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” Your word is a lamp for my feet,
a light on my path.” – Psalm 119:105
One of the most important things we must do as Christians is study the Word of God. Why? It is in the Word where get a revelation of who God is. In the Word is where we find the instructions we need to live a life that is pleasing unto the Lord.
The Bible says, “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword…” Hebrews 4:12 One of the coolest things about the Bible are the mysteries and revelations that it contains. You see, the Bible isn’t like any old novel you pull off the shelf at Barnes and Noble.
The Bible is THE very word of God. It is written by many but inspired by one – the ONE true God. In the Bible is where we find the keys to living a victorious life, the tools to get through the valleys, and the praises for when we are on the mountain top. In the Bible is where we see tests turned into testimonies…we see a man sleep in the den of lions unharmed, a man sold into slavery by his brothers rise to second in command, and ultimately we see the greatest example of love shown to us through Jesus himself. The Bible is full of humor, war, triumph, wrath, deceit, betrayal, miracles, praises, and victories. It is in the Bible where we get to really know God.
Another really neat thing about the Bible is that it speaks….yes, it speaks. Not audibly, but God speaks to us through His Word. You can easily spend 30 minutes just mediating on and dissecting a scripture. From one single scripture, you can get a full “meal”. There is so much that God wants to say specifically to you. He wants to help you be the best teacher you can be. He wants to equip you to handle the trials of life. God wants you to prosper in all areas.
So now that I have established the importance of studying the Word, here are the tools every Christian teacher needs to study the Bible effectively.
Of course, the very first thing you need to get into the Word of God is a good Bible. I know there is a lot of information out there about which translation to use, but honestly, I think that’s a personal decision. Reading any version of the Bible is definitely better than not reading the Bible at all, right?
I know we live in a day in age where everything is digital. With our cell phones, we literally have access to everything we need all in one place. However, although I think technology is great, I am a believer in the fact that you still need an actual, tangible Bible. You need to be able to highlight and underline. You need to flip through the Bible to familiarize yourself with where the books are. I think every Christian needs to have a basic understanding of the structure of the Bible…the Old and New Testaments, chapters and verses. This can’t be done with only a Bible app.
I do recommend that you do some research and try reading a few different versions to see what you like best. I try to stay as close to the KJV translation as possible. There are some Bibles out there that have omitted scriptures and some are just way off from the original Hebrew and Greek. So like I said, do your research.
Once you start studying the Bible, you’ll find out that you’ll most likely read from a few different versions during your study time to help you gain a complete understanding of what you’re reading. That’s definitely what I do. If one version doesn’t quite make sense to me, I’ll read a couple of others and then, of course, listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying about the scripture.
My personal Bible is the NKJV, but along with it, I also enjoy using the Amplified Version and a couple of other ones as well when I’m studying the scriptures.
When finding a good Bible, make sure you find a translation that you like, make sure the print is a good size for you to read, and you might look for wide margins as well so you can take notes in your Bible. I recently stumbled upon this Beautiful Word Bible and it looks really neat. It’s filled with some of the most beautiful full-color scripture illustrations. There is also space to add your own notes in the large margins.
Whatever translation you choose is up to you, but just do your own research and find a Bible that is best for you.
You might be thinking, why do I need a Bible App when you just told me I need a Bible? I know, I know, I know. Hear me out.
Although I am a strong proponent of having an actual Bible, Bible apps are great because they are full of tons of information about the Bible and save you tons of time. Instead of Googling the meaning of different words, researching commentaries, and getting background on various Bible figures, you can find all of this in a Bible app.
There are some really great Bible apps out there that I love to use for studying scripture. The Blue Letter Bible App is one of my absolute favorite apps. This app is chock-full of features to help you break down scripture as you study. One of the features I like to use the most is the interlinear tool. This tool lets you go to a direct translation of scripture into the original Greek and Hebrew.
The Blue Letter Bible App also has many different versions of the Bible, text commentaries, Bible Reading plans, and much more. The great thing about a Bible app is that it enables you to pull up a scripture anywhere. You may not always have your actual tangible Bible with you, but having the Bible at your fingertips makes it convenient for when you need to find a scripture.
This book is a great companion resource every Christian should have in their home library. Did I mention it is less than $2.00? It’s basically like a Cliff’s Notes version of the Bible. Inside you will find a synopsis of all 66 books of the Bible. Each book is featured one at at a time and information about each book is laid out for you. For each featured book of the Bible you will find:
You can get this book here.
Highlighters and pens are absolutely necessary for reading and studying the Bible. You need to be able to mark important information and portions of scripture that speak specifically to you. And just to add, what teacher doesn’t like pens and highlighters, right?
Marking in your Bible is fantastic, but some of the problems you want to avoid are highlighters that bleed through the pages and pens that smear. Especially since the pages of your Bible are more on the thin side, you want to be careful that you’re not using tools that will damage or bleed through the pages.
I’ve reviewed a few different marking tools and these are the ones I like the best.
For highlighters, I am loving these Pilot Pastel Erasable Highlighters. One that I have found is that traditional highlighters that come in the darker shades of blue, green, and purple are way too dark for the pages of the Bible. These are some of the reasons why I like these highlighters:
There are a gazillion different pens out there. I decided to try a few and see which ones are the best as far as not smearing or bleeding through the Bible pages.
There are a lot of good reviews for the pens in this Pigma Micron Bible Study Kit, but honestly, I wasn’t a fan. The pens did not smear but they did bleed through the pages in my Bible. Not to mention they were pricey. I used a few different pens and the ones I like a lot are the Pilot Frixion Erasable Pens. I tried out a few different pens, but these were the ones that had the least amount of bleed through.
As teachers, we all know the importance of using multiple modalities when learning. So along with reading the Bible, you should absolutely incorporate a writing component as well. You can write down scripture, important events, or specific revelations that the Lord is speaking to you while studying scripture.
I like this journal set below. The good thing about these is that they come in a set of 3 and have scriptures and cute graphics on the front. They are also lightweight and would easily fit in your Bible case or your purse.
Here are some other Bible Study tools/accessories you might like:
Magnetic Book Marks – These are awesome and have kept me from using ripped pieces of paper and sticky notes as bookmarks in my Bible.
Bible bags/cases – If you’re like me and you like to take your Bible to church, Bible cases make carrying your Bible much more convenient and easy. There are some really trendy and fun options out there. There are even some cases that look like handbags.
Bible tabs – There are tons to choose from but I think these are especially nice.
All in all, let us remember the importance of getting into God’s Word. Let us go beyond simply reading the Bible like it’s a book, and let’s keep in mind that the Bible is 100% Grade A, God-inspired goodness. It keeps us on track spiritually, emotionally, and even physically. The Bible tells us to be doers of the Word and not hearers only. This means that we have let the Word get in our hearts and put it into action.
If you have not developed good Bible study habits, it’s not too late. Make the decision to start now!
Until next time,
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Does your interaction with your daily devotion look something like this? Read the devotion. Be…February 7, 2018