To know Who God is & who we are in relation to Him, we must go to His Word. From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible tells us the best news we human beings can ever hear. It is the story of His great love for us.
We understand. Family, work, school, ministry, hobbies and other activities are pulling us in many different directions. As our calendars reflect the busyness of our lives, we have to boldly guard our time of personal study of our Bibles.
Knowing and loving God affects all of life and must take priority if we wish to have a lived faith! We want to encourage and equip you with some tools as you seek to know and love Him more.
Where do I begin?
Use a readable & reliable Bible translation.
Two of the most readable and reliable modern translations of the Bible are the English Standard Version (ESV) and the New International Version (NIV). We find that the ESV Study Bible is one of the most resourceful as it provides notes on words, names, ideas and cultural situations that modern readers may not readily understand.
Pray before you even open your Bible. Tell Him your limitations and humbly ask Him to give you wisdom as you read. Acknowledge your dependence on the Holy Spirit for understanding and prepare to hear from Him.
Make a plan.
Choose a book or use a Bible Reading plan. If you choose a book, work through it day by day and have your study Bible handy. A good rule of thumb is to read about 7-10 verses each day as you make your way through a book. Aim to read enough of the Scripture to understand what is being said, while not reading so much that you cannot focus on one particular truth.
Commit to a time & place.
Jesus was a master at finding the best time and place for time with His Father despite a very busy life. Choose the best time for you. Early morning? Evening? Choose the best place. Like Jesus, you need a “deserted location”– a place where you cannot be easily interrupted. These times should be daily, should occur when we are at our best and the place should be undistracted and private.
Respond & Apply
Consider the author, original audience & setting as you interpret the Scriptures. Then ask, what does this text tell me about God's character? What does it reveal about me? How should I live in light of this? After reflecting on these, respond personally to Him. This may be through prayer, journaling what He's revealed to you, singing songs of praise or repenting and allowing His undeserved grace to transform you!
Here are some recommended books to help you begin to build the habit of personal devotion:
John / Philippians / Mark / Galatians / Acts / 1 and 2 Timothy / Luke / 1 John / Psalms 1-30 / Ephesians / Matthew / James
Daily Bible reading and prayer is a vital habit for every follower of Jesus. Like any good relationship, a relationship with God requires an ongoing investment of time and a desire to know Him more. FollowOn was developed by Steve Corts and includes a two-fold journal guide for believers to spend time both in God’s Word and with Him in prayer.
The Reading and Reflecting Journal and the Prayer and Intercession Journal offer a clear, step-by-step approach to
help believers of all stages of spiritual development learn to approach the Bible in ways that are faithful and meaningful using Scripture and prayer. Both journals can be used separately, but are most effective when used together.
A hard copy of the companion journals can be purchased at the information center or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or digital downloads of the material can be accessed below.
Other Helpful Resources