Showing posts with label Learn about God. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Learn about God. Show all posts

Thursday, September 21, 2023

"Just 2 Questions" Bible Reading

Big Idea: Read the Bible every day asking yourself what it says about God and mankind.

Reading the Bible does not have to be complicated

It is true that the Bible is a thick book and a lot in it has been debated through the centuries.

Yet it is a book of stories and wisdom for us to know God and find strength. It is meant to be read and pondered over.

Just Two Questions  

Two questions to keep in mind when you read the Bible.

1. What does this passage tell me about God?

2. What does this passage tell me about Man?

About God

Some call the Bible God’s love letter to us.

The Holy Spirit of God moved in the hearts of human beings (2nd Peter 1:21), inspiring them to write for our understanding about how we can know God and live in sync with Him both here and for eternity.

Always, always breathe a prayer to God before you read, asking for His help in understanding.

Give me understanding and I will obey your instructions; I will put them into practice with all my heart. Psalm 119:34 NLT

It may not seem like God is in every passage. But look prayerfully for Him as Father, Son or Holy Spirit. Consider making God in yellow to see Him better.

Ask yourself what you see as His attributes and His character.

Ask how He communicates with mankind.

What do you see as His desire; His guidance for you.

About Man

The Bible often reads like a story. It is full of characters who are both heros and failures. Sometimes the same person is both. Some characters are strange. We all know people like that too!

What do you observe about human nature in the passage?

As you look at the people in the Bible, what are their choices and actions? How do they interact with God? Are they a positive or negative example?

Why does this Scripture Matter?

Keep a log of what you read and observe.

Look at your notes. Ask yourself if you see yourself in your reading. Ask why God matters in the story and how these words might matter to you today.

What can you take away from this reading to stick with you today?

I begged for Your favor with all my heart. Show me Your love because of Your Word. Psalm 119:58 NLT


Previous: “What Grabs You” Bible Reading
Up next: “Three Versions ” Bible Reading



1. What do you wish God would show you about Himself in the Bible?

2. What is your impression of this method? Can you see yourself trying it out?

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

The Most Remarkable After-Death Appearances

The Big Idea: We know Jesus died and came back to life from the many after death appearances and interactions with food and touch.

How can we know Jesus really died, and truly came back to life?

God has been real to me since I was a very young girl. For me, belief in Jesus and the Bible came easily. For many, belief is a struggle, and evidence weighs in with doubts. 

Consider these many after-death appearances from the New Testament. At one point He appeared to over 500 people (I Corinthians 15:6).

The multiple after - death appearances

Over ten appearances are recorded in the Bible. Not only did some touch Him feeling His wounds, some ate with Him. Here is a great chart from the book by apologist, Josh McDowell, Evidence that Demands a Verdict.

From Evidence that Demands a Verdict, Josh McDowell

The highest honor goes to… the women!

Jesus often gave honor to women. How crazy is that for that time period?

He appeared first to women followers. Mary Magdalene heard Him state her name. She KNEW that voice! (John 20:11)

It was the women’s honor to be the first to go and tell.

Not just seeing, but touching and eating together

Jesus found the disciples on a couple of occasions and he broke bread and ate with them. (Luke 24:16) Another day he cooked fish and ate with them on the beach (John 21).

“Doubting Thomas” wasn’t with the other disciples the first time Jesus showed up after the resurrection. Jesus came back later that week when Thomas was there and asked him to touch His wounds. Not. A. Ghost (John 20:19-29).

Shell game?

Some said the disciples had stolen the body. But if they did, the Jewish leaders would have arrested the disciples for defiling a tomb and an unclean corpse. They were very touchy about stuff like that.

In Bible times there was never a credible alternative place where Jesus’ body was laid like the famous tombs of other notable people.

There was no dead body. Anywhere.

And in the years following Jesus’ ascension to heaven, every disciple faced serious persecution and even violent death for their story that Jesus lives. It could not be a lie that eleven men decided to give their lives for.

Fully God. Fully man.

Jesus was fully man.

He was born of a woman. He grew up. He felt pain. He ate. He slept. He died completely convincing the soldiers at the cross.

He endured about as much pain as one could by torturous execution.

Jesus was fully God.

Jesus was miraculously conceived. God stated He was His Son by audible voice from heaven. He was God knowing, quoting and explaining/clarifying the Old Testament. He healed, fulfilling the Old Testament Messianic prophecies. And He was totally hated by Satan and the demons.

Jesus completely died

Jesus died as a complete human male. No fainting, then gathering enough strength to claw his way out of the tomb with a one ton plus door or stone.
John the Baptist called Him The Lamb of God who takes away the Sin of the World (John 1:29). This Lamb of God fully died during Passover. Later the New Testament writers would make it clear He was the ultimate Passover sacrifice (I Corinthians 5:7).

Jesus completely reversed death

Jesus did not appear as a ghost like an apparition. He had a body and interacted in human activity with other human beings.

He came back to life permanently to be alive forever. It was a “staying alive forever” power.

He resurrected Lazarus from a dead state (John 11). He had that God-power over life and death. But Lazarus’ death-to-life was different. Lazarus lived more on the earth and died later in life, like any other person would.

Jesus did a more powerful work on Himself. Because He is God, He came back to life in a forever body, never to die again (Hebrews 7:24). He returned to His Father in heaven (Acts 1:1-10). He is the only human being to regain life and never die again (Romans 6:9).

Death could not hold Him

C.S. Lewis says it well! Death started working backwards. (C.S Lewis in The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe) He took control of it and reclaimed life because of His all mighty God power.

I love this line in the song from NorthPoint Worship, When death was arrested and my life began.

He reversed the penalty of death, by being killed as an innocent human man, a perfect sacrifice, and then conquering death’s hold by coming back to life forever (I Corinthians 15:57)!

What a nice thing He did

It is a nice thing He did for us human beings! As a human being He felt every strike of the whip and every nail. He experienced death. Tasted it (Hebrews 2:9).

Because He was God, He reversed the curse to life (Galatians 3:13)

You and I have the opportunity to seize this incredible benefit and escape the penalty of our deserved eternal death (Romans 5:21), by confessing (Romans 10:9). We cannot achieve this on our own, believing in what He has done for us.

He lives in me

There comes a point when you just have to believe. One of my favorite hymns states You ask me how I know He lives, He lives within my heart (Alfred H. Ackley, He Lives).

I talk to Him and I know His voice in my being. He is real to me and my life. Even if it were for only His help and guidance in this life alone, life is all the better because of Him.

If you still have questions, check out books by Josh McDowell such as Evidence for the Resurrection.  

Here is a place to download all of Josh McDowell's books as PDF files for free. Explore the Faith.


Up next: Imagine not being able to read the Bible
Previous post: When hope is dashed


1. Have you or someone close to you had doubts about Jesus’ death and resurrection? Where does it stand for you now? What has made a difference?

2. Have you experienced God with you? If so, how does this touch you?

3. Think about sharing this post with someone and interacting about what you think about the realities of the resurrection and the power of Jesus.  Pray as you are in process, exploring. 


If you would like to receive Scripture Spy every Wednesday as an email, send your email address to

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

IBS-55 Find the Application: God Matters

Big Idea: Getting to know God via the Bible matters in your life today.

God Matters

A great resource for life and marriage called the Five Love Languages (author Gary Chapman) explains ways people give and receive love. If my husband is having a bad day, getting him a cup of coffee or offering to do something on his to-do list is immensely appreciated. I learned that “Acts of Service” is his love language. It is useful. It can change an entire relationship by understanding what speaks to someone’s heart. Knowing God can be a bit like that. Knowing what delights and pleases Him strengthens our relationship with Him.

Growing in our knowledge of God shows us how to live better (2 Peter 1:2). The Bible is our primary source. In serious Bible study the first question should be, “What does this tell me about God?” followed by “How does this matter in my life?”

Treasure my commands…Then you will understand what it means to fear the Lord, and you will gain knowledge of God. Proverbs 4: 1b, 5 NLT

We as Christians look forward to living forever with God. Nevertheless His help in our daily life makes all the difference in this life; His presence, His comfort, His wisdom and guidance in darkness and confusion.

A few specific examples

God’s love: “We love because He loved us first.” (I John 4:19 NLT).  How does His love impact life today? Are you feeling down on yourself? Alone? Does a family member or close friend need to be reminded of His love? Could this help you love someone unlovable in your life?

God’s faithfulness: “I will never fail you. I will not abandon you.” (Hebrews 13:5 NLT). Do you feel abandoned by everyone? Walking through a rough valley? Going to a dreaded meeting today where you really need His help?

God’s holiness: “Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.” (Ephesians 4: 24 NLT). Do you focus on God’s holiness or treat it lightly? Examine yourself. Do the right thing today. Confess what is not right in your life. Let Him guide you in being a better person to those around you. 

These are a couple of examples of observing God in the Bible, asking how it matters today. Ask yourself how it guides the way you interact with others. Ask how it strengthens your core being today.

I have not stopped thanking God for you. I pray for you constantly, asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God. Ephesians 1:16-17 NLT


This post is fifty-fifth in a series as a Practical Starter Guide for Inductive Bible Study.

Up next: Find the Application: Yield
Previous post: Find the Application: Get to know God


1. Are you intentional to study and apply the Bible specifically looking at God? Is there something fresh you examined about God recently?

2. Do you ever think about how God impacts your daily life? How might you have done this in the past? What can you do to think intentionally of God in your life today?

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

IBS-54 Find the Application: Get to know God

Big Idea: Studying the Bible we can get to know God better like getting to know another person.

Get to Know God

How do you get to know God? The best source is to study the Bible. In my inductive studies I read a Bible passage highlighting God with yellow; often differentiating Father, Son and Holy Spirit. When you study a passage, noting God is a good place to begin. It is also a great way to quickly see where God shows up and what it tells us about Him.

Think God

A sermon I heard recently asked some powerful questions about God.
  • How often do you think of God? Is He the first thing you think of?
  • When you go to God what picture do you have of Him?
  • What do you think when you start to pray?
  • What do you expect of God?
  • What do you know of God?

Think God. Get used to Him being in your thoughts. Ask what a Bible passage shows you. Some places in the Bible God is not obvious, such as in the book of Esther, or tabernacle instructions in the book of Leviticus. It is important to know that every book is in the Bible for a reason, and God is behind that reason. Where is His influence evident?

Getting to know someone

Getting to know someone means talking with them and asking questions. Find out their likes and dislikes, their hopes, dreams and fears. What is the essence of their character? What makes them happy, sad or angry? How do they interact in relationships and in community? What is their reason for being? Their work ethic?

Think of getting to know God like that through the Word. Does God have likes and dislikes? The Bible shows what pleases Him and what doesn’t please Him. He has hopes and dreams. He has plans, always looking at the future with an eternal perspective. He is a relational God who delights in people and He delights interacting as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He expresses happiness, sadness and anger through the Bible. As we spend time in the Word we learn more and more who God is.

A single passage may show you just one aspect of His character. Ask yourself these questions as you study:
  • What is His character? What traits are revealed?
  • What do I learn about His nature? About the Trinity?
  • Does God’s personality show through? Does He reveal happiness, sadness, or anger?
  • Does it show God, or does it tell you something about Him?
  • What are His plans? What does He think of my plans?
Getting to know God, like with people, takes quality time. Give Him that honor.


This post is fifty-fourth in a series as a Practical Starter Guide for Inductive Bible Study.

Up next: Find the Application: Yield
Previous post: Find the Application: God Illuminated


1. How often do you think about God in a day? Do you think of Him first when you are troubled? When you are hopeful?

2. Have you ever felt that excitement and ease with God like the song states “Getting to know you”? Are you in the Word? Are you learning new things about Him day by day?

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

IBS-53 Find the Application: God Illuminated


Big Idea: The Holy Spirit sheds light on the Bible to us as we study about God Himself.

God Illuminated

In the Middle Ages (about 500-1500 A.D.) Some could read, but many could not. Churches used memorization such as catechisms and the Lord’s Prayer as teaching tools. Illustrations of Bible stories in the form of paintings, stained glass, and beautiful gold edged drawings in Bible manuscripts shed light on the stories of God. Those golden edged drawings in books were called illuminated texts. In a very real way we need the Bible illuminated. We want light to shine on who God is and what He desires.

Pause and consider: 

God reveals Scripture.

God is revealed in Scripture.

Having studied Bible passages, underlining and listing truths, it is time to step back and ask what it shows you about God. God is not a man we see, limited by time and space. God is spirit and God is light. God is the same yesterday, today and for eternity. He cannot be contained.

Who has seen the wind? Jesus pointed out to Nicodemus in John 3:8 that God is like that. The wind we cannot see, but we can hear it blow through the leaves. We see and feel its effects.

God is revealed from Genesis to Revelation as the Trinity; Father, Son and Spirit. Holy Spirit which means breath, like the wind, moves us. The Holy Spirit moved human beings to communicate the words that became our Bible.

For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. 2 Peter 1:21 ESV

God is revealed to us through the Bible writings. These teachings are in sync from Genesis to Revelation.

Study the Bible asking what is written about God. Some passages may reveal more about the Father, the Son or the Holy Spirit. Having studied the passage, underlining and listing what it says about God. Step back and reflect what it tells you about Him. Some chapters talk about God’s character and others show aspects of His relationships. When I see a verse that mentions all three members of the Trinity I make a triangle in the margin of my Bible to show a Trinity verse. 

One aspect of General Revelation is that all mankind has a conscience. The Holy Spirit speaks to our conscience and we must choose to listen. He reveals truth about God to our heart and mind. He illuminates the Holy Scriptures pinpointing God. Sometimes while reading the Bible a verse can hit hard because it is exactly what is needed. It is like a spotlight goes straight to the heart or makes the path forward really clear. That is the illuminating work of the Holy Spirit and His Holy Word.

Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Psalm 119:105 ESV


This post is fifty-third in a series as a Practical Starter Guide for Inductive Bible Study.

Up next: Find the Application: How does God matter to me?
Previous post: Find the Application: The God Reveal


1. Have you ever lost electricity expectedly and found yourself in the dark? What was hard to do without light? How did you get light again? Have you ever felt like life has left you suddenly in the dark in need of light?

2. Has a passage or verse from the Bible ever given you insight, light on your life that was just what was needed?

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

IBS-52 Find the Application: The God Reveal


Big Idea: God reveals Himself to us through His Word, the Bible.

The God Reveal

Would you pay to see God? What might it take; an app, a portal or a sacred object? God has made a way so that we can know a lot about Him and even know Him personally as a friend.  It is all found in the Bible, the very Word of God.

Gender reveal parties have become so popular, each year new over-the-top stories emerge to announce if an expectant couple will have a boy or girl. Much about the future we can’t see. That may partly why gender reveal parties are so popular! It gives some understanding to the uncertainties of becoming a new parent.

But to know what God is like? He cannot be harnessed or caged any easier than a tornado can be contained. However we can know Him and learn many things about Him. The more one studies the Bible, the more God reveals of Himself.

Humankind is created in God’s image. We are social creatures and we have inherited that from God. God communicates in the Godhead (Trinity) and with His angels. We are in fact the joy of His creation, and His deepest desire is to know and care for us and have us adore Him!

How Does He Do It?

How does He show Himself to the world? Those who study God refer to General Revelation and Special Revelation.

General Revelation

Every human being observing this complex beautiful world and the intricate human body should see an intelligent design that is not random. It is the handiwork of God. Looking at the human conscience, every person has a sense of right and wrong, of morality. These are imprints from God for all to see without the written Word.

Special Revelation

Two outstanding examples are Jesus, God who became man to rescue us from sin, and the Bible, the written Word of God. This Word is revealed to man from God, recorded for all of us to see (2 Peter 1:21). Our focus in Inductive Bible Study is about digging in to the Bible discovering how to apply it to our life.

God Revealed in the Bible

The Bible is all about God and His relationship with mankind. He is revealed in numerous ways.

1. History of God reaching out to people individually and as groups of people.

2. We see what God is like and what He does.

3. We see what He wants, and what He wants from us.

4. We watch His plans unfold for individuals and for humankind over the course of Bible times.

5. We see how others describe God, what they learn about Him.

6. God is quoted. God is observed. God is felt. God is Spirit and the spirit is like the wind. It is not visible but it is felt.

When you get to the application phase of your Bible passage, if you have done the work of observation and interpretation, ask yourself what you’ve observed about God, who He is and what He does. And then ask yourself, how might God matter in my situation today?


This post is fifty-second in a series as a Practical Starter Guide for Inductive Bible Study.

Up next: Find the Application: God Illuminated 
Previous post: Find the Application: Be a Good Example - 4


1. What have you seen either in the human body or the world that makes you marvel? Has anything ever left you feeling that there must be something intelligent out there?

2. What is the most amazing thing about God that you have seen in the Bible? (Examples: His love, His forgiveness, He knows what’s going on)

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Key Questions to Help You Read the Bible


The Big Idea: Use 5 questions to guide you as you read the Bible.

Reading the Bible shouldn't be hard!

Have you ever opened the Bible because you felt you should, but you weren't sure what you were reading or how to study it? Don't you sometimes wish you had a private tutor or that Siri knew more about theology?

The Bible is the living Word of God with words of wisdom to grapple with for our everyday lives. It CAN be relevant when you open yourself to the Holy Spirit's impression on your soul. The Holy Spirit was key, breathing every thought to the human authors what to say, which they then wrote down in their own words.

Above all, you must realize that no prophecy in Scripture ever came from the prophet’s own understanding, or from human initiative. No, those prophets were moved by the Holy Spirit, and they spoke from God. 2 Peter 1:20-21 (NLT)

First ask God, the Holy Spirit, to speak to you as you read, opening up your mind and heart to understand. Expect Him to do this.

Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. Luke 24:45 (NLT)

A couple key questions can get you on the road to relevancy and understanding.

1. Who wrote this book and to whom did they write?

Often the author's name, audience and a brief explanation is found in the first 1-2 verses of the book in the first chapter. Or you can find an introduction from a study Bible. You Version has an online introduction for each book when you use the New International Version.


2. What is being said about God in these verses?

Do you see something about God's character? Does He reveal more of Himself? Is there a promise He makes to His people? A declaration of truth?


3. What is observed about human nature in this passage?

The Bible is loaded with real people, not heroes that do everything right. People mess up pretty badly in the Bible. You learn a lot reading it about human nature, sin, temptation, frailties and discouragement, mistakes and family squabbles. God still seems to take great interest in us and wants to know us and intervene in our lives for His glorious purposes.


4. Is there a key word or phrases important to this passage?

Often if a word or phrases is repeated over and over, it is for a purpose. The author wants to grab the attention of the audience and explain what is important. What might this word or phrase be about? What does this word mean to you?


5. What is God saying to me?

It's OK if something profound doesn't jump out at you, but it is a good question to ask. What resonates with you from this reading? What surprises you? What brings you joy?


May you find great satisfaction reading the Bible. If you are not sure where to begin reading, check out this blog I posted a few weeks ago. May you discover so much you can't contain your pleasure!


Up Next: Trust the Bible Because of these Dead Guys

Previous Post: Have Problems with the Bible?



1. Is there a question here you never thought of before? How might this question be useful to you in your observation of the Bible?

2. Could you try this with a verse or two as sample, or test? Check out this verse. Remember to pray first for guidance.

By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires. 1 Peter 1:3-4 (NLT)

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Have Problems with the Bible?

The big idea: A response to reasons people give to disregard the Bible.

Why should I read the Bible?

Many find reading the Bible tough. People unfamiliar with it find it challenging for various reasons. Some believers also find a lack desire to read it or questions of its reliability. Recognize any of these?

  • Isn't it full of errors?
  • It's so old! It doesn't seem relevant today
  • I'm not interested in religion
  • It's boring
  • It's mysterious
  • I'm too busy

Let's take a look at these.

1. Isn't it full of errors?

Actually the Bible is very accurate. Doubt of accuracy stems from certain scholars who assume God is not real. They explain its inaccuracy due to its age, wide variety of authors/eras explaining it’s supposed in accuracy at great length. In reality the Bible which was written and recopied had so many checks and balances, the more recently discovered copies (The Dead Sea Scrolls) are remarkably accurate. Recent archeological finds and historical revelations prove more and more accuracy. Check out Ken Boa's helpful article. 

2. It's so old! It doesn't seem relevant today.

The Bible written hundreds of centuries ago to an ancient audience and setting was unlike our world. Scholars find it valuable for historical records and culture. Despite the ancient setting, themes, life lessons, principles and revelation about God, His desire to rescue us and be our friend crosses the ages. It helps to study cultural written periods to understand the intended message, but it is not limited by that. You may find one of my previous blogs helpful on 5 Steps to finding Biblical Timeless Truths.  Read the Bible seeking what you can learn about God and man.

3. I'm not interested in religion.

The book has been a best seller for centuries for both its stories and guidelines for life. Many historical figures many people already know such as David and Bathsheba. The central figure, Jesus, has been hailed by many world leaders and writers as the most influential person ever to walk the earth. You owe it to yourself to explore what the hype is about. The story contained therein is about more than religion.

4. It's boring.

There have been so many movies made about Biblical stories. There is a lot of action in many of the narrative accounts. If you read a very old version of the Bible, it may be clumsy reading for your mind. Try a more modern translation such as the New Living Translation.

5. It's mysterious.

Yes it is. The Bible is brilliant because of simplicity that children can understand, and complexities that challenge Christians who can discover a multitude of applications to a single verse. I have loved a verse from childhood, bringing truth and comfort to me in a fresh new way during various stages of my life. That is the magnificence of the Holy Spirit. We don't understand every detail, but then, we are not God. The first step of comprehension is trust.

The wisdom we speak of is the mystery of God—his plan that was previously hidden, even though he made it for our ultimate glory before the world began. 1 Corinthians 2:7

6. I'm too busy.

In the complex era in which we live, life pulls us many directions. Even so, the Bible is more accessible to us now than in any previous era. One can listen to an audio Bible online, or watch a video with word for word narration of the Bible. One can read it in most any language or translation online. Reading one verse a day is how I got started. If you cannot do that, the issue is clearly that you choose not to.

 Up Next: Key Questions to help you Read the Bible

Previous Post: Where do I start?



1. What do you think of the Bible? What has shaped your understanding or lack of interest in it?

2. On a scale of 1-10 how much do you have interest in the Bible? What one thought do you think is a good point that might nudge you toward giving it more honor?


Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Where Do I Start?


The Big Idea: Tips for someone new to reading the Bible who wonders where to start.


Like a Mini-Library

Considering reading the Bible? It is not an epic novel. It's more like a mini-library or a magazine.  Some pick it up to read it cover to cover and get bogged down in the book of Leviticus. That reads like a legal document! It's good background material but difficult reading for the novice.

The Bible has 66 books (Old Testament - 39 and New Testament - 27). Written over a thousand year span with varied themes and literary styles. The Old Testament is the back story to the New Testament. The New Testament explains how the Old Testament is fulfilled. Each is important to the other.


Start Here

1. The Gospel of John. It tells about the life of Jesus and His mission to mankind.

2. Genesis. The first book of the Bible is about the first man and woman, first sin, first murder, and so on. It is background for God and His love for people.

3. Ephesians. This writing from the Apostle Paul gives insight for how to live as God's people.

4. Proverbs. Practical advice for everyday life.

The four recommended books expose you to the Old and New Testament. Both are important. The New Testament may be more practical for a beginner. Reading one chapter a day in these four books would take just over 3 months (108 total chapters). 


Tips to Begin

1. Choose an easy-to-read Bible version. Electronic Bibles give options. The New Living Translation (NLT) is recommended. Whatever hard copy Bible you have works. All of the Bible is valuable. The King James version reads like people talked 200+ years ago. It's beautiful but some words are difficult to understand. Find one you love.

2. Find a consistent time to read each day. Choose a time when you can focus. That might be first thing in the morning, at a lunch break or night time after the kids are tucked in.

3. Find a comfortable place that is not distracting. Have a pen to jot down or underline what touches your heart or raises questions.

4. Decide where to start reading. Will you read one chapter a day? One paragraph? One or two verses? Or just read till something touches the need of your heart?  You can also listen to an audio Bible.

5. Ask a friend to join you. You can read the same passages separately. Then talk about your experience together.

6. Pray first and pray last. Before beginning, ask God to guide you and give you understanding. When done, pray, asking God to help you to live by His Word and for His strength.

May this give you courage to dig in!

 Up Next: Have Problems With the Bible?

Previous Post: Why Read the Bible?



1. Are these suggestions helpful or overwhelming? Why? If overwhelming could you take baby steps and start somewhere?

2. Which of the four books to read excites you most?

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Why read the Bible?


The Big Idea: No matter what your belief, you should read the Bible. 

Why read the Bible? The skeptic needs a different reason than a Christian who has followed God for decades. No matter what, it is a worthwhile read. Here's why.

To the Skeptic

1. Best Seller: The Bible has been a non-fiction best seller for centuries. It was the first book printed in 1452 on the Guttenberg Press.

2. Influential: The Bible has influenced and inspired world leaders and many top literary minds in world history.

3. Moral Compass: The Bible gives moral and ethical guidance. It is basic. It is profound. It grounds us on what we know in our gut to be right.

4. Big Picture: The Bible gives big picture perspective. It introduces the higher power. It provides comfort and hope.


If You’re Just Beginning

The Bible is like a library with various literary styles like poetry/wisdom, stories, history, law, and apocalyptic writings. Some of the Bible is not exciting or inspirational. But it has purpose just like the tiny type in contracts. Be aware of this when you read it. Next week will be about how to begin reading.

1. The Encyclopedia. The Bible contains information on many different subjects. It contains history, Old Testament laws, and compendiums about wisdom.

2. The Cookbook. Some parts of the Bible read like a cookbook. Proverbs has recipes for young man to keep pure, and about business women contributing in both home and community. The New Testament has guidelines for marriage,etc.

3. The Storybook. The Bible has vivid stories of people who are not perfect. Some turned to God and it changed their life. Bible characters are not superheroes or villains. Ordinary people encountered God and made their choices.

4. The Spiritual Guide. The Bible is a spiritual book for the soul. It teaches how to get along with God and man. Our bad choices effect us and it shows how to choose a better way to live.


What Christians Believe

1. God's Word: We believe the Bible is the very word of God. The Holy Spirit has breathed the words through those who wrote the words down in different eras and places. It is surprisingly in sync as a unit.

All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 2 Timothy 3:16

2. Active: The Bible is living and active. Though it was penned long ago, it is dynamic, not static, and continues to be relevant no matter what the culture or era.

For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. Hebrews 4:12

3. Trustworthy: You can trust God's word to be true. God's promises throughout the Bible can be trusted as we rely on Him.

The instructions of the Lord are perfect, reviving the soul. The decrees of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. Psalm 19:1

4. Life Changing: God's Word teaches us how to be right with God. God wants to rescue us from the pit. Words like: rescue, save, restore, redeem, fulfill are about God's ability to change us from darkness to light when we trust Him.

Stand by me and set me free. Give me life again because of Your Word. Psalm 119:154 (TLV)

 I close with a quote from an Athiest Book Club discussion from Goodreads.

I happen to be an Athiest who has read the Bible from cover to cover more than once. Some may ask why I, a non-believer, would want to read the entire Bible. They should be asking why so many believers do not.


Open the Bible and explore it! 

Next week the topic will be on where to start reading.

Up Next: Where do I Start?
Previous Post: Watch the Bible


1. Have you read much in the Bible? If not, why not? OR if you read the Bible now, what was your excuse before you actually began.

2. Do you agree or disagree with my reasons for reading the Bible?

3. Are you willing to read something, even one verse, in the Bible each day this week? Try finding verses in the Psalms.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

I'm a Winner Either Way


The Big Idea: Funeral thoughts using Philippians 1:21, "For me to live is Christ and to die is gain."

The Presence of Jesus Here of There

A day ago my husband and I went to a funeral a state away. We heard of  the passing of an old dairy farmer who needed one more stint to his heart. His family had become dear to my husband when he was their pastor about 30 years ago. We wanted to go, but read in the obituary due to these COVID times - "family only." The man's wife called. “I dared not ask you to come, but if you can please come. We think of you as family!”

My husband, in a dark suit and tie, and I in fashionable black and grey walked into the church which was decorated with John Deere tractors and miniature cows. As family arrived we chuckled as we realized we had missed the dress of the day: "Cowboy boots and Western Wear."

It was a COVID funeral with masks and social distancing. We watched the photo collage of non-COVID decades with Southern Gospel music in the background. The new widow was ushered to the front and as she sat before her beloved in the casket, she nodded her head raising a hand to the sky. As I listened to the song being played, the words gripped me.

I'm a winner either way, if I go or if I stay
For I'll still have my Jesus each passing day
I'll have my healing here below, or life forever if I go
Oh praise the Lord, I'm a winner either way. 

Wow, this is essentially Philippians 1:21, I thought to myself. 

            "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain."

The words were so comforting. I reflected on that truth that as we live here on this earth, we hope and joy in the presence of the Lord. His presence here with us on this earth may involve healing, or it may just be the peace of His comfort. But if He calls us heavenward to be with Him it is joy in His presence forevermore for those of us who love Him, who have accepted His gift of faith saving us from our sinful self.


I felt a bit like I was eavesdropping like a fly on the wall at a private family gathering. Family shared how this man, this joyous loving father, grandfather, uncle etc. had modeled for them hard work with laughter and a love for Jesus. The officiating pastor, a family member, said he always said, "He will be with me or I will be with Him. I'm a winner either way."

A life well spent with the Bible at center stage is quite a legacy to leave. The peace this man felt as he milked cows up 'til the day he died was because of His love for God and His Word. He asked to have his casket brought to the cemetery using his old John Deere tractor towed in the manure spreader.  I believe he wanted us to remember he is now with the Lord and all the rest is manure such as the Apostle Paul said in Philippians 3:8. The word the Apostle used in the original language the New Testament was written in really means manure in this verse. Most of our modern translations don't put it so shockingly.  The Good News Translation says.

I reckon everything as complete loss for the sake of what is so much more valuable, the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have thrown everything away; I consider it all as mere garbage, so that I may gain Christ 

If you do not know what it is like to have such an amazing relationship with Jesus as your Lord, please write to me at, or talk with someone who does have this kind of relationship with God. It is worth the peace and joy (not to mention eternity with Jesus) and is of great comfort in this turbulent COVID period.

I looked up this song when I got home today. I grew up singing this kind of music with my family around the family piano. It is a song my father would have loved. I wondered why we never sang it or heard it.  I found out it was written as recently as 1993 by Lori Curtis and Tina Lewis.






by Lori Curtis and Tina Lewis

Up Next: The power to bless

Previous Post:Three Stooges prayer lines

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Free Ebooks on Deep Questions


The Big Idea: Very helpful pastor/author has excellent free series of ebooks on very serious questions for the Christian life. Here's how to get them.

R.C.Sproul Crucial Question Series

There is a series of books that are available in electronic form, that will be free forever. It will help you learn more about who God is, why you should believe, how you should live and how you can share your faith. It is an amazing and valuable series for any Christian or someone interested in the Christian faith.

R.C. Sproul was a conservative, Reformed pastor, author and speaker who passed away in 2017. This valuable series of books are free electronically and you can buy paper versions of them. He started Ligonier Ministries. They have decided to make these books available forever for free. Additionally most are in Spanish. Each book is between 60-90 pages or so. Here is the list of titles taken from their website.

Here is a complete list of the free ebooks in the Crucial Questions series

·         Are People Basically Good? 

·         Are These the Last Days?  (Español)

·         Can I Be Sure I’m Saved?  (Español)

·         Can I Have Joy in My Life?  (Español)

·         Can I Know God’s Will?  (Español)

·         Can I Lose My Salvation?  (Español)

·         Can I Trust the Bible?  (Español)

·         Does God Control Everything?  (Español)

·         Does Prayer Change Things?  (Español)

·         How Can I Be Blessed? 

·          How Can I Develop a Christian Conscience? (Español)

·         How Can I Be Right with God? 

·          How Should I Live in this World? (Español)

·         How Should I Think about Money? 

·          What Can I Do with My Guilt? (Español)

·         What Can We Know about God? 

·         What Do Jesus’ Parables Mean? 

·         What Does It Mean to be Born Again?  (Español)

·         What Is Baptism? (Español)

·         What Is Faith?  (Español)

·         What Is the Great Commission?  (Español)

·         What Is Repentance? (Español)

·         What Is the Church?  (Español)

·         What Is the Lord’s Supper?  (Español)

·         What Is the Relationship between Church and State?  (Español)

·         What Is the Trinity?  (Español)

·         Who Is Jesus?  (Español)

·         Who Is the Holy Spirit?  (Español)

·         Does God Exist? 

·         How Does God’s Law Apply to Me? 

·         What Is Predestination? 

·         Why Should I Join a Church? 


You can go to the R.C. Sproul author page at

There you will find these and more of his books, occasionally offered for free. The way you search on that page (and any author page on Amazon) is using these buttons near the top of the page. Choose Kindle Books and then choose on the drop down menu, Price: Low to High.

R.C. Sproul's book, Abortion: A Rational Look at anEmotional Issue, is also always free.

I have noticed this book from Ligioner Ministry author Keith Mathison is also always free. A Reformed Approach to Science and Scripture.

Logos Bible Software also offers the Crucial Question Series electronically for free.

You may be asking yourself what does a Reformed Christian or pastor mean?

This is a well explained short definition from

Generally, Reformed theology holds to the authority of Scripture, the sovereignty of God, salvation by grace through Christ, and the necessity of evangelism. It is sometimes called Covenant theology because of its emphases on the covenant God made with Adam and the new covenant which came through Jesus Christ (Luke 22:20).

 Up Next: No light for my way

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