Spoiler alert: Giving away free books. Leave a comment to enter the drawing!
I grew up in a church that taught me to love God’s word. That was the up side. The down side was that it also (indirectly) taught me to feel guilty if I didn’t read it every day. I gauged my spiritual health (which people asked me about all the time—“How’s your walk?” was the jargon we used) by whether or not I was reading my Bible, having daily devotions, a quiet time.
So I come to the practice of Bible study with mixed baggage, so to speak. I love the Bible, yet am fairly convinced I don’t read it often enough or understand it fully.
And yet, the Bible has come through for me in so many ways. Because I grew up reading and memorizing it, passages will come to mind even when I don’t open it. And when I do open it—wow. I’m comforted, confounded, confused and enlightened—sometimes all at once. But I’ve learned to use some tools: commentaries, concordances. My training as a journalist has taught me to question everything, which is a great way to read the Bible. When we question, sincerely, we “keep asking, keep knocking, keep seeking,” as Jesus told us to do.
New Testament scholar Robert Mullholland once compared Scripture to “a lake whose depths have never been fully plumbed.” No one has ever fully understood everything about it—but this does not mean we should not explore it and enjoy it.
My newest book, Deeper into the Word, is a tool for those who want to get more out of their Bible reading—or perhaps need to be wooed back into reading the Bible at all.
It’s a look at 100 words from the New Testament. You can use it as a devotional or a reference tool. I hope you will use it like a key, to unlock some of the mysteries of God’s word.
If you’d like to be entered in today’s Free Book Friday contest to win one of three copies we’re giving away today, answer this question:
What gets in the way of you reading your Bible?
Perhaps you feel you don’t understand it, or you don’t have time, or …. Who knows? You tell me. What keeps you from reading the Bible?
We’ll pick three comments—from the blog and the Facebook comments, and you could win a copy of Deeper into the Word, New Testament—a tool that will make reading the Bible easier.
I recently created a twitter account for Deeper into the Word @100Biblewords. I hope you’ll follow me there. Here’s the link: http://twitter.com/#!/100Biblewords
Great question, Keri!
I have to tell you, I absolutely love reading the Bible, but I also love reading other books. With that said, the answer to your question is…I get in the way of myself when it comes to reading the Bible.
My passion for books is a good thing, however, it can sometimes capture my attention so much so that I allow it to become more and the Word becomes less. Scathing, right? It’s honest though. I have learned (and am still learning) to keep a healthy balance.
By the way, I loved this book! It enhanced my personal bible study time so much. If I am fortunate enough to win a copy of this wonderful book, I have decided to do a gift-away with it. I think it would be beneficial to anyone who reads it or chooses to use it as a study reference.
Blessings and Grace,
I had to stop and think about that one. I think, for me, it’s some intimidation. I am an intelligent person, but for some reason I fear I don’t grasp the import and significance of what I’m reading, so I shy away from too much study. (Probably don’t want to prove myself right – or wrong!)
During the Lent season I read every day using a reading guide, and really enjoyed it/got a lot out of it. So I’m trying to read every day despite my fear of missing the important stuff!
The growing stack of books (both virtual and literal) that I want to read…and the excuse that I’ve already read most of the Bible already.
It is so important for me to read my Bible. When I wasn’t working, I could spend literally hours studying the Word. Since I’ve returned to full time work, it’s been more challenging. I make time by getting up early to have a quiet time, but have to admit it’s much shorter than I’d like. I’m grateful for the hours I spent in the past memorizing Scripture though. That has helped me when I struggle driving in my car to work. I will remember a verse that speaks to my heart and comforts me.
Congrats on your new book. Such an important topic too.
blessings and love,
I have written a blog post that addresses this issue…would feel honored if you would read it. Just click on this link:
I already have the book but would love to have another copy to donate to our churches resource center.
Honestly, life gets in my way. I almost died two years ago due to blood poisoning I received from a catheter inserted in my chest because of kidney failure. I was in the hospital for 2 1/2 months. My legs atrophied from lack of use. I questioned God a million times while I was “trapped”. When I got out of the hospital, I started to read the bible. I finished in a year. I read from Psalms to the end of the old testament and then I read from the beginning of the old testament and when I reached Psalms, I read through the new testament. I have started, and not finished, probably four or five bible studies. I have dialysis three times a week, Dr.’s appointments, my grandson’s baseball games, my granddaughter’s dance practices and recitals and I babysit them all of the time. It seems I have less time to myself now than when I worked. I go to church every Sunday and actually went to a church dinner last night. We have movie nights at the church and I always try to go to every church function. I love my church and the people in it but the bible studies are always at night (I can’t see to drive at night) so sometimes the people in the bible study will pick me up but they have their own lives too. The bible studies in the daytime are on my dialysis days. I need to learn how to get disciplined to bible study on my own but I don’t know how to go about it. Where do I start reading and what if I have questions? I’ve read the bible but now I want more than that. I want to understand it and I want to grow in my relationship with God. I’m 54 years-old and I don’t know how much longer I have on this earth. I want to “know” him as much as I can when I get there.
Oh, and I forgot to mention, I go to college part time to keep myself busy! I’m pulling A’s and B’s so that takes time. I don’t know how to fit it all in and leave enough room for God. He should be my number one priority and he is in my head but not enough in my actions. How do I do it?
Hope I’m not too late! Being in a hurry is probably the number one obstacle that gets in my way of reading the Bible. To read it and meditate on what God is saying takes time, so I often fall into the trap of reading what someone else has learned/said about it instead of just dwelling on the WORD itself.
Okay, our winners are Claire, Joni and Gay! Congratulations. Look for an email in your inbox, reply with your mailing address, and we’ll send you a book! Thanks for participating. For those who didn’t win, the book is of course available on amazon or your favorite retailer. If you enjoy the book, I hope you’ll recommend it to others!
Thank you so much for visiting me at Create With Joy! I’m so glad you enjoyed my review of your book. I truly enjoyed reading it and consider it a wonderful addition to my collection of bible study resources!
I am delighted to hear that you have a companion version of Deeper Into The Word coming out for release in the near future for the Old Testament. If you would be interested in having me review and / or host a giveaway of your book at Create With Joy, please contact me – I would love to share your new volume with my readers!
Have a blessed week!