A Secret Worth Sharing

I will admit It is nearly impossible for me to keep a secret from my wife. If I buy a gift for her birthday or Christmas I had better buy it the day before I give it to her; otherwise, I’ll blow the surprise of the gift.

The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him…. Psalm 25.14

God keeps secrets – at least that’s what this verse seems to indicate. It teaches us that there are some truths that God reveals only to those who fear him. Want to know God deeper? Beyond the casual? Beyond facts and figures? Spend time with Him through the only Book He’s ever written. I promise you, with time, you will begin to know and understand the secret of the LORD.

Helpful Thoughts on Bible Reading

A college friend and fellow pastor, Matt Hoskinson, wrote a series of blog posts last fall that I came across that were a real help to me. One or two are dated because we’re well into 2011 but there are helpful ideas and timely reminders that we need:

  1. Bible Reading in 2011
  2. Dangers Within (this was the most challenging post for me)
  3. Sitting Down
  4. Reading
  5. Plans
  6. Final Thoughts

A Free Bible for Your Phone (or computer)

One of the great things about using technology redemptively is the spiritual growth that is possible. Cell phones used to be for making phone calls, but now there is an ever-increasing versatility with smartphones. One incredibly helpful addition to my cell phone was downloading YouVersion. Now Bethel Baptist has its own page for you to download the Bible free to your phone www.bethelbc.org/bible. You can even download it free for you computer. Here’s why I recommend YouVersion:

Accessible & Portable. I never forget my Bible now that it is with me, because my cell phone is always with me.  Some people may not prefer, but I even use it regularly for our family devotional times. If there is cell coverage you’ve got a Bible with you and I love having the Bible with me at all times.

Helpful Features.

  • more than 20 Bible reading plans
  • ability to update your Facebook or Twitter status with a Bible verse
  • available for Blackberry, Android, iPhone, iPad and any device that has internet browsing capabilities
  • a section to add notes and thoughts on what you read Continue reading

Ten Strategies to Reading Your Bible

During our Wednesdays in the Word series, Ruud Stolvoort has been teaching an extremely helpful series on Bible Study. Ruud recently gave ten strategies to reading your Bible. It was a helpful list that has aided me in my Bible reading and I hope it will be a help to you too.

  1. Read your Bible thoughtfully. Give thought to what you are reading. Think about the context, the history and the main point essential to this passage.
  2. Read your Bible repeatedly. One time is not enough. It takes reading a passage two, three or four times to truly understand what God is attempting to teach us. Continue reading

Understanding the New Testament

Over the past couple of Sundays Pastor has given to us a helpful structure of the New Testament. Understanding how all the books of the New Testament work together is essential when attempting to understand what God is communicating to us as His people. I hope this small chart is helpful to you.

Overall Theme of the New Testament:

the Person & Work of Jesus Christ

  1. The Gospels (Matthew – John): the Gospels serve as the Introduction to the Person and Work of Jesus Christ
  2. The Book of Acts: the book of Acts serves as the Proclamation of the Person and Work of Jesus Christ
  3. The Letters (Romans – Jude): the Epistles serve as the Explanation of the Person and Work of Jesus Christ
  4. The Revelation: the book of Revelation serves to Reveal the Person and Work of Jesus Christ

Consider a Bible for Your Devotions – Part 2

I hope that you are having a good start to the New Year and also a few days successfully into your Bible reading.  Remember that your goal is to read through the Bible at a pace that is comfortable for you.  Don’t be afraid to push yourself though and, above all, do not quit if you get behind!

The purpose of this post is to continue an encouraging word to you about having a Bible that you use for your devotions.  Again, the reason I say this is so that you can be active and attack your Bible reading for the day with a highlighter and/or pen.  Reading the Bible passively allows your mind to drift into the distance.

I am just going to give a few brief comments about the Bible I have been using now for about two years – The ESV Journaling BibleContinue reading

Writing Between the Lines

Recently, Pastor Campbell has posted some helpful insights about Bible reading. I came across the following passage in an old classic, How to Read a Book, by Mortimer Adler & Charles Van Doren. What Adler & Doren say about reading books applies in an even greater way to our reading of the Bible:

It is an old saying that you have to “read between the lines” to get the most out of anything. . . . But we want to persuade you to “write between the lines,” too. Continue reading