Today’s post is a little lighter, but just as important, as my previous ones.
Devotion books and Bible studies have made a significant impact in my spiritual growth over the years. We need to know what God’s word says in order to recognize and know what is true. The more we learn, the more we can sense God’s presence and activity in our lives. Bible study and quiet times are so important! Spending time reading the Bible can be done a little at a time, or in a more disciplined setting with a group of people. Both are important.
First, please understand the Holy Bible is a collection of many different styles of writing with many different translations. It’s easy to become overwhelmed with what to read, the reason for it being there, or what you’re supposed to get out of it. Just because something is recorded in the Bible doesn’t mean it is approved by God. For example, there is a lot of history written in narrative form, and there are some pretty horrible things recorded. Therefore, you have to understand the context, culture, and purpose of what is written to really benefit from reading the Bible.
This is where Bible studies and devotions can really help. There are many authors who study the scripture more deeply than you and I and know how to explain things more clearly. I always compare what is written in the Bible with what is being taught. It’s important to let the Holy Spirit and God’s word guide our understanding and compare what the author is teaching to what is written. There are a variety of books for different audiences, knowledge level, and length of time commitment. Devotions are usually designed to be read independently, while Bible studies are most often designed for groups.
The most recent Bible study book I’ve done with a group is The Armor of God by Priscilla Shirer. Even though I was familiar with the particular scripture, I gained a lot of practical applications and encouragement from what Priscilla presented in the study as well as from the comments by other women in my group. Sharing different ideas and perspectives enriches the whole experience for everyone. This is one advantage to doing a group Bible study.
I’ve also finished reading Wait and See by Wendy Pope on my own. I was able to go at my own pace, answer the questions in a very personal way without having to share them, and allow time to let certain things sink in. I wrote the post, “The Rock Tumbler,” based on what I was reading at that time.
I am about to start a Beth Moore study, Entrusted, on January 11, 2017, with a group at church. I know it will influence what I’m thinking about for the next few weeks. I invite anyone else doing the same study to comment and share when I post something related to it. I’ll put “Entrusted” as a tag so you can find those posts easily.
Thank you for reading my posts. I do hope this blog is something that encourages you to grow a closer relationship with God. I am starting a small list of studies and devotions under the Books and Bible Studies tab. As I add more resources, I’ll figure out the best way to organize them. For right now, it’s just a list. I am also happy to say that I’m finally adding my profile picture! I think it’s really starting to come together.
Happy New Year, and may God’s peace be with you!