Thursday, March 28, 2013

Book Basics

I mentioned in my last post that I had been hesitant to dive into reading the Bible for fear that I just wouldn't get this very sacred book.  My own excuse, yes, but I had to work through it.  The words are holy.  The words are life changing.   The words are the foundation of the Christian faith.  They are "life to those who find them and health to one's whole body (Proverbs 4:22)."  That's a lot of pressure, you know?  What if this book didn't apply to me because I didn't know how to read it the right way?  I had a mindset that if I never REALLY dove in, at least I couldn't REALLY sink or fail.  Have you ever felt that way about something?

So what did I do?  I managed to find some life preservers along the way, some back up flotation devices, for reading, understanding and applying God's word, and I want to share a few of those with you.  The good news, in addition to the most important Good News that Christ died for us so that we might have eternal life, is that there are tons of useful resources out there to help us not only read the Bible, but nurture and grow our faith.  I will never run out of blog posts!

Today, I am going to focus on the Bible basics.  These things may seem obvious to some of you, but they weren't to me.  They give me a much needed foundation for my reading. These are facts I heard over time, in pieces, but had a hard time organizing in my head.

Bible Books
  • 66 books total (Catholic Bibles have a few more)
  • 2 Parts:
    • Old Testament- The story of God's creation and his loving relationship with his people before the birth of his son, Jesus Christ
      • Covers several thousands of years
      • Contains scriptures Jesus learned as a child
      • 39 books (law, history, poetry/wisdom, & prophecy)

    • New Testament- The story of God's love, mercy, and grace following the birth, life, death, and resurrection of his son, Jesus Christ.
      • Covers about 100 years
      • 27 books (gospels, history, letters) 

Simple Summaries
Even with the best of graphic organizers, it can still be a difficult task to keep all the facts straight as I read, especially since the good books do not necessarily go in chronological order.  I need a way to associate the book I am reading with an author, a specific period of time, important biblical events, and memorable scripture.  Know Your Bible by Paul Kent helps keep me straight.  It's simple, to the point, and a real bargain at!

Through God's word we come to know and experience what it means to be...

1. {Part of God's Family}
Jesus tells us,
  "My mother and brothers are those who hear God's word and put it into practice."

2. {Protected by God's Grace}

"Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.  In addition to all of this, take up the shield of faith...Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God."
3. {Transformed By New Life in Christ}
"And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe."
"For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God." 

I sincerely hope these resources will inspire and encourage you wherever you are in reading the word of God, whether you are a seasoned veteran, unsure and new to the water, or somewhere in between. The Bible is where I find the unconditional comfort of God's truth and love, and the words don't just sit idly on the page. They come alive and go to work in me, and they will do the same for you if they haven't already!

My prayer for today-

Dear Heavenly Counselor and Comforter,
Thank you for revealing yourself to me through your word.  Help me "grow in the grace and knowledge" of you for your glory both now and forever (2 Peter 3:18)!  May this blog reach far and wide, blessing those who read it and beyond.
I pray this prayer in the name of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ,
Much love in Christ,

*Graphics in this post were created by A Mind Maker Upper from reference material on the website, Bible Simply Explained at

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