BIBLE

Blog & Resources

When Word Becomes Flesh

Have you ever been frustrated after reading the Bible? I know reading Scripture is a way God uses to grow us closer to Jesus, but it is so difficult sometimes. The Bible can be confusing and doesn’t always make sense. What if I told you there was a simpler way to...

Example To Follow

Does My Kid Get It? Teaching the Bible to the Intellectually Disabled. I firmly believe in Psalm 139:14, that everyone is “fearfully and wonderfully made!” I also know that we are ALL created in God’s image (Genesis 1:27), whether we have special needs or we are...

Grow Them Up

All Bible studies are not created equal. At least, they shouldn’t be. The way you engage a preschooler with the Bible is very different than how you engage a high schooler. We know this is true. We also see it throughout Scripture: Paul said, in 1 Corinthians 9:19-23,...

WHY READ THE BIBLE?

Do you know what the best-selling book of all time is? If you said the Bible, you’re right! That makes God the best-selling author of all time! Why are so many people interested in reading the Bible? More importantly, why should we read the Bible? Just in case you need a little motivation, here are a few great reasons:

1. Know God Better

There is no better way to get to know God more deeply than by reading His Word.

Phil. 3:10

2. Direction In Life

The pages of scripture are full of God’s wisdom on how to live life well and make good choices.

Psalm 119:105

3. A Fruitful Life

Following God’s game plan for living, as revealed in Scripture, leads to greater happiness
and success.

Psalm 1:1-3

4. Overcome Sin

The instruction and warning signs found in the Bible help us to live a life that is pleasing
to God.

Psalm 119:9-11

5. Equipping For Good Works

The Bible is the Christian’s field manual, equipping us to better partner with Him.

2 Tim. 3:16-17

6. Become Like Jesus

Our quest for godliness begins with knowing the heart and mind of God as revealed in Scripture, which “builds us up.”

Acts 20:32

WHY READ THE BIBLE?

Do you know what the best-selling book of all time is? If you said the Bible, you’re right! That makes God the best-selling author of all time! Why are so many people interested in reading the Bible? More importantly, why should we read the Bible? Just in case you need a little motivation, here are a few great reasons:

A Fruitful Life

Following God’s game plan for living, as revealed in Scripture, leads to greater happiness
and success.

Psalm 1:1-3

Know God Better

There is no better way to get to know God more deeply than by reading His Word.

Philippians 3:10

Equipping For Good Works

The Bible is the Christian’s field manual, equipping us to better partner with Him.

2 Timothy 3:16-17

Overcome Sin

The instruction and warning signs found in the Bible help us to live a life that is pleasing
to God.

Psalm 119:9-11

Direction In Life

The pages of scripture are full of God’s wisdom on how to live life well and make good choices.

Psalm 119:105

Become Like Jesus

Our quest for godliness begins with knowing the heart and mind of God as revealed in Scripture, which “builds us up.”

Acts 20:32

HOW TO READ THE BIBLE

Have you ever read the Bible and then stared blankly at the walls afterwards, wondering what to do next? If so, then join the club! Many people struggle with how to get value from their Bible reading. The good news is, there are several study techniques that can make your Bible reading more rich and meaningful. The important thing is to find one that works best for you. If you’re looking for a Bible reading boost, consider trying this approach. Each time you read the Bible, ask and answer these three simple questions:

U

WHAT DO I SEE?

Be a detective. Make a note of significant observations that stood out to you. Look carefully at both what is said and how it is said.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN?

What is the main thought or big idea? Are there any truths, insights or principles you uncovered? Try to personalize this to your own life.

WHAT WILL I DO?

Specify one thing you will do as a result of what you learned. The focus here is change… putting into practice what God has taught you.

CHECK OUT SOME EXAMPLES...

EXAMPLE #1…  “Finally then, brethren, we request and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us instruction as to how you ought to walk and please God (just as you actually do walk), that you excel still more” (I Thessalonians 4).

  • What do I see? Two times in 1 Thessalonians Paul encourages the church to “excel still more,” first in their sanctification and second in loving others.

  • What does it mean? As Christ followers, God wants us to be continually growing and improving, becoming more and more like Jesus in our character and actions.

  • What will I do? I am going to get better at showing love to my son by speaking words of encouragement to him each week..

EXAMPLE #2…  “The apostles gathered together with Jesus; and they reported to Him all that they had done and taught. And He said to them, ‘Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while.’ (For there were many people coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.) They went away in the boat to a secluded place by themselves.“ (Mark 6:30-32).

  • What do I see? After a busy season of ministry Jesus determined it was important for His disciples to take a break and be refreshed.

  • What does it mean? God wants us to take care of ourselves and not always be in the mode of doing. This principle of rest was first established at creation.

  • What will I do? This year I am actually going to use my vacation days at work and schedule a time for my family to get away.

EXAMPLE #3…  “And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:11-12).

  • What do I see? The body of Christ is built up by the saints doing works of service. The role of pastors/teachers is not to do the work, but to equip the saints to do the work.

  • What does it mean? As a “saint,” God desires for me to serve His church. If I am not serving, then I am hindering God’s plan for growing His church.

  • What will I do? This week I will contact my church to find out how I can volunteer to serve.

Still want more? An excellent resource for explaining the three questions more in depth (presented in the book as Observation, Interpretation and Application) is Living By the Book: The Art and Science of Reading the Bible by Howard G. Hendricks and William D. Hendricks (Moody Press, 2007). Also, check out The New Inductive Study Bible (NASB). The unique feature of this Study Bible is that it is built around the inductive Bible study method (Observation, Interpretation, Application).

BIBLE READING PLANS

Check out one of our daily Bible reading plans. By signing in with your user name and password, you can start your plan at any time, track your progress, and record your notes in a daily journal. Give it a try… we think you’ll like it!

ONE STORY

This plan takes you through the key stories of the Bible in one year. The plan shows how the many stories of the Bible make up one interconnected story – God’s story. The plan calls for reading between one to three chapters of Scripture a day from three separate chapters (i.e. the main storyline and key cross references), six days per week.

WHOLE BIBLE

This plan is a 6-day-a-week journey through the entire Bible with two readings per day. The acronym “OWN” represents one daily reading from the Old Testament, along with one from the Wisdom Books or New Testament. Each day’s reading is designed to balance both the amount you read as well as provide a section which is easier to understand and apply to your life.

NEW TESTAMENT +

This plan is a 6-day-a-week revolutionary way to read through the New Testament. Instead of reading straight through the New Testament, the NT+ plan is strategically divided into reading based on authorship. For example, all of John’s, Luke’s and Peter’s writings are together, while Paul’s writings are divided equally over each quarter.

BIBLE STUDY TOOLS & RESOURCES

Family Resources

Bible Apps

Bible Adventures for Kids App. Features 10 of the best-loved stories of the Bible and 20 games! Each story features touchable story scenes, sound effects and games providing an entertaining and educational experience which will increase Biblical literacy.

Superbook Kids Bible App Brings the Bible to life with a full Bible, videos, images and engaging interactive games. Features 14 full-length episodes including David and Goliath, The Ten Commandments, Daniel and the Lions’ Den, and The First Christmas.

The Beginner’s Bible App Designed for children ages 2-6. This app includes coloring pages, puzzles, and games. Each story pack contains 6 stories with accompanying coloring pages, puzzles and a game.

The Bible App for Kids Includes touch-activated animations for Bible stories, games and activities. Best for kids under 7. Kids will love the narrator-led Gospel-centered stories. Your child can read along on screen if they wish.

Guardians of Ancora A fun adventure game where players have to run, jump, roll and slide their way through stories of the Bible. Choose your character then train for an epic adventure as you explore the amazing stories of the Bible. Free app is best for kids age 9-11.

Bibles/Books

Preschool

My First Hands-On Bible provides a fun and simple yet meaningful way to engage preschool, pre-K, and K children with the Bible while helping them build a solid faith foundation. Each lesson focuses on a specific Bible point through a variety of activities in order to reinforce and help young children remember the stories and lessons. Ages 3-6.

The Jesus Storybook Bible Sees the Bible through a strong redemptive-historical context and proclaims it through every story.  Good story telling with a nice way of bringing the drama out of each story.  Makes Bible characters come to life, frequently moving beyond the bounds of what scripture tells us by re-imagining the characters. Excellent illustrations.  Ages 4-8.

My ABC Bible Verses: Hiding God’s Word in Little Hearts by Susan Hunt. Here is a colorful, story-filled way for even the youngest child to take God’s Word to heart—and learn the alphabet too! Presented in an easy-to-use story format that applies individual Bible verses to real life situations, this illustrated book for 3- to 7-year-olds is perfect for reading to your children.

The Beginner’s Bible Book of 31 Devotions: My Time with God by Kelly Pulley. Preschoolers will love The Beginner’s Bible art and the everyday situations they encounter. You’ll love the simple connection to a Bible story and memory verse. Together you’ll enjoy an activity, song, or prayer that brings home the story’s theme.

The Big God Story by Michelle Anthony. A fast-paced journey through the Old and New Testaments. Each part of the narrative highlights a different aspect of God’s faithfulness to us. Ultimately, readers will see how they fit into God’s big story of love when they write their names in the book on the last page!

Elementary

Our Daily Bread for Kids: 365 Meaningful Moments with God Presents short and engaging devotions, easy-to-remember Bible verses, and exciting facts that encourage children to spend time with God and apply the truths of His Word to their everyday lives. Perfect for children ages 6–-10.

My Big Book of 5-minute Devotions by Pamela Kennedy. This work is suitable for ages 9-12. Here are over forty stories about God’s love as shown through the natural world, each of which is easily read in five minutes. The child will enjoy answering the questions included, reading the Bible verse, and saying the prayer.

How to Study Your Bible for Kids by Kay Arthur and Janna Arndt. Introduces the basics of inductive Bible study–observation, interpretation, and application–to children ages 9 to 12.

NIV Adventure Bible (for ages 9-12). The top-selling kid’s Bible that makes learning and reading God’s Word fun! Includes a daily reading plan, lessons on how to pray, Q&A time about the heart of Jesus, and special prayers and verses to learn.

Hands-On Bible The Hands-On Bible uses experience-based learning to communicate God’s Word in an active, understandable way. With hundreds of fun, memorable activities (A “Do-It” activity in EVERY feature!) the Hands-On Bible is packed with activities and experiences that invite kids to crawl inside the Scriptures and “do” God’s Word!

Teens

Teen Life Application Study Bible is packed with features designed to meet the challenges and needs of today’s high school students. Combines traditional study Bible features like book introductions, textual notes, person profiles, and maps with application-oriented features focusing on choices, real-life issues, and real-life stories of actual teens.

The Action Bible Here’s the coolest picture Bible ever! Marvel comic artist Sergio Cariello has created attention-holding illustrations along with 215 fast-paced narratives in chronological order, making it easier to follow the Bible’s historical flow. If your kids like this, there is also a companion Action Study Bible as well as an Action 52 Week Devotional available.

The Apologetics Study Bible for Students will anchor younger Christians in the truths of Scripture by equipping them with thoughtful and practical responses for whenever the core issues of their faith and life are challenged. Helps students begin to better articulate their beliefs. Includes dozens of articles collected from today’s most popular youth leaders.

The ESV Student Study Bible is ideally suited for students who are serious about God’s Word—who want to learn more about what the Bible teaches and how the Bible applies to all of life. Contains 12,000 clear study notes, nearly 900 “Did You Know?” facts, 120 Bible character profiles, and 15 topical articles.

Whole Family

The ESV Family Devotional Bible is designed to help families read and apply God’s Word together. Features the complete ESV text along with engaging illustrations and gospel-centered devotions related to key Bible stories—guiding families through the entirety of God’s Word over the course of a year.

Kingdom Family Devotional: 52 Weeks of Growing Together by Tony Evans and Jonathan Evans. Provides parents with a resource to maximize family devotional times. The family virtues–based devotional provides 52 separate topics, one for each week of the year, and five devotionals within each topic that will guide devotional times Monday through Friday.

My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers. A classic daily devotional that compiles the authors preaching to students and soldiers. First published in 1935.

Bible Apps

Logos. With easy social sharing buttons, you can share verses across social media. The Greek and Hebrew word comparison in the Logos app is helpful for in-depth Bible study.

Bible Gateway. Has an audio delivery feature for listening while reading. Received a Christian New Media Award for 2013 for mobile/tablet app of the year. Excellent one-click history button.

Olive Tree. Great reading plans. You can check off your progress as you go. Clean, readable interface. Customizable highlighters, fonts, text sizes, color scheme.

YouVersion. Over 100+ languages available. Has the ability to enlarge the reading font size. Also includes a number of in-app videos.

Blue Letter Bible.  Very comprehensive. Has an excellent concordance and commentary system. Their audio delivery is a fabulous feature as well.

Books about how to Study the Bible

How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth by Gordon D. Fee (Zondervan, 2014).

How to Study Your Bible: Discover the Life-Changing Approach to God’s Word by Kay Arthur (Harvest House, 2014).

Knowing Scripture by R.C. Sproul (IVP Books, 2009).

Living By the Book: The Art and Science of Reading the Bible by Howard G. Hendricks and William D. Hendricks (Moody Press, 2007).

Other Bible Study Tools

Bible Devotionals. Devotionals generally provide a short Bible reading for each day along with the author’s inspirational thoughts. Some devotionals are developed around specific books of the Bible and others are more topical in nature. While there are many good devotional books to choose from, a great place to start is with Jesus Calling by Sarah Young or My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers. A few good online resources for daily devotionals include: Our Daily Bread, She Reads Truth and First Five.

Bible Commentaries. Bible commentaries can provide deeper understanding and insight into the Bible. When using a commentary, it is important to remember that it is someone’s interpretation of what the Bible means. There are commentaries for individual books of the Bible as well as entire sets that cover the whole Bible. A few sets to consider include:

  • New Testament Commentary (by Hendricksen and Kistemaker)

  • Expositor’s Bible Commentary

  • New International Commentary on The Old/New Testament

  • Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament

Bible Concordance. A concordance contains an alphabetical index of words used in the Bible and the main Bible references where the word occurs. A Bible concordance is useful in locating passages in the Bible. It also allows you to cross reference verses to research how the same word is used in different verses of the Bible. The two most popular Bible concordances are Young’s Analytical Concordance and Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible.

Bible Dictionaries and Encyclopedias. Bible Dictionaries/Encyclopedias are reference books containing articles on the people, places, things, customs and concepts of the Bible. They can be very useful tools for digging into scripture. A couple popular examples include The Baker Illustrated Dictionary and the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia.

Study Bibles. Study Bibles are designed to help the reader cultivate a stronger grasp and understanding of the Bible. Some of the common features of Study Bibles include introductions to each book, commentary of difficult passages, biographies, definitions, concordance, maps and suggested applications. There is a large selection of Study Bibles to choose from. A few examples to consider include:

  • The New Inductive Study Bible (NASB). The unique feature of this Study Bible is that it is built around the inductive Bible study method (Observation, Interpretation, Application). Includes wide outside margins for note taking.

  • The NIV Zondervan Study Bible. This Bible’s unique feature is that it’s built on a framework of Biblical theology. It examines how themes are developed throughout all of scripture, helping readers appreciate the entirety of the Bible as an ongoing narrative.

  • The Life Application Study Bible. This Study Bible works to bridge the gap between the text and your daily life. It seeks to give practical challenges and next steps from your Bible reading, but it also teaches you to ask your own questions of the text.

  • The ESV Study Bible.The English Standard Version (ESV) has become one of the most popular contemporary Bible translations. This Study Bible is one of the larger ones you will find, containing numerous articles from a variety of evangelical Bible scholars.