One last takeaway from the Women’s Retreat I attended. The speakers continually hit this phrase home, “Ladies, read your Bibles.”

I can still picture my mom in her comfy chair, before the sun was even up, Bible and journal on lap; and it’s the one habit I hope with all my heart my children pick-up from me. If nothing else, read your Bible. Read it to your children. Not books about the Bible, but God’s word. His power, accessed by us when read. (Don’t believe me? Read Hebrews 4:12). There is no quick fix and no other way to growing as a follower of Christ than reading the Bible. Both growing and going require knowing.

Imagine God speaking the following words to you each new day.

My [child], pay attention to all the words I am telling you.
Lean in closer so you may hear all I say.
Keep them before you; meditate on them;
set them safely in your heart.
For those who discover them, they are life.
They bring wholeness and healing to their bodies. 

Proverbs 4:20-22 {The Voice}

May you find life, wholeness, and healing in His words for YOU. That’s right, God’s word, that message of hope and salvation and restoration was written just for you and for everyone all at once. The One that authored the redemption for all humankind is also writing your story. As you learn more about God, you’ll find that you also begin to learn more about yourself in the context of God’s redemptive plan. (Hint: You get to play a part.)

If you don’t know where to begin, I urge you to get a good study Bible. (I use a Life Application Study Bible available on Amazon and at most Christian bookstores.) Then, just set a goal. Will you shoot for five chapters each day? It doesn’t have to be right away in the morning and you don’t have to journal or go through any prescribed study methodology. Just read His word, underline key verses, check the footnotes for additional information, and flag passages you don’t understand so you can look them up, ask a trusted friend or even your pastor.

As with anything else, context is key. As you read through whole passages, think on how certain verses relate to the passage as a whole. What is the situation? What is God saying here? To whom? Also, it has been very helpful for me to think in terms of PRESCRIPTIVE and DESCRIPTIVE when unlocking portions of the Bible. Prescriptive passages and verses apply to humanity as a whole both then, now, and into the future, while descriptive passages are situational and were applicable only in that specific situation. Again, if you run into a confusing passage (believe me, you will), I urge you to be courageous and ask someone. Who knows? Maybe your question will open up a whole new Bible study group or topic.

For additional reasoning on getting into your Bible and other study tips, I love this post from A Deeper Story last week: “Don’t you folks ever read your Bibles?

What has been instrumental for you in reading/studying the Bible?

— PS —

One thing that was so transformative for me was my time in the Cover-to-Cover Bible Survey courses through Village Schools of the Bible. We worked from Genesis through Revelation over the course of three semesters and 18 months. It was one of the most rewarding and equipping experiences I have encountered yet. For more information on course offerings or to inquire about Cover-to-Cover being offered at your church, I encourage you to contact them.

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