study the Bible. It may LOOK intimidating at first, but I promise that pretty soon it will be second nature for you to navigate through these steps.
This leads us to my next step…
Ah, yes. One of my favorite things. This is where you have complete freedom to write out all that God is teaching and revealing to you, YOUR way. I recommend writing down or typing up what you are learning. The same way you would take notes in class in order to study, you will do that when studying His word. We are better able to recall and retain what we are learning if we do this. And you want to be able to look back. Trust me, you will use it again!
Steps 1-4 will be a complete WASTE if we have no intention to apply what we are learning. I stress this a lot, because I don’t want you to have to keep learning things over and over and OVER without allowing God’s word to come alive in your life. There is power in truth and I desire for you to experience all that God has for you in your life and in order for us to grow and keep going, we need to apply what we are learning. God is beautiful because He never stops pursuing us. He knows there is a better way, and He will continue to try and speak to you throughout your whole life in order to save your life. And sometimes it is scary to trust Him and obey what He is asking us to do, but I promise His favor and blessing is for those that listen and apply what He is asking us to do. You will never regret letting God lead your life.
OK! So that is a little idea of my current study routine and my responses to some of your questions. Keep in mind that this can and will change for both me and you! We are always growing in our walk and nothing looks the same forever. But, for now, I hope this helps!