How to Read the Bible in a Way that will Change Your Life
I get religion.
It’s always been a part of my life.
I grew up in church, attended parochial schools, became a church organist in high school, a parochial teacher after college, and I married a minister.
Like a piece of modeling clay, I was poked here and pinched there until I was shaped into what I call a “good little church girl.”
I’ve attended more Bible Studies and church services than I can count.
Some might say, I have been indoctrinated even “brainwashed.
And there was a time in my life when they would have been right. You see, everything I knew about my faith … I’d learned from other people.
Oh sure, I read and memorized the required parts of the Bible when I was in school and studied the verses that were listed in every Bible Study I’ve attended but through most of my life … I allowed other people to teach me their understanding of what the Bible taught and that greatly influenced what I believed.
Now please don’t misunderstand, I believed in Jesus as my Savior! This post is not about questioning whether or not I had faith.
It is about…
What I was missing in my life because I was sitting at the feet of people rather than sitting at the feet of Jesus.
So, I want to tell you why I believe reading and studying the Bible is so important. Not just reading what people say about the Bible. Not just attending topical Bible Studies. Not just listening to sermons and “messages.”
But actually sitting down to read the Bible and letting God speak through His Word.
In response to some of the comments I received at – You Need to Answer the Most Important Question about Jesus … I want to answer a few questions.
- What initiated my love for the Bible.
- Why I trust the Bible.
- Why I don’t read many books written about the Bible.
And tell you…
How to Read the Bible in a Way that will Change Your Life
1. I love the Bible because…
I fell in love with reading the Word of God almost 15 years ago.
At the time, I was in a pit of despair … so completely broken that it was hard to function. I was having trouble getting out of bed and living my life. I didn’t want to see anyone or do anything.
By God’s grace, I picked up my Bible and a pen and I spent every spare moment reading and taking notes. Not a verse here and there but Genesis through Revelation … Creation through the Promised New Creation.
And as I prayed and asked Him to teach me through His Holy Spirit, God spoke to my broken heart…
He lifted me out of the pit of despair,Psalm 40:2
out of the mud and the mire.
He set my feet on solid ground
and steadied me as I walked along.
Ever so slowly with each turn of the page, the Spirit filled me with hope, peace, and even joy. He showed me that even when others reject and forsake me … God never will. And I began to fall in love with my Creator and my Savior.
Like reading an amazing autobiography, I identified with the people of God’s Word. I could see myself…
- taking a bite of the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good & Evil in the Garden.
- depressed like Sarah.
- grumbling like the wilderness wanderers.
- broken like Job.
- running like Jonah.
- hiding and afraid like the disciples.
I’d love to see myself in the heroes of faith … but I identify more with the broken and needy. Because in their accounts, I see God’s constant and unwavering love.
And if He loved them like that, I can trust His love for me.
You see, I don’t see the Bible as a bunch of stories or a list of rules. For me, it is the greatest love letter ever written.
It is a message from God to His creation that He loves them so much He would rather die for them than live without them.
2. I trust the Bible because…
- over a 1500 year span (from 1400 B.C to A.D. 100)
- over 40 generations
- over 40 authors from many walks of life (i.e. – kings, peasants, philosophers, fishermen, poets, statesmen, scholars)
- in different places (i.e. – wilderness, dungeon, palaces)
- at different times (i.e. – war, peace)
- in different moods (i.e. – heights of joy, depths of despair)
- on three continents (Asia, Africa, and Europe)
- in three languages (Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek)
At yet, it contains one message … one truth from Genesis through Revelation.
“For this is how God loved the world: He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent His Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through Him.John 3:16–17
Throughout history, as artifacts and historical documents have been unearthed and discovered … not one refutes the details of the Bible.
I’ve noticed through commenters online and conversations I’ve had in person … that most arguments against Christianity point to the failures and flaws of the Church – it’s leaders and members.
And you know what?
They’re right! People are messed up! Even people in the church. As much as we want to represent Christ well, we fail.
I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.Romans 7:18b–19
And Paul’s right! But he’s not excusing bad behavior, he’s reminding the people reading his letter why they need Jesus.
A few verses later, he wrote…
What a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord.Romans 7:24–25a
For me, the message of the Bible – the truth I want people to trust … is that God’s love made evident in Scripture culminates in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. And a life surrendered to Jesus, no matter how broken by sin, will be transformed into a life of love that will live forever.
3. I don’t read many other books about the Bible because…
Although, I used to be an avid reader of books written by Bible teachers.
Lately, I’ve observed that although there are, I’m sure, many books which are Biblically sound … there are also others that contain a culture pleasing bias.
I don’t have the time or the energy to join the arguments about what teachings are Biblical and true and those that aren’t.
I feel God has called me to tell people about His transforming love.
So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”John 13:34–35
I want to tell people and, to the best of my imperfect ability, show people the love of Jesus. I want them to know His power to lift them out of the “pit” and place them on a firm foundation built on His love. I want them to enjoy the freedom He gives to live with peace, hope, and joy.
So, I read my Bible and I write and tell my story.
Because I want people to know the One who says … I love you and I want to change your life.
I’m often asked about my preferred Bible choice.
Rev once asked a theology professor, who was an expert in ancient Greek and Hebrew texts, what translation of the Bible he recommended and his answer…
The one you will read!
My favorite translation is the New Living Translation.
My favorite Bible is the Life Application Bible. (The notes are so helpful!)
The past two years I’ve read it in the Genesis to Revelation – format. Next year I’m reading it Chronologically.
I always have a notebook, pen, and highlighter with me when I read … marking and writing the verses that speak to my heart.
If you’re struggling with any part of life or even if your not … if you’d just like to change your life for the better, let the Holy Spirit speak to you through the pages of the Bible.
You don’t have to spend hours a day. Just start with the time you have. Leave your Bible open on a counter and read a few verses here and there throughout the day. Read a couple of verses from Proverbs in the morning and a Psalm before bed.
If you want to fall in love with the God of the universe and His Son, Jesus, if you want to know the difference His love can make in your life … read the Bible!
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Thank you for this word. It was perfect timing and confirmation. I have been so hungry for the knowledge of the Lord that I spend hours reading books and watching YouTube sermons, only to find myself so confused. Sometimes I believe watching sermons is my laziness in reading the word, but the Spirit of God has spoken to my heart numerous times, ” take my yoke upon you and learn from ME”. He does speak.
I’m so glad it blessed you, Colleen! Thank you for taking the time to let me know! I can’t imagine a better place than to be than sitting with and learning from the Lord Himself. God bless you!
I was so excited to read this. There’s is one thing that came to mind. You mentioned you no longer read books about the Bible and I get to the part where you are currently reading the “new living translation” and partake in the Amp version of the Bible. You see those versions that you’re reading are simply mans version of Gods word. You see the past 100+ years you’ve had over 200 versions of the Bible present themselves as “Gods word” all bibles are copied from the King James Bible. They are just removing different words here and there as well as changing words. It’s quite obvious that Satan is still using his first question “ye hath God said” Gen3:1. I could go on with scripture showing God will preserve his word. But this pill would have to be swallowed.
Thanks so much for visiting Chris, and for joining the conversation. I do read the New Living Translation most often with the Life Application notes. If you study what is said about that translation, many scholars Bible scholars who were proficient in Greek and Hebrew were tasked with translating it. To quote them, “The translators of the New Living Translation set out to render the message of the original texts of Scripture into clear, contemporary English . . . their goal was to be both faithful to the ancient texts and eminently readable.” There are versions of the Bible that are “paraphrases” of other English translations but others like the NLT do go back to the original languages. My husband once asked a renowned expert in Biblical texts at the Seminary where he worked, what he believed the best translation of the Bible to be? And he replied, “the one you are reading right now.”
I really just pray that people will grow in love with God’s Word and SEEK Him first. Thanks again for sharing your thoughts. May God bless you as you continue to place your faith in Him.
I agree that the KJB is best and most accurate with the greatest scholars in the world, (each one had at least 20 years experience in Ancient Hebrew Greek and English) and they bathed physically and Prayerfully daily before taking part in such a great endeavor, but all modern versions do not come from the KJV, all modern versions come from Westcott and Hort manuscripts, these two were corrupt, perverted and even demonic men, even their own children say so.
Only the KJ came from the Textus Receptus and Maserotic Hebrew text, all the others Came from Alexandrian, Egypt (type of World) Texts, through Westcott and his co-Hort.
The KJ came out of the hot-bed of revival, Antioch, this is where they were first called Christians.
Even the NKJV is not from the same text as the KJ and makes the same errors as the modern versions.
All modern versions attack doctrine, eg. the deity of Christ, the blood, virgin birth, resurrection.
If two Bibles contradict each other, they cannot both be right.
Thank you, Jumbo, for joining the conversation. It has not been my experience that the the NLT or several other translations that I’ve read contradict the KJB. I grew up memorizing verses from the KJ and I as I read and study today I have not observed that problem.
I also believe the Holy Spirit is still active today and able to teach God’s truth to hearts and minds.
I want people to fall in love with reading and studying God’s Word and I’ve talked with too many people who have stopped reading because they found the KJB difficult to understand.
Thanks again. I am blessed by your love for God’s Word and desire for people to know Him. God bless you!
Amen 🙏 🙏 🙏 Thank you Dob
Not a fan of the NLT either. A tad watered down for my taste.
Have a hard time with current scholars who didn’t feel it important enough to capitalize “He” and “Him” when talking about Jesus. I have expressed and been praying for 2 years for Biblegateway online to edit that format and recently (thank You LORD!) They have re-considered.
I really like the NKJV.
Great inspiring article that points us to a deeper relationship with the LORD! ????
I agree that I completely wish they would have capitalized the pronouns referencing Jesus. I just want people to read the Bible. I’ve known so many people who have tried to read the KJV or the NKJV and given up because they feel it’s hard to read and understand. That’s why I encourage people to read the NLT. I don’t want them to give up . . . reading and studying God’s Word has changed my life. I love studying it so much, I’ve read at least a half-dozen translations entirely and individual passages in all available translations. I want everyone to experience the power of the Holy Spirit as they read and study God’s Word. Thanks so much for your encouragement and for joining the conversation!
Also compare the story of Noah …in the NLT it only mentions 2 of every animal entering the ark! Genesis 7:1&2…take 7 clean beast and enter into the ark…then 2 of unclean. People and the NLT NEVER realize that God took 7 & 2 into the ark! Very good to read your Bible carefully. Or read different versions of the Bible of the same passage to compare what is truth! God Bless!
I love reading and studying the different translations, Cheri. When we humbly and prayerfully invite the Spirit to speak to us through God’s Word, it’s a blessing to realize how He works in our hearts and minds to teach us God’s will. The NLT translation of Genesis 7:2 reads – “Take with you seven pairs—male and female—of each animal I have approved for eating and for sacrifice,[a] and take one pair of each of the others.” 7 pair of clean animals for eating and sacrifice and 1 pair of all others. Thanks for visiting Counting My Blessings and for joining the conversation. God bless you.
I’m grateful for your posting Deb as it came in a perfect time. There was a time nearly 2 decades ago that I had an insatiable hunger for God’s Word. Then time went on and I drifted away from Him. Though He never left me, I got hopelessly lost. Lost my zeal to read, having difficulty discerning His voice, see His guidance. My heart has a pang, no love, struggling faith, little endurance. I crave to have a new heart, a new life, being able to love Jesus the way He loves me. If you can than please say a prayer for me.
I am lifting you up in prayer, Gaby. I’m asking God to be your encouragement and to surround you with His love. I am praying that as You turn to Him and SEEK Him first He will give you everything you need. May you be blessed with His gifts of faith, hope, and love today and always.
I’m grateful Deb for the prayer. Is it wrong to ask for knowing that I belong to Jesus? To ask for recognizing the Holy Spirit’s presence in my life. I grew up around faith in my whole life. And now that I grew old, realizing there are so many questions that I have no answer for. Sorry for bombarding you….I need guidance and everyone I thought to be a Christian fell away from my life. And while I believe in the Holy Spirit’s guidance, sometimes it’s nice to have a personal input as well.
I’m lifting you up in prayer, Gaby. I believe it’s good to ask God for His guidance and assurance of His presence in our lives. I also believe that there will always be things we won’t completely understand this side of heaven. It’s why I need to lean into God and surrender to His Spirit every day. Asking Him to bless and encourage you today!
I’d ask that you please pray with me and for me as I begin this journey to get to know Christ in a better way .
I am blessed to pray for you! God be with you!
I was looking for somethings about the Bible and the Lord bless me with a question, what are your Bible choices but I found so much more. I can’t wait to get started. Thanks you, and I will keep in touch with you
Thanks so much for visiting and for letting me know you were blessed and encouraged, Barbara! Your kindness and encouragement have brightened my day! God bless you!
Dear Miss Deb,
Thank you for your ” How to read the Bible”
And I’m hoping to have a copy of your ” studynotes” , I’m sure it will be a treasure of wisdom…
As you have written mentioned by a theology professor..
The best version of the Bible is the one ” You love to read 📚 ❤️ “
I’m glad it encouraged you. I use the Life Application Bible for many of my study notes. I also have written devotionals to go along with readying the New Testament. You can find them by clicking here. May God bless you as you SEEK Him through His Word.
Thank you so much for the information I have received today about reading the Bible daily. Please pray to God to heal me. Right now, I
Can’t walk properly at all and I have severe pains all over my body. God bless you.
I am so sorry you are suffering, Gladys. I am praying for you and asking God to heal your body, to give you His peace, and strengthen you in every way you need. God bless you!
????????Gladys I too, am feeling lead to pray for you! May You dig deeply in God’s Word… While in His timing dig deeply in you to heal you from the inside out!
God May choose to heal you,
May you I return: Give Voice and Give God the Glory!!
I’m praying You through!!! ❤️????????
thank you for your advice, I’m reading the Bible I’m on Ezekiel now!
I’m so glad, Edwin. I’m praying for you and asking God to bless and encourage you as you study His Word. God be with you!
I have started reading the bible and i kept stoping and somethimes I beleive iam not getting a good understanding of it so i would appreciate if you will give me some clear pointer that will give me more interest and clarity so I can unerstand and get a passion to read the bible
I typically recommend that people start by reading the Book of John, then Romans, then the rest of the New Testament adding Psalms and Proverbs, and then the Old Testament and New. I do love the Life Application Bible because it helps readers understand and apply what they are reading to life. Thanks so much for visiting and for joining the conversation. God bless you!
Colleen I totally agree with all that you have shared here because this is my reality. I am now at peace since reading this article on how to read the Bible. Thank you Deb.
I am so glad, Onetta! Thank you so much for visiting and for pausing to join the converation. God bless you!
I’ve found that reading the Bible for myself has grounded me much more in my faith than any other influence possibly could, Deb. Everyone reading your words here today should take them to heart and take action. They will be enriched by those love letters from God.
Amen, Martha! I completely agree! I just want to spend my time “still and know”ing at Jesus’ feet! What an overwhelming blessing that we have a God who wants us to know Him personally! God bless!
I so relate to this post. I remember when I was depressed and saw myself in the pages of the Bible as you did. It was life-changing and its why I live my life the way I do. The Bible is life giving and always points you to the giver of life.
I think it’s in times when we take our brokenness and fall at Jesus’ feet that He uses His Word to lift us up. I love your last sentence – “The Bible is life giving and always points us to the give of life.” We are so blessed!
I am so happy I stumbled onto your page. I’ve always wanted to read the Bible but i get confused or don’t understand but as you recommend, I will read John first.. Pray for me as I hope to start a new job soon. God bless you !
Connie, we are happy to pray for you and I’m so glad you visited! May God encourage you and bless you as you begin your new job and SEEK Him.
Thank you for this post. 🙂
Thank you, Dawn! I’m so glad you visited!
“The Word of God is alive and powerful.”
A very deep verse of the Bible! One we should cling to and absorb.
Each time I read one of your new devotionals I think it is the greatest! Then the next is great! And the next!
Now today’s devotional is packed with so much information, guidance, inspiration, lessons, Scriptures, and helpful tidbits on opening our Bibles and getting into God’s Word.
Years ago all I knew was to read the Bible. I read through the Bible not knowing to meditate on it, jot down Scriptures, take some notes how it related to me, and dig deeper. I still struggle a little on my note taking. I’m still learning how to get the most from God’s Word. Not only read and study the Word, but apply it to my life. I crave God’s Word.
I loved all your examples of getting into God’s Word and the Scriptures you used.
This was a wonderful devotional! Deb, thank you for sharing with your followers!
Beautiful fall morning to all of you,
You are so very kind, Barbara! Thank you! I love hearing the beautiful ways God uses His Word to touch a person’s life! God bless you!
Ditto! Well said I feel same! You know this is terrific I love what all these women have written! Thank you Deb for your post. Just pondering and so amazing to think one day I get to meet you all! Until then let’s keep shining together for His Glory!
What a day that will be, Shahli! God bless you!
It truly is a life-transforming book and process, Deb! My time in God’s word and learning how to pray to Him because of God’s word has in all respects saved my marriage and made my life so much more fulfilling and anchored. Great post, my friend! Will be pinning and tweeting!
I love how He uses His Word to transform us and in transforming us He often transforms our circumstances. I don’t know if I would have ever gotten out of my pit of despair had in not been for God using His Word to lift me up and give me strength. Blessings!
Oh, Deb, I cannot express to you how much I love this post! I’m going to be sharing this with my readers next week in my Friday Favorites collection. You’ve so confidently and convincingly expressed your passion for God’s Word. You have a way of simplifying things, and that is my heart – to encourage women to study the Bible for themselves, because THEY CAN. Every single person can do it. And it has the power to transform each life from the inside out. THANK YOU for this wonderful word!
Thank you so much, Jana! I really appreciate your kindness. I have wanted to share this for a while. It’s hard to explain but I just love God’s beautiful love letter soooo much! And His Spirit has helped me fall more and more in love with Him as I read its words. Blessings!
Great post, succinctly put. We should always read the Bible for ourselves and not solely depend on others’ interpretation of it.
Thank you, Betty! I appreciate your kind encouragement! God bless you!
I loved this post-Deb, thank you! God’s Word truly is wonderful. I am encouraging a group of women to get into God’s Word because I know what it has done in my life. I am concerned as I have been speaking with Christin women and they admit that they are not reading the Word. I trust that this post will encourage all of us to make this a priority in their lives.
I am joining you in prayer, Monica. It’s too easy to lose track of what’s important when we aren’t faithfully spending time in the Word. Thank you so much for your kind encouragement. God bless you!
Deb, since I love God’s Word, I love this post! Thank you for mentioning how the Bible brings us hope, love, grace and more! And we should and do relate to the people in the Bible and their stories because we, too, are broken and needy. But the most important thing is how Scripture gives us truth and therefore life! The Bible is the best-selling book of all time and the greatest love story and love letter ever written in history. Because it’s His-story!
Amen, Karen! I think it has been my search for Truth that initiated my first reading of the Bible … falling in love with the Way, the Truth, and the Life! It’s when I first realized that He was lovingly involved in my every day. Thanks so much for your kind encouragement! Blessings!
Another suggestion is to listen to an Audio Bible. Whether you are listening as you fall asleep, or when you are up walking the babu in the middle of the night… ???????? When you are driving, or whatever. It’s amazing what you’ll hear, especially when you vary your translation. Even if your mind wanders some or you fall asleep. Is there a better way to fall asleep than listening to the word?
Aryn, I love that suggestion! Thank you so much for sharing it with us here! Blessing!
Can you recommend a Bible that is a good one for understanding and applying? I would like to get one for myself but don’t know how to choose. Thank you!
Hi Jen, I really like the Life Application Bible in the New Living Translation. It has been my go-to Bible for the past several years. Thank you so much for visiting. God bless you!
Such a great post, Deb. I always think of others as I read your posts. You have such a great way of sharing the Word of God that I wish my family would read your blog because they certainly won’t listen to me. Thank you for the pep talk!
Thank you, Wendy! I really appreciate your kindness. I’m praying for your family … asking God to open their hearts and minds that they might fall in love with the Savior, Jesus. God bless you!
Thank you for your message on reading the Bible. It has always been a bit overwhelming for me. I tend to end up jumping around and never feel satisfied with my attempts. Your words have inspired me to start at the beginning and try again. I have Jesus as my anchor daily, but I REALLY want to fully experience the Word from reading the Bible. I feel like this time I may have a real tried and true plan. Thank you!
I’m praying for you, Pam … asking God to guide you through His Word, that it might come alive and bless you! Thank you so much for your kindness. You are a blessing! God bless you!
Deb, You are so encouraging and always pointing us in the right direction. God’s direction. When I read your posts I am thinking she really gets it and knows how to inspire. Thank you so much.
Barbara, I so appreciate your kind encouragement. I feel so blessed to be able to do this. I love it! Hearing from readers, like you, is an extra special bonus blessing. Thank you and God bless you!
Just ordered the Bible you recommended. I have tried numerous times to REALLY read my Bible but always find other things to do instead.
I plan to fall in love with the Word as you have.
Hilda, I’m so glad! I’m praying that you are abundantly blessed as the Lord speaks to you through His Word! I truly believe you will be! Thanks so much for taking the time to let me know! God bless you!
I can’t thank the Lord enough for helping me to accidentally fall upon what you wrote! I am at a place where I am struggling mentally, and I really needed the reminder that there is more people out there struggling to keep the good word. Also, that he is there full I’ve love, not just judgement. It makes me care a little more about what I am doing. Thank You for your service to the lord!
Amen, Cecilia … the Lord is always faithfully calling to us with His love. Thank you so much for visiting and for taking a few moments to let me know and leave such kind encouragement. God bless you!
Thank you so much for this post. It really spoke to my spirit and made me say “ouch!”. I keep “trying” to start reading and studying the Bible but get easily distracted and discouraged. Never follow thru. Your post was helpful for me. Please pray with and for me so that I find the desire and discipline combination I need to study God’s word.
Hi, Tami, thank you for stopping by and saying “hello.” I am praying for you and asking God to help you fall in love with reading and studying God’s Word. And no ouches intended … it took me a very long time to simply rest in the Word and begin to love my time there. I love that you are determined to keep trying. God bless you!
Same here. I have never been able to get motivated to make the effort.
Thank you so much for sharing your journey in the word of life. I am encouraged greatly not to give up on studying God’s word, especially when my emotions are everywhere. Good bless you
I’m blessed by your encouragement, Ele! I pray that God helps you fall in love more and more with Him and with His Word! God bless you!
As I was looking for some guidance, this was the first thing that came up, I thank you .
I’m so glad it bless you, Gail! Thank you for visiting and for taking the time to let me know! God bless you!
Although you were talking about yourself I feel as if you were talking directly to me. I needed this. Thank you. May God bless you and your family.
Oh, thank you, Christy! I’m so glad God used this to encourage you! I’m asking Him to mightily bless your time in His Word! God bless you!
I so agree with you on everything you wrote. I’ve also been in your boat most of my life until 4 years ago I had a vision and God told me to dig deeper into His word. Since then I’ve started to do that very thing! I also love to get into the Hebrew and Greek through the Blue Letter Bible app. It makes God’s word become even more alive in its meaning.
Oh, Joyce, your comment is such a wonderful blessing. I love digging God’s Word. Thanks for pointing us to the Blue Letter Bible as well. It’s so good to go back to the words of the original writers as they were inspired by God. God bless you!
I just wanted to say I am thankful I found you. Sometimes I feel alone in how I feel about God our father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. I agree with you that God does speak to us through the Bible. This is where i go for help why would you need any other hand book for life, other than to turn to the very one who created us and knew us before we were born. He is my savings grace. Thank you for sharing.
Amen! Amen! Thank you so much, Beth! I absolutely agree! I trust His Word as absolute truth … not only for my eternal future but for daily living. Thank you so much for visiting and for your kind encouragement. God bless you!
Bless you! I just found your blog and I am so glad I did. I shall look forward to[to continue following you. Thank you.
Thank you so much, Sheila! I’m so glad you’re here! God bless you!
Thanks, Deb! This post is a blessing! God bless you!
I enjoyed this post so much. Thank you for being obedient. I will be sharing this with my youth group. Look forward to reading more. Love in Christ
Thanks so much, Rebecca! I’m so glad you visited and that this blessed you! Thanks for ministering to our youth and pointing them to the Word! God bless you!
Ditto. I have been a avid Life Application Bible (NLT) reader for many years. It is also my go to Bible. In fact, I recommend it to all new Christians.
Me too, Charlotte! I love it! Thanks so much for joining the conversation! God bless you!
I have discovered after many years of allowing someone else to teach me about the Bible, that the very best Teacher, is God Himself. So, I have set out on a journey, trusting that My Father will teach me what He wants me to know, and in the way He wants me to know it. Thus far, I am learning so much, and connecting with My Father in a way that I have not before. Because I am learning from Him directly. Loved this article. Loved it.
Thank you so much for visiting, Terri, and for taking the time to say “hello.” I’m so excited for you to be turning to God’s Word and allowing Him to teach you directly from its pages. It is a beautiful journey of learning and faith. I absolutely love sitting in His presence and studying His Word. Thanks so much for your encouragement! God bless you!
I ran across your site and I’m glad I did. I went through an earth-shattering experience that brought me to my knees. Things didn’t work out as I would have liked, but I’ve learned that sometimes God prevents you from going through the fire and other times He allows you to go through the fire. Since then, I try to soak up everything about God, but I feel like I learn bits and pieces of the Bible but I can’t grasp the big picture. Reading your article gives me hope that I can do this. Thank you!
Oh, Genita, I’m so glad you visited! God is so good! I’m so sorry you went through that difficult experience but I’m praising God that He used it to draw you close. I hope you’ll visit often. God bless you and thank you so much for your kindness.
This blog affirmed in me that God is working…He has renewed a passion for his word in my heart recently and I have too been going verse by verse with a pen and highlighter! And same bibles! And started in Genesis with parts that caused me doubt and God has lead me to so many places. Thank you for sharing! I completely love and agree with this post!!! Blessings!!!
Hi Brooke, I love that you are excited about reading God’s Word. I read the other day about a woman in her 90s who is reading through her Bible for the 61st time and she said she loves it because she learns something new every time. I completely agree! The Lord speaks something new to my heart every day through the beautiful pages of His Word. Blessings and thanks for visiting.
Hi Deb, I like you, was raised in church. I memorized memory verses, which I was quite good at, and joined the different groups in my church. My parents were involved with the Royal Rangers and Missionettes. I’m an avid reader, I can read a book in a day! But I have never been COMMITTED to reading the bible. I believe in the bible, but settling down to actually read, study and journal the bible has always been the hardest for me. Sorry for rambling, but thank you for this post. I’m going to do my best, with His help, to actually study His word. Thank you much ????
Cheryl, I have fallen more and more in love with the Lord as I have studied His Word. The thread of His love is continuous from the first page to the last. And adding the Life Application Note has helped me make it personal. I’m praying for you and asking God to bless you and your time with Him in the Word. Thank you for visiting and for stopping to share your story. God bless you!
Thank you for this post. I finished the story of Saul and Daniel a few weeks ago and found myself skipping around since then. Not feeling I was getting what I needed. Your post gave me direction. The more I read the deeper in love I am with Jesus.
Thank you for caring so much for the soul’s of others to share your heart so freely.
Thank you, Dora! I’m so glad this blessed and encouraged you! You’re exactly right … the more we read His Word, the more deeply we fall in love with Jesus. And there is no better place in the world to be. His grace overwhelms me and I just want everyone to know and love Him! God bless you!
I would like to start reading the Bible but don’t know we’re to start. I was not raised going to church or anything. What bible do you recommend to buy that would be easy to understand and I can also read to my girls. Thank you in advance for your help.
Jennie, I’m praying for you and asking God to bless you as your turn to His Word. I love the Life Application Study Bible – New Living Translation. The notes are very helpful and really add to understanding. I also recommend you begin with the New Testament and then go back and read the whole Bible. My favorite books of the Bible are John, Romans, and Psalms. Blessings!
I just came across your encouraging post today! Thank you so much! I will be looking forward to more of your posts. Bless you.
Oh, yay, Louise! Thank you so much for taking the time to let me know! God bless you!
Deb, although your article was not what I was expecting it to be, I enjoyed it and your brutal honesty. We need more if that these days. I am 49 and the Lord is taking me on yet another journey. Just this year I keep tossing over and over the fact that churches aren’t openly teaching HOW to fully use the Bible. What I mean by that is the letters in the margins, the numbers in the footnotes, the concordance. Now while I’ve had to learn much of this on my own, I still haven’t made the connection to the margin notes. Why aren’t these things taught to the congregation? We aren’t supposed to stay on just “milk” our whole Christian walk! We’re supposed to eat solid food and grow.
Anyway, I don’t know if you have an article on this but if so I’d love to read it. We’re never too old to learn from and about the greatest instruction book out there!
I’m so glad it blessed you, Karen! I don’t think I have written anything specific to studying Scripture by using the footnotes, references, and concordances. I do love the way the Life Application Bible is encouraging and helpful in all of those areas. I use that as my primary study Bible and highly encourage everyone to read it. The notes have added so much to my study time. I agree – it is important for us to dig deep and grow through the Word. Thanks so much for visiting and for stopping to say “hello.” God bless you!
Thank you so much for this message.
Thank you, Lillie! I’m glad you visited and that you were blessed! God be with you!
what if you pray and your prayers are never answered and you’re always beat by your sin how do you know you ate saved?
You and I are saved through the blood of Jesus. We will never be perfect. That’s why it’s such a blessing to be able to repent of our sins, admit to God that His way is better and ask for Him to forgive us as we place our trust in Jesus. I keep studying His Word and turning to Him in faith … that is His assurance of salvation. God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. Ephesians 2:8–9
May you be blessed and strengthened as you walk in His love.
I thank God to have found bible verses to strengthen my faith.thank you and be blessed
I’m so glad it blessed you, Catherine! Thank you so much for visiting. God bless you!
Dear Barbara, my name is Liz. I am in complete harmony with you regarding Gods word, but often come across scriptures that l really find difficult to understand. Revelation for example. What do you do when you experience this? I would be so grateful for your guidance. Many thanks.
Hi Liz, I pray and ask God for His help to understand. I trust that He will help me understand what is important for me to know. And it is one of the reasons I love the Life Application Bible … it is so helpful when it comes to understanding and applying God’s Word. Thanks so much for visiting. God bless you!
Thank you for your story. As I was reading your story a commercial came on the radio speaking of getting to know and understand Gods love through reading the Bible. I felt the Spirit within me. I am a recovering addict and have always believed, but these last couple of years I have so hungry and thirsty for His love and to understand Him more. I have read countless different Bible versus from different Bible books, but have recently started reading the New Testament and I am at the end of Acts. I listen to an audio and read along with my Bible and highlighter. It is taking me a really long time though. I am not, or never have been, a book reader. I listen to sermons from a certain few I found on the internet. (I researched everyone I listen to to make sure it is true Gospel). I am just putting certain things together from the Old Testament to the New, that never made since before. Now I know what the missing link is. You said it in one sentenced that made since and all the difference in the world. I’m too am ‘Sitting at the feet of someone else’s story..I want and need to sit at the feet of Jesus’! I just need to press on and keep reading, and sit at the feet of my Lord and Savior. Thank you and God Bless You.
Oh, Rhonda, I am so excited for you. I love your idea of listening and reading at the same time. I am both an audio and visual learner … so doing both together is really helpful. I’m asking God to abundantly bless your time sitting at His feet. That He encourages you and blesses you with everything you need to live for Him. God be with you!
Well all I can say is WOW! This is the first time I’ve come across your site and the first time I’ve read an article of this nature that wasn’t lenghty and boring but rather well written and to the point. It resonated within me!
Thank you for writing it without all the fancy words!!
Natalie, your kind encouragement absolutely made my day! Thank you! I love doing this and when someone lets me know it has blessed them it is a gift from God Himself. I’m asking God to be with you and bless you!
Well, this was disappointing. All of this just to say that you recommend corrupt modern versions of the King James Bible. Why not take a closer look at the modern versions and see how much they changed it from the King James Bible, actually see why it’s corrupt. It teaches things that it’s not supposed to be teaching. I didn’t even have to look too much into modern versions to see that something is wrong. Modern versions are the opinions of men and ultimately from Satan himself. With so many modern versions how do you know what to believe? It makes it look like God can’t make up his mind about what he is talking about and that’s blasphemy.
I’m sorry you were disappointed, Carly. The KJV is also a translation. Every translation will always appear to have some differences from the original languages. I am cautious when reading one of the paraphrase versions but I believe God’s Word is living and active. I believe the Holy Spirit works in the hearts and minds of people as they SEEK the truth through Scripture. And I just pray that people will do just that. Many find it difficult to understand the text of the KJV and that makes them dependent on what other people teach from it. My prayer is that they will seek to learn through Word and prayer believing God’s promise that if they seek, they will find. “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” Matthew 7:7 May God be with you and bless you.
Beautiful and so true.
Thank you, Christina! God bless you!
From the carving of the Ten Commandments to the writing of the Torah to the copying and distribution of letters in the early church, God s plan was for his people to read. However, as the way we read in this digital age changes, so too the character of the church will change. How will those reading habits affect the way we interact with the Bible? How will the way people read the Bible alter the church body?
Hi Alexandra, years ago I was taught that we should read, learn, and inwardly digest the Word of God. I am so thankful God had His message to us written down because He wants us to know it. And I think that’s the point. We can read it or hear it . . . the goal is to take it into our hearts. So, I think in the digital age we are blessed to be able to take advantage of many different ways of connecting with the Bible and that is a wonderful blessing. Thank you so much for visiting and for joining the conversation.
Hi Deb. I’m really struggling in life currently and the following words from your blog brought tears to my eyes. “At the time, I was in a pit of despair … so completely broken that it was hard to function. I was having trouble getting out of bed and living my life. I didn’t want to see anyone or do anything.” I am there — and it’s lonely and empty. Thank you for directing me back to the Word because I am even finding myself withdrawing from God. If you have time, please say a prayer for me to seek and receive God’s healing and restoration. God bless you!
Oh, Rebecca, I’m so glad you were blessed. God used His Word to walk with me through the most difficult and darkest time of my life. He is with you. I’m praying and asking Him to speak to your heart, encourage you, and give you His perfect peace and wonderful hope. God bless you!
Deb, thanks for sharing about your love for God’s Word. I too for about 20 years discovered going directly to His Word to study His promises, standards of living for His children, encouragement and of course the gospel of Jesus Christ. I use ESV and NASB translations. Love God’s Word and Him with all my heart. ????
Sherry, I too believe we fall more and more in love with the Lord as we read and study His Word. Those are both excellent translations. May the Lord continue to bless you and draw you closer to Himself.
Thank you so much for this. I am in a pit of despair and need God’s love and guidance. I’ve struggled to read/comprehend the Bible for years as well. Will you please pray for me and ask God to guide me through these dark times and help me to understand how to read His word ?
Cristina K. Tanner
I am so sorry, Cristina! I’ve been there! That pit is a miserable place. I am praying for you and asking God to pour hope and encouragement into your life. I’m praying Psalm 40 for you . . . I waited patiently for the Lord. He turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of destruction, out of the sticky mud. He stood me on a rock and made my feet steady.
May He be with you and bless you!
I had an abusive foster father. Living thru that much would have caused distress but for the love of God. He gave me the courage to speak up. I grew is that relationship. I loved your website. I struggled with reading the Bible. Many times I have the entire Bible to come away confused with what I was taught. Ypur method makes it clearer and frankly more interesting to read. Thank you for teaching this method ot those of us.
Hi, Penny! I’m so sorry for your painful childhood experiences. It sounds like God gave you strength in a time of great need. May you be blessed as you turn to Him through His Word, prayer, and a community of believers. Thanks so much for visiting and for stopping to share a bit of your story. God bless you!
Thank you for your views on the bible I have come to it late in life I try to read a little every day but I offer fail.I drink enjoy your daily blogs I receive I try to be a good wife mother and grandmother but I know I should first be a good daughter to our Father God please pray for me and everyone who reads your blogs
Hi, Sheila! Thank you so much for joining me. I love the prayer of your heart and I’m happy to join you in lifting you up. God is with you and I believe that is a prayer He loves to answer for His children. God bless you!
It is 6:01 here in my hometown of Severville Tn. I believe this was a Holy Spirit encounter. My husband and I woke up to a ringing phone call ☎️. Immediately I think is it Mike’s mother,is something wrong ???? No it was two young college girls letting us know they were checking out of our cabin.????I guess they didn’t realize old folks like us aren’t up at that hour.???? So we both tried to back to sleep and my husband effortlessly, but I struggled with the noise that was coming out of my husbands mouth.????The snoring was unbearable so I got out of bed crawled myself into the kitchen and made myself a cup of coffee. I decided I’d go ahead and bake my cupcakes for a party I was going.
I told myself now is a good time to talk to the Lord.I told Him I was going to finish reading John and I ask the Holy Spirit would He speak to me as I read. Strange thing happened I picked up my iPad instead of my Bible and immediately found you. I could l relate to everything you said. I could relate of crawling out of bed,I was in a pit so many times I just knew God had forsaken me. I knew better,I knew He still loved me. I had to be reminded through your writings. Thank you for sharing with us broken and hurting children of God.
May God continue to bless you in all you do for His Glory.
I’m so very glad this blessed you, Jacque. Your kind encouragement truly blessed me. I am so thankful to be able to do this and love to hear from people like you. May God be with you and bless you!
Our ladies Bible study did Hebrews last year and it was wonderful as we all got a fresh assurance of God’s love for us through comparing the law to Jesus sacrificing Himself for us. I so agree with your post. I love all things I have learned through others but nothing sticks better in my mind then when I learn through my own one on one with God through His love letters. Thanks for the encouragement to stay in the Word, it’s a deep well of knowledge, wisdom and truth to draw from.
Thanks so much for this, Betty! I agree! I love receiving encouragement from people of faith but I grow the most when I turn to the Lord through His Word and prayer. For years, I attended study after study until the Lord showed me that I was relying on the teachings of people more than I was turning to Him. In my greatest need, I ran to Him and by His grace . . . He changed everything and I’m so thankful! May God be with you and bless you throughout the year ahead!
Lovely post!!! Need a bible and been struggling, I love your answer, the one you’ll read, so simple. We complicate everything, especially the simple stuff. Thank you for your wise words of encouragement!!! I pray to have a successful Christian blog this year and sharing His love through my story and struggle. Been disabled for 14 years and looking for a new career to get off SSDI!!!
Thank you so much, Debby. Blessings to you as you join the faith bloggers community. It’s a great group. God be with you!
Excellent post !
Our concerns in which translation of the Bible is best has stopped many people from the blessings of Gods Living , transforming , life giving Word .
It seems that we forget that as we read any translation our understanding of the Word is through the power of the Holy Spirit thankfully not ours .
We must realize that Satan is constantly trying to keep us from reading the Bible any translation . So why not use the different translations debate to keep us from it .
So your message today is perfect . The very fact you are picking up and reading any version shows you are seeking answers , knocking at the door so you speak . God knows your hearts and He will lead you trust that .
Looking forward to sharing the impact the love of Jesus has . Be blessed and feel Jesus today and everyday ! He’s got you .
Thank you, Leigh. I truly appreciate your kind encouragement. I just want people to read and study God’s Word. I want people to know, trust, and love Him. Thanks again and God bless you!
Your post is my life!! I grew up in church and went to a Christian School all my life! While I am thankful to have become a Christian at a young age. We were taught in a very legalistic way and boy I still struggle with it today. This article comforted me so much. I agree…we just need to fall in love with Jesus and feel His love and grace. I went to church all my life and then strayed away from the Lord for many years. The last couple of years, I have decided to just drown myself in his word and listen for His voice! Thank you for this post! It was so encouraging! God bless your testimony. I would be interested to hear from you on how you conquered the “brainwashing” as I still struggle with this.
There is so much freedom and peace when we learn that it is about surrendering ourselves to God’s love and not about being “good.” I’m so glad this part of my story blessed and encouraged you. To answer your question . . . I think it’s hard not to have those things that we believed for so long not influence our thoughts a bit but the thing that helps me is the time I spend in His Word and prayer every day. And also most important, I surrender myself to God daily. I ask Him to guide me and use me for His glory . . . remembering that I absolutely cannot do it on my own. His grace, mercy, and love change everything! God bless you!
Thank you for the read, it truly spoke to me! I was the same growing up in the church with all of the studies, vacation bible school, church every Sunday, etc. Today my mother still tells me I need to go to church every Sunday and tell my husband and kids to do so as well. She also states that God has given his life for me and I should give an hour each Sunday for Him. It’s frustrating because I believe it is not just tied to one hour every Sunday and the guilt always seems to wash over me. Honestly when I do go to church occasionally, I only enjoy the message itself, not the social bit, not the singing,, just the message. I appreciate the clarity of trusting the Bible.
Hi Robin, Thanks so much for visiting and for stopping to say “hello.” I believe God uses the church to bless us and help us grow. But I also know that it’s not always easy to find that place. I am so thankful that we have His Word to read and study. It’s an amazing blessing that the Lord wants us to KNOW – TRUST – and LOVE Him and that He gives us what we need to make that possible. God bless you!
Deb, you are truly following the Lord’s instruction, to share His Word! God Bless you. I believe we should pray and have a conversation with God first, He will open our spiritual eyes and bless us in our time of devotion. We need to recognize He is our Holy Father and loves us more than anything. Reading is not a requirement it is a gift and how we come to know God more. He is not like a school teacher standing over us with a ruler ready to punish us, He is LOVE! I like to pick a word like, blessing, and look up all scriptures associated with it and see how He feels about us. Thank you for wisdom.
Oh, thank you, Judy. I am humbled by your kindness. I love this thought, “reading is not a requirement it is a gift.” That’s so very true. I feel like something important is missing if I don’t have time to spend in the Word. Thanks so much for visiting and for your encouragement. God be with you.
My life has been very different from yours. I came to love God not by studying the Bible but by hardship and pain. Some time ago I had just had it with people and how cruel they can be. Even people who thought of themselves as Christian. So one day as I contemplated suicide I said to Jesus, “Let me see people through your eyes”. And he did!! Those words totally changed my life. Suddenly I saw what he saw. I felt what he felt. I can never look at people the same again.
What a beautiful prayer, Jayne! I love it! Oh, that we all would begin to see people through Jesus’ eyes and heart of love. Thanks so much for visiting and for joining the conversation. God be with you and bless you!
Understanding the Bible can be challenging sometimes. My Spiritual mentor taught me to read the Bible like eating fish. What you understand, savor and enjoy, like a wonderful meal. What you don’t understand, set aside like fish bones, a let the Lord bring the understanding in His Time.
As far as different translations, leaving this out etc. I look at it this way, I have a hard enough time trying to measure up, and being obedient to what I KNOW, and what I understand. I don’t worry too much about the other stuff, living up to what I know, and knowing I am a broken vessel, needing much help from above, is a full time job so to speak.
Jesus will reveal what I need to know, as I study and wait on Him.
Not sure if I’m making any sense.
I am encouraged with your writings….THANKS FOR BEING OBEDIENT
Thank you, Ted. I agree. The Holy Spirit continues to work in us and reveal God’s Word and His heart to us as we turn to Him. I will forever be growing in understanding and in faith by His grace. Thanks so much for visiting and for your kind encouragement. God bless you!
Deb, thank you for your simplicity
And encouragement to ready the word of God. the Holy Spirit is our teacher and helper, which takes the pressure off us to preform. Thank you Jesus!
Amen, Beverly! I am so very thankful that we are not left on our own but the Holy Spirit guides and instructs us as we SEEK. Thanks so much for visiting and for joining the conversation. God bless you!
Thank you for your post. I have been reading the Bible from cover to cover and it has made me fall in love again with this Amazing Awesome God. I realized that God wants us to hear him speak directly through his word and every time I read the Holy Spirit has something for me. Now this morning before I read your post, I had asked God why I find it hard nowadays to listen to preachers who don’t even read much of the Bible but talk about spiritual things through their understanding. Am I rebellious God. Then boom I read your post and it’s like the Holy Spirit was saying there sit at my feet not at another’s.
Thank you for God using your post to answer me today.
Glory be to his name for you
It is truly a blessing to spend time in the Word. I’m glad you are enjoying that blessing as well. I do believe it is a blessing to get the Word from wise, godly preachers as well. But I do agree that it takes wisdom and discernment to know that they are preaching the truth of God’s Word. Thank you so much for letting me know you were blessed and encouraged. God be with you!
Hi Deb Thanking God for his word and for giving you the grace to share with others. A smile is a smile and a frown is a frown but we all understand what they mean wherever we go in the world. Similar to the various versions of the bible Like you stated the emphasis should not be on the bible version but having God’s word in our hearts , understanding his word so we can meditate on his word day and night. To be able share God’s word with others in a way they understand. We need to trust God to lead us to the version he knows we will understand. The many version assist me if I am not understanding the context of scripture. Grateful for the many versions once they are of God and from God. Keep up the good work in serving others Deb.
Thank you so much for your kind encouragement, Mimi! May the Lord bless you as you draw closer to Him through His Word and prayer.