3 mistakes keeping you stuck in your faith

Have you ever felt stuck in your faith like nothing was changing and like you were going absolutely nowhere? I know I have, and I’ve actually felt like that more than once. The Bible tells us that there might be things we are doing or not doing that are keeping us from moving forward. So stick with me today as I share with you 3 mistakes keeping you stuck in your faith and the steps you can take to change it.

3 mistakes keeping you stuck in your faith

1. You might have offended someone

The first thing you should consider is whether or not you’ve offended someone.

Maybe you’ve done something or said something that has hurt or offended someone you know.

The Bible is very clear about how that affects our faith and then tells us exactly what steps we should take.

Matthew 5:23- 24 Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

These verses tell us there are some preparation steps we need to take before we go and worship God.

If you go to church on Sundays and they have a communion service, then on Saturday, you should take some time and pray to the Lord and ask him, whether you offended somebody.

Have you done or said something that has hurt somebody’s feelings? If the Lord says yes and even gives you a name, then scripture tells us that you must then put in the work to try and reconcile with that person, and then you can go worship.

That means you might need to make a call or write an email. Whatever that action is, you must take that step of reconciliation before then you go and worship God.

If you don’t, then that unforgiveness is like the elephant in the room and is a hindrance to your worship.

So to get unstuck, we must prioritize mending fences with people that we have offended.

2. Not Bringing something to The Lord in Prayer

I often want to do things on my own, but later realize it’s harder than I thought and I need the Lord’s help.

I do this all the time when planning projects. I have a million great ideas and I just start. And then a couple of days in or even a few weeks in and I realize that I haven’t actually prayed and asked the Lord whether or not He wants me to be working on this project and what I should really be focusing on.

The remedy for this is to depend on the Lord for everything we do.

I’m not saying that you need to ask the Lord what you’re going to have for breakfast, but I encourage you to spend some time and think of the different decisions you make throughout the day and pick a few that you then bring before the Lord before you do anything about it.

Psalm 55:22 Cast your burden on the Lord, And He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.

The Bible tells us that when we seek wisdom from the Lord, He will give it to us. When we ask the Lord for direction, He will tell us which steps to take.

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I’ll give you an example.

Currently, my middle daughter is having some learning difficulties and so we are praying about what school to send her to next year. We know the decision has to be made within the next couple of weeks and we just don’t know which one to pick.

So what we’re doing is we’re praying about it.

But at the same time, we are also seriously considering each option.

What does this look like? So, for example, there’s an open house at one of the schools that we’re interested in. So we’re going to go to the open house, and we will talk about the program, and see what sort of support they have in place and what we can expect from the teachers.

We’ve also talked to the principal at a different school about a different program that she’s qualified to go to learn more about that.

We’re not just waiting for God to give us direction, but we’re actively seeking information so that when we feel peace from the Lord, we’ve done our part and we have all the information.

I find that when we collect the information, it’s in those meetings, it’s in those discussions, it’s in the small things that the Lord may prompt you and tell us which school is the best fit.

It’s really easy to make those decisions without Him or to not invite Him in that decision-making.

But I find that it’s so much easier to bring the Lord. Ask him for guidance and then actively seek information so that you are making wise, biblical God LED decisions.

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3. You are putting too much stock in earthly things

I have a question for you. What takes up most of your time?

I ask because we all claim to be busy, but what will our efforts add up to when we realize that all material things will one day disappear? It puts everything else in perspective.

Matthew Chapter 5:19-20  Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.

These verses tell us we need to measure our wealth and other outcomes the way God does. This means we need to think about how our actions affect eternity, and if they don’t have any effect on eternity, then we need to seriously consider whether or not we should partake in those activities.

I can’t give you a list of things that will add to the Kingdom or things that won’t because everybody has a different opinion.

And I’ll give you an example.

A few years ago my husband was training for triathlons and one Christian asked him, why are you spending all your time training? Wouldn’t that time be better spent reading your Bible and serving the Lord?

Maybe that man was building treasure in heaven by reading his Bible and praying. But for my husband, the training was helping his mental health so that he could be a better husband, a better father, a better leader, and a better worker.

And so doing physical exercise was helping him be the man God called him to be.

So his activities didn’t necessarily have a direct effect on building the Kingdom, but they affected how well he was doing in building the Kingdom.

I hope you can see the connection that sometimes there isn’t a very clear cut. Well, this builds treasure in heaven and this doesn’t.

I’m not gonna tell you to do this, don’t do that. But I’m gonna go back to my earlier point. (praying about everything)

In everything you do, whether it’s extracurricular things or even service for the Lord; Bring those things before the Lord and ask God to direct you.

And while you’re doing those things, change your attitude so that you’re doing those things for the Lord.

And when you are doing that, then you are building things for eternity because you’re seeking God.

When we seek to know and do God’s will we are showing and expressing our love to Him.

Conclusion

So I want you just to take a minute and consider these three mistakes that we’ve gone through.

  • Maybe you’ve offended somebody.
  • or you’re not bringing things to the Lord in prayer.
  • Maybe you’re putting too much stock in earthly things.

I encourage you to take some time to pray about those particular areas and seek the Lord and see what He brings back to you.

Maybe He’ll show you which specific thing is keeping you from having a closer relationship with him.

And when He shows you, it’s not enough to just know what is keeping you from getting unstuck, you have to then make that change.

So that means maybe asking a brother or sister in Christ for forgiveness. Maybe it’s starting to invite the Lord into the decisions that you’re making in your everyday life. Or it’s time to reprioritize things in your life because you’re putting too much activity and too much emphasis on the things of this world and not in heaven.

I hope that through this blog post, you’ve been able to gain a deeper understanding and insight into the practicality of the Christian faith in today’s world.

My goal is to help you grow in your relationship with Jesus and to use the Bible practically in your life. May the Lord bless and encourage you.

4 common hurdles in reading The Bible

As Christians, we know the best way to know God more is to read our Bibles. This sounds like it should be easy, but we often have a hard time sitting down and actually reading God’s word. Most people have hurdles they have to overcome. Continue to read as I share 4 common hurdles in reading The Bible and how to overcome them.

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4 common hurdles in reading The Bible (and how to overcome them)

Today, we’re going to talk about four different hurdles we can face when reading the Bible. As Christians, we all want to read the Bible and pray more and we know what to do, right? There is a Sunday school song that says: read your Bible, pray every day, and you’ll grow, grow, grow.

We know that that’s how we get to know God more.

But knowing it and actually doing it are two different things.

And if you’re like me, then Bible reading every day isn’t easy for you. It’s something that maybe you struggle with.

And if it is, then it means that there’s some sort of barrier keeping you from doing what it is that you want to do. So today we’re going to take some time to talk about some of the barriers we can face while reading The Bible and I’m going to give you a few tips on how to overcome them so that hopefully you can have some success later on.

And I really hope that you don’t feel judged or diminished in any way when I go through these things, because, for one, we all go through different struggles when it comes to our relationship with the Lord. I think it’s normal.
I feel like talking about it is really good because we can encourage each other and just know that I
also struggle with some of these things.

There are many hurdles that may come our way during Bible study, but today I wanted to focus on 4. 

For each, I’ll share what each hurdle may look like and then give a few tips to overcome them. 

1. Not enough time 

This may be you if:

  • You always feel rushed
  • You never seem to have enough time in your day
  • You don’t know what your priorities are 
  • You spend too much time on tasks that don’t bring your closer to meeting your goal

A few tips to help you overcome this barrier

A) Make a list of all the things you are doing:

My first piece of advice is to make a list of all the things that you’re doing and then reevaluate to see if
they are important right now.

For example, every summer my husband mows the grass on Saturday mornings, but now it’s fall.

We haven’t had a lot of rain, so our grass isn’t growing and so it would be a waste of time for him to
spend thirty-forty minutes mowing the grass. So in the fall, he takes that off his To Do
List.

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B) Replace with Reading The Bible

Now the trick here is to go through your routines and you see that you don’t have to do
something anymore because the seasons have changed.

You want to make sure you replace part of your FREE time with reading your Bible and maybe the rest of that time resting so that you’re not feeling like you’re adding things to your routine.

And then on top of that, you’re feeling more rested than normal because that usual task is not on
your list anymore.

These things can be anything from chores or activities with children or family obligations or maybe work. Anything that isn’t always the same throughout the year.

Think about, whether or not something needs to be done right now. Can I do this on a day when I
have more time or do we have to continue doing this right now because the season changed?

For example: Maybe you’re a gardener and in the summer that takes up a lot of the time of your time.
Then in the wintertime, it doesn’t.

So then it’s using some of that time that you were doing something else and just adding Scripture into that.

C) Find creative times in your day to include fellowship with God

For example, if you’re feeling like you have too much to do and there’s too much going on and you don’t want to add one more thing to your To-Do List.

What you can do is think of something you’re already doing and then add scripture, or prayer time to that
event.

So for example, when I am in the car by myself, whether that’s going to run errands or picking
up the kids or dropping something off, what I like to do is to turn off my radio and then I spend that time in prayer.

So I’m not adding to the things I have to do. I’m just adding prayer or scripture reading to what I’m already doing.

I know many people who will listen to an audio Bible while they’re doing something. Because that works really well for them.

So if you’re an auditory learner, then maybe it’s listening to the Bible while you’re doing something else

2. Distractions

The second hurdle I want to talk about is distractions. If this is you then

  • You have young kids who don’t give you any time and keep interrupting your quiet time
  • When you do take time to read the bible and pray, your mind wonders and you spend that time thinking about everything else you need to accomplish
  • Your phone is always on and you immediately respond to alerts

A few helpful tips:

A) Turn off ANY digital distractions

My phone was a huge destruction for me for a long time. I took the extreme step and switched from a smartphone to a regular phone. I did this for 2 years, and am now back to using a smartphone.

The 2 years without a smartphone help me create boundaries over phone use and I learned how to limit phone distractions.

I’m not telling you to get rid of your phone, but playing with the notification settings will help.

I know that on my phone there’s a setting I can go in and I will say do not disturb. So when that
is on I will not hear the phone call and I will not get a notification about a text coming in.

So then those notifications aren’t going to draw my attention away from when I’m studying my Bible and will be there once I’m done. I can go back into the settings, turn on my notifications, check my
voicemail, check my texts, see what I’ve missed, and go on.

Now, if that’s even going to be too tempting for you, try putting your phone on the other side of your house, maybe in your bedroom or somewhere where you’re not going to be so that when those notifications do come in, you don’t even hear them because you don’t see them, depending on how tempting the phone can be.

An image with The Bible verse Colossians 3:2

B) What to do with the Kids

If you’re like me when my kids are babies, I really wanted to read my Bible in front of them because I wanted to set a good example, but they would like to take out my markers and try to colour in them and it just created so much more stress for me.

So the idea of reading my Bible and trying to study it with my kids around just was not good for my mental health and so I had to find other times.

I then switched to reading my Bible during quiet time. If you’ve had young kids, you know that when
they’re young there’s not a lot of quiet time. So sometimes I would do this when they were watching TV
or while they were napping.

I also found that there were always natural parts of the day when the kids had less energy or were
playing happily together, where I could have five-ten minutes reading scripture without them
disrupting me.

But there are also times as a mother when there was no time during the day when I didn’t have one kid on me. And so that’s when I talked to my husband. And we decided that during a portion of the week, he would spend the time with the kids so that I can take that time to be with the Lord alone without any distractions.

I know that that’s a privilege and not everybody listening has a spouse or family that can do
that for them. Or if they do, it’s not daily or weekly, but it’s really just taking some time to figure out how you can have quiet time with kids around and find a time that works for you.


C) Follow a reading plan

I have a busy mind and so I often get distracted reading my Bible and Praying. To help me with that, I follow a Bible reading plan. I can go back to my plan and remember what I’m reading and then I’m doing it.

It’s a good trigger to remind my brain hand you’re reading the Bible today, get back to this plan.

D) Keep a prayer journal

The second struggle I have is to keep focused on praying. I often start praying for something and then get distracted from another thought.

What has helped with that is having a prayer journal. That way I can write down who I’m praying for and what I’m praying for.

That way, if I do go down some rabbit trails and I catch myself, I think don’t have to spend
all this time trying to think about what or who I was praying for. I can go back to my journal and see where I left off.

1 Year Bible reading plan

3. Negative Self-talk

You may be someone who needs help overcoming negative self-talk. This can look like:

  • You feel guilty for not reading your bible or praying
  • Your guilt keeps you from even trying to reach your goal
  • You have recently sinned and feel too guilty to enter into His presence and seek a fresh start
  • You feel like a fake or fraud for calling yourself a Christian because of doubts you may have
  • You let past experiences dictate your current decisions 
  • You don’t just want to read your bible out of habit so you don’t start
  • You let past failures influence your feelings about church and create new habits

Tips To overcome this

A) Challenge thoughts with Scripture

The best thing we can do to overcome some negative talk is to challenge those thoughts with scripture.

We have a great example of Jesus in the desert where Satan comes and tempts him and Jesus replies with Scripture.

So the best way we can fight the lies that Satan likes to throw at us is with scripture.

for through him we both have our access in one spirit to the father.

Ephesians 2:18

If you’re feeling like you don’t belong in God’s presence, there are many verses that say otherwise. And so the lies that the devil throws at you may be different than the lies he throws at me.

And so you can spend a few minutes and figure out what are the specific lies that the devil is telling me, and then think of verses that can contradict the lie.

Then those verses tell me exactly God’s opinion so that I can fight back with the word of God.



B) Challenge thoughts with truth

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellent if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Philippians 4:8

I encourage you, anytime you have some negative self-talk, whether you’re putting yourself
down, whether you’re making yourself feel like you’re not worthy enough and those thoughts are just
filling up your mind, let that be a trigger to remind you of the truth.

Ask yourself, what is good, what is just, what is lovely. This verse is a really long way of saying to think about the Lord because He is all these things.

And anytime we think badly of ourselves and look down on ourselves, we can come back to the Lord and think about Him and He’ll give us a proper view of what’s happening.

I find just these two things are an excellent way to challenge those negative thoughts that we have and then encourage me to come into his presence.

When I do that, I realized God is such a loving father, even if all those negative thoughts are true. His love and his sacrifice have taken those all away.

So, in His presence, He doesn’t see those things. He sees the sacrifice Jesus made for us and our sin has been taken away.

It gives us the mindset of Jesus when He looks at us and what He says about us and not what we say about ourselves.

One thing that I heard recently I thought was completely brilliant is this: speak to yourself the way
you would speak to a friend.

So if a friend is going through a really hard time, you’re not going to turn around and say, mean things. No, you would never do that because they’re your friend.

But we say that to ourselves because we feel like that.

And so it’s just practicing giving yourself grace. Speaking truth to yourself the way you would speak to a friend.

4. Lack of Confidence 

This can be a barrier you face if:

  • You believe that you can’t truly understand what the bible says
  • You think that only “scholars” can study the bible
  • You don’t know all the “Christian” language and are afraid you won’t ever understand it
  • You feel like you don’t below and aren’t good enough

Tips to overcome this:

A) Remember Hebrews 4:14-15

Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. 15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us, therefore, come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Hebrews 4: 14-16 

This is just a long way of saying, nowhere in this does it say that you have to have a certain IQ or a certain understanding or certain position to be in the presence of God.

Regardless of who we are, when we come through the Lord Jesus Christ, we are all accepted into the presence of God and we can come into His presence with boldness.

We can do so because we stand on the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ and on His merit, not ours.


B) Look at who God met with
  • Look at who God met with: Think back through all the stories in the New Testament and who He met with. He met tax collectors, lepers, and sinners.
  • Look at who He chose to be His disciples: Then you. I want you to look at who he chose to be his disciples. So again there was a tax collector, a fisherman, and a doctor. These were all regular people, with normal jobs and IQ
  • Look at who He called out to: He called out to women, to children, minority groups, the sick, and the outcasts.

Jesus interacted with all these people

Nowhere in Scripture does it say that you have to be good enough to see Jesus.

What you do see is Jesus spending time with all those people who were sick with sin.

If Jesus can meet with lepers and sinners and prostitutes and the lowly, then He
can meet us too.

When we read Scripture it says God so loved the world, the world includes us. There is nothing that can separate us from the Lord’s presence.

Jesus is calling us to come to him. He wants all people to come to him and know him.

Action Steps 

  • I want you to identify your number one stumbling block. If I did not part the four on my list, make a fifth stumbling block and then let me know about it.
  • Make a plan to overcome that barrier.
  • Check out The Faith in Action Conference.

The Faith in Action Conference

The Faith in Action Conference is a FREE 4-day virtual event to help Christian women take action in their faith through a deep dive Bible study of Mathew 5-7 & James.

The conference is all about helping Christian women take action in their faith through a deep dive into Bible study.

16 speakers over 4 days will help you discover how to live out your faith by looking at Mathew chapters 5-7 & James. These chapters are filled with practical advice for us. Everything from how to treat one another, to marriage advice.

Click here to register for your FREE ticket today!

5 simple steps to get started in Bible Study

I like spending time on Facebook and Instagram and there seems to be one question that gets asked over and over again. How do I get started in Bible study? Since so many people have asked this question, I want to take just a few minutes to get started. Today I’m going to tell you 5 simple steps to get started in Bible Study.

5 simple steps to get started in Bible Study

1. The Tools you NEED to study The Bible

You only need two things to study the Bible. You need a Bible and you need The Holy Spirit. 

Anyone saying you need something else is misdirecting you. 

Bible apps, study books, commentaries, and bible studies are great tools. I use it on a regular basis. 

But! You don’t NEED them!

As a Christian, you have The Holy Spirit in you. He will reveal to you what God has to say to you when you read The Bible. 

2. Exactly where to start when studying your Bible

Grab your bible and open it to any part of the Bible. 

Yes, you heard that right. ANY PAR Of the BIBLE!!!! There are for sure some books that I would recommend you start in, but these are just recommendations. 

Don’t get too caught up in where to start studying.

Pick a book and read it.

The Lord will use the scripture you are reading to speak to you. 

Let me give you an example. A few years ago, our lady’s Bible study was studying Judges!

When was the last time you studied that!! Let alone read it. 

There is a lot of weird stuff going on in that book and some parts are a bit dark. 

But, believe it or not. The Lord used the book of judges to speak to me and to console me as I was processing the death of my cousin. 

So, pick a book and read it and see what God has to say to you. You might be surprised by what verses God will use to teach you. 

Since it’s His book, He is on every page. 

But, if you really want to know a good place to start, I suggest starting in Matthew or John.

3. How to get more out of Reading The Bible 

It’s one thing to read The Bible, but it’s another to learn about what The Bible says and to study it. If you are not sure about the difference, read this.

The best way to get more out of your Bible reading is to ask yourself some W questions. 

Who, What, When, Where, Why

Example: 

  1. Who is it about?
  2. What happened?
  3. When did it take place?
  4. Where did it take place?
  5. Why did it happen?

These are not all the questions you can ask. There are more, but you can also make up your own questions.

When you start asking questions, you learn more and start connecting pieces of scripture and knowledge together. It’s an amazing way to learn more about God.

A picture of a person sitting at a table with a Bible open as they read. On top of the image is a white block with words that say 5 simple steps to get started in Bible study. www.onedeterminedlife.com

4. Record everything 

If you are like me, then you have a short memory. To help you remember what you have read and learned during Bile study is to have some paper on hand and write stuff down. 

As you read, ask yourself questions and write your answers and thoughts. Studies show that you will keep more information when you write something down. 

5. Pray

I’ve saved the most important part for last. If you want to understand what you read, and you want to know how The Bible applies to your life, YOU MUST SEEK THE LORD IN PRAYER. 

When you pray: 

  • Ask for guidance in what you read.
  • Ask for wisdom and understanding when you read 
  • Ask The Lord what He wants you to learn
  • Ask The Lord to convict you in what He wants you to change, or do 
  • Ask for the courage and dedication to obey what The Lord tells you

5 Simple questions to ask in Bible Study: 

  • Who: who is this text about
  • What: what is happening in the text 
  • Where: where is the story located- town, home, etc 
  • When: When is this story happening? Old Testament, New Testament- year, month.
  • How: How does this passage relate to you? What can you learn from what you read? 

5 FREE Bible study tools to get you started 

And that’s it. 

You heard me right. 

Bible study does not have to be complicated. It doesn’t need to be some orchestration. 

You spend some time each day doing this and after a while, you will see that you have a deeper understanding of who God is and what the Bible says. 

The Faith in Action Conference

The Faith in Action Conference is a FREE 4-day virtual event to help Christian women take action in their faith through a deep dive Bible study of Mathew 5-7 & James.

The conference is all about helping Christian women take action in their faith through a deep dive into Bible study.

16 speakers over 4 days will help you discover how to live out your faith by looking at Mathew chapters 5-7 & James. These chapters are filled with practical advice for us. Everything from how to treat one another, to marriage advice.

Click here to register for your FREE ticket today!

The Best 5 easy to read Bible translations

As you may know, there are many Bible translations out there, and every church and denomination has a strong opinion of which are the best easy-to-read Bible translations and why. 

I was raised reading The New King James Bible. Since that is the case, it’s still what I read today because I am so familiar with the wording. 

But, there are many Bible translations out there, and it’s important to know the differences between them, and which ones are easiest for people to read. 

Easy to read Bible translations

3 Different Types of Bible Translations 

1. Literal Translation

Also referred to as a word-for-word translation, the goal of this type of translation is to stay as close as possible to the words and phrases used in the original language. Where possible, this translation will attempt to find a single English word to use for each Hebrew or Greek word in the original (earliest available) manuscripts. This kind of translation keeps the historical distance at a minimum, and it keeps the translator’s opinion at a minimum.

However, these kinds of translations can sometimes be more difficult to read. Often a word-for-word translation is not as smooth and fails to communicate fuller concepts and ideas where there is no exact one-for-one exchange of terminology. 

Examples of this type include:  King James Version (KJV), New American Standard Bible (NASB), and the English Standard Version (ESV).

 

2. Dynamic Equivalent

Also referred to as a thought-for-thought translation, the goal of this type of translation is to find precise equivalents for words, idioms, and grammatical constructions from the original languages. 

It attempts to keep historical and factual matters intact while updating language, grammar, and style to improve the communication of ideas into something easier to read and understand by the modern reader.

Examples of this type of translation include:  the New International Version (NIV), the New Living Translation (NLT), and the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV).

An image of a white-covered Bible on a tabletop. Above the picture are the words Easy to read Bible Translations. www.onedeterminedlife.com

 

3. Free Translation

Also referred to as a paraphrase, the goal of this type of translation is to communicate ideas from one language to another without trying to maintain the exact structure and word use. 

This form of translation intentionally increases the historical distance as a way to bring the ideas closer to us as it relates to cultural relevance. 

They tend to be among the easiest translations to read and understand.

The downside of this type of translation is a greater opportunity for the translator’s opinion to creep in and present factual and historical differences from the original intent. 

Examples of this type of translation include The Phillips Version, The Living Bible (LB), and The Message (MSG).

The Best 5 easy to read Bible translations

1. The New Living Translation

The New Living Translation (NLT) uses normal modern English, making it an easy-to-understand version.

The New Living Translation is a text that tries to make the same impact in the life of modern readers that the original text had for the original readers. In the New Living Translation, this is accomplished by translating entire thoughts (rather than just words) into natural, everyday English. The end result is a translation that is easy to read and understand and that accurately communicates the meaning of the original text.

2. New International Revised Version

The New International Reader’s Version (NIrV) is a Bible version based on the New International Version (NIV). The NIV is easy to understand and very clear. More people read the NIV than any other English Bible. The NIrV is even easier to read and understand. Translators tried to use the words of the NIV when possible and sometimes used shorter words. They also made the sentences shorter.

We did some other things to make the NIrV a helpful Bible version for you. For example, sometimes a Bible verse quotes from another place in the Bible. When that happens, we put the other Bible book’s name, chapter and verse right there. We separated each chapter into shorter sections. We gave a title to almost every chapter. Sometimes we even gave a title to the shorter sections. That will help you understand what each chapter or section is all about.

The NIrV says just what the first writers of the Bible said. Translators used the best and oldest copies of Hebrew and Greek. 

3. The English Standard Version

When referring to the best Bible to read and understand, The English Standard Version is good to use. 

It is an essentially literal translation of the Bible in contemporary English written by a team of 95 best scholars and writers, it has become a standard for Bible readers and translators.


The ESV Bible emphasizes word-for-word accuracy, literary excellence, and depth of meaning. Its best characteristics are accurate, reliable, clear, and biblical truth without losing the original sense of the passages.

4. The Message: 

The Message New Testament was written to capture the tone of the text and the original conversational feel of the Greek, in contemporary English.

The Message was designed to be read by contemporary people and strives to help readers hear the living Word of God—the Bible—in a way that engages and intrigues us right where we are.

The message is not a word-for-word translation but tries to express the rhythm of the voices, and share the idea or feeling a word invokes in addition to its literal or primary meaning. 

The goal of The Message is to engage people in the reading process and help them understand what they read. This is not a study Bible, but rather “”a reading Bible.”” The verse numbers, which are not in the original documents, have been left out of the print version to facilitate easy and enjoyable reading. 

Bily Graham Quote

5. New International Version (NIV)

The New International Version is easy to read and understand, and it is widely accepted in Christian denominations worldwide. 

The New International Version (NIV) is a completely original translation of the Bible developed by more than one hundred scholars working from the best available Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek texts.

From the very start, the NIV sought to bring modern Bible readers as close as possible to the experience of the very first Bible readers: providing the best possible blend of transparency to the original documents and comprehension of the original meaning in every verse. 

The NIV appeals to people looking for a trustworthy, conventional, and easy-to-read text. The NIV Study Bibles are best for those who prefer a less literal translation.

Which Translation is the “Right” Translation?

Considering the strengths and weaknesses of each type of Bible translation, I believe that the right one is to read a variety of versions! 

Each different Bible translation adds its own value to understanding the original, plain meaning of the Biblical texts. 

I grew up reading The New King James Bible, and that is the one I am most comfortable is. So, when I’m studying The Bible, that’s the one I use the most. 

But, when I come to a verse, or passage that I can’t understand, I compare the verse in a variety of versions. 

Doing this, it helps get a clear picture of the passage. 

Choosing a version is a personal choice. To pick one, make sure you fully understand the strengths and limitations of whichever translation you are reading. 

It’s important to note, that a FREE translation like The Message, should not be used to build a theological belief. But, it can be used to improve your understanding of a passage that you are studying. 

Remember, whichever version you choose- make sure to remember the purpose of reading The Bible, which is to know God more and grow in your faith and understanding.

To dig into scripture, attend The Faith in Action Conference.  

The Faith in Action Conference

The Faith in Action Conference is a FREE 4-day virtual event to help Christian women take action in their faith through a deep dive Bible study of Mathew 5-7 & James.

The conference is all about helping Christian women take action in their faith through a deep dive into Bible study.

16 speakers over 4 days will help you discover how to live out your faith by looking at Mathew chapters 5-7 & James. These chapters are filled with practical advice for us. Everything from how to treat one another, to marriage advice.

Click here to register for your FREE ticket today!

In the comments, tell me what Bible version you read and what you like about it. 

The Joy of The Lord

As Christians, we can experience the joy of The Lord. Jesus is our source of true Joy. He is the only person who can bring you true joy and everlasting happiness. The world tells us what we need to be happy. So people spend money and time going after wealth, possessions and power. But, after they have gotten those things, they are still unhappy. Why is that? Because happiness doesn’t come from those things.

Continue to read as I explore what true joy is and how we can experience the joy of The Lord. Join Anne as she shares how Jesus is our source of true Joy.

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The Joy of The Lord

When my husband and I were dating, we chose names for the children we wanted to have. We decided we wanted 4 kids and agreed on 2 boy names, and 2 girl names. 

For some reason, it was important to me to have Biblical qualities as middle names for the girls. 

So our daughters’ names are Meredith Grace and Madeleine Joy. 

Unfortunately, Madeline doesn’t really love her middle name. She actually kind of gets really annoyed at Christmas because she’ll see the word joy everywhere. I’ve got it on Christmas ornaments and she’ll see her name on different items and hear it in songs.

She can’t understand why people keep using her now. And I’ve tried to explain to her that joy is something that people want to feel. I named my kids Grace and Joy so that every time I look at them I think about those qualities. And so when I look at Madeleine and I think about Joy, I just think about the joy the Lord gives us.

The World’s Happiness

The world tells us, that to be happy, we should do what we want and pursue money, possessions, and amazing trips.

And that’s what the world values. And so sometimes we can get caught up in that and be pursuing those things as well.

And I don’t want any of this to be misconstrued, or for you to feel guilty because you’re chasing those things. But for me, it’s a reminder that when I chase after the things of the world.

Even if the world says this is going to bring you happiness, we know that it doesn’t because we have the word of God and we have people who had all the money, all the power, every single thing they wanted, and it was all empty because God wasn’t in it.

And so Christians can have wealth and they can have power and they can have authority, but the joy doesn’t come from those things.

A picture of a group of women standing in a closed circle and throwing confetti in the air. Above the picture are words that say, The Joy of The Lord. www.onedeterminedlife.com

Put The Lord First

The Lord tells us that to have true joy, we must seek The Lord and put Him first. 

If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath and from doing as you please on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath a delight and the Lord’s holy day honourable, and if you honour it by not going your own way and not doing as you please or speaking idle words 14 then you will find your joy in the Lord, and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

Isaiah 58:13-14

Maybe those weren’t the verses that you thought I’d be speaking about, because there are many verses that talk about joy. And as I was writing these verses right now, I thought to myself, we’re going to miss the point here.

In the Old Testament, the Lord had given the people of Israel a certain amount of laws. And these verses are saying that when you keep these things (The Law) , when you obey the Lord, when you honour God and obey His commandments, verse 14 says then you will find joy.

These verses are found in the Old Testament when The Israelites were taught the law and encouraged to keep it. 

Now these verses were found in the Old Testament and this was specifically talking to the people of Israel, but I think that. They are very applicable to us today and tell us certain things that we can do to find true joy in the Lord. And that’s what I’m gonna focus on.

These verses tell us the find true joy. We can’t just do whatever we want, we can’t just be saying whatever we want.

I want to be careful here because this can feel extremely restraining and I understand that. We have so much freedom in Christ that there are a lot of things we can do.

Sometimes people look at Christianity and think they don’t want to be a Christian because they don’t want to follow all these rules and it can sometimes feel restraining.

God’s love is seen in the law

Take a moment and I go through Scripture and realize there must be a purpose and a reason why God has set out these laws.

When you take a minute and you look at those laws and the reason for those laws, you actually see that those things that the Lord is telling people to stay away from are actually for our good.

For example: 

When you go through the Old Testament, you’ll notice that there are a lot of purity laws. So these laws told the Israelites when to wash their feet, like how often to feel to wash their bodies. They told women that during menstruation you were unclean and you had to leave the camp.

These laws told people when to wash their bodies, feet, and so on. What to stay away from and more. 

These directions can feel restrictive. 

But when you look at these laws and put them in the context of the society in which the Israelites were living, then we see that these laws were actually for their good and for their health.

In the Old Testament, there wasn’t always necessarily access to clean water, and they didn’t have the same rituals for bathing and cleanliness. And so many people actually died of disease and infection.

But the people of Israel didn’t die as often or as frequently because they had these purity laws that they were following.

As we know today, washing your hands is good for our health. We just went through two years of COVID and the number one thing that they taught us was to properly wash our hands. So we know that by washing our hands there’s a correlation between cleanliness and decreased disease.

But this science wasn’t available to the people of Israel, and so the Lord, instead of developing a science too early, set those rituals in their laws so that they could practice cleanliness and by practicing those cleansing rituals.

They were healthier than the nations around them.

God’s Laws are for our benefit

I hope you can see that even though following those rules can sometimes feel restrictive, it really was for their benefit.

The Lord said I want you to live longer, I want you to be healthier, I don’t want you sick. So I’m going to set these instructions for you so that if you follow them, you’re actually going to feel better and you’re going to live longer.

And that’s just one example of how God’s laws and God’s standards. Aren’t just set for the fun of it and to say, oh, I don’t want you to do this and I don’t want you to do this. Every single one of the laws that the Lord gives us, should we break them, doesn’t bring us good things.

Laws that keep us safe

We think of just the 10 commandments.

  1. Thou shalt not steal. There are laws that, if you steal a certain amount of money or a certain amount of goods, you’re going to go to jail. There’s a very real consequence to stealing. And so God tells us, don’t steal. He doesn’t want us going to jail.
  2. Thou shalt not murder.
  3. Thou shalt not bear false witness: How many times have we lied? And our lies get us into even more and bigger lies. It’s a snowball event. It just gets bigger and bigger and bigger until it just takes a life of its own.

We can see how lies can sometimes bring separation between relationships. Lies can also bring distrust and so much more. And so the Lord says just don’t lie.

The Lord knows what it takes to have a good relationship and he knows that lying isn’t going to be good. So we are encouraged to speak the truth in love so that we can have better relationships.

And I could go on and on which every single law.

What to Focus on Instead

It’s easy to look at the “rules” and feel constricted. But scripture encourages us to focus on The Lord instead of focusing on feeling restricted.

Why the Lord is telling you not to do those things? It’s not because he doesn’t want you to have fun. It’s not because he wants to punish you. It’s because He wants better for you. And we can see this in parenting my own kids.

My kids love to cook with me. Oftentimes the oven is on or the griddle is on, and the kids are not paying attention to it. And I’ll say: “stay away from that. You might get burnt”.

I’m not trying to ruin their fun. I know that they’re going to get burned if they touch the hot thing, and I don’t want that for them. So I say don’t touch it.

And sometimes my children don’t listen and they touch it and they get burnt. But guess what? The next time they help me cook, they are more careful and don’t touch the oven.

So when we put all these laws into context, we can see these laws were created because God loves us and he wants to keep us away from danger.

What happens when we follow The Lord

When we’re following the Lord, and when we’re obeying him and what he has for us, we’re going to have true joy. And that joy comes from being in better circumstances.

So not only does obeying the Lord give us joy but then when we think about why God has given us these laws to follow and has told us how to live our lives, instead of focusing on following all these rules.

Anne Markey

It’s understanding that God loves us so much. And He’s just telling us that He knows where this decision is going to lead us and it’s not going to be too good things. And He doesn’t want that for us. He wants something else.

Hard times will still come

Obeying God doesn’t mean we’re never going to go through hard times. Because sometimes to get to that better thing, we have to go through hard times. So this is not about never experiencing trials.

I’m not saying that if you’re facing a trial right now that you’re not obeying the Lord. That is not biblical whatsoever. So that is a misconception.

But I want you to know that regardless of what is happening in your life right now– you can have true joy.

Because the Bible tells us that for us to show someone that we love them is to obey them.

So when we love the Lord. We spend time with him. We learn what he has for our lives. We gain joy because we see how much he loves us and it gives us a much bigger purpose for those hard things that we’re walking through.

Worship in response to His Love

Anytime I think about God and His word, I see how much He loves me. My response to His love is worship. I can’t help but worship with joy in my heart.

Psalm 126:2 Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy. Then it was said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.

So if you’re feeling restrained or you’re lacking joy, I just want you to take some time and think about why God is directing you one way versus the other.

Because we’re human and we don’t know what’s going to happen next, it’s really easy to think that option A is going to be what brings us more joy. The world tells us, to follow your heart, do what you want and go this way. And maybe the Lord will have that choice for you.

But we should be making it because the world is telling us to do it. We need to be making that choice because the Lord is the one telling us how to do it.

But The Lord might also say, no, that way isn’t going to lead to good things. I actually want you to do this. And yeah, it may be harder and it may take a long time to get to the other side of it, but in the long run, it’s going to give us more joy because then we’re obeying God, which builds our relationship with him, and we can then focus on why the Lord is bringing us in that direction.

He is a good father

The Lord tells us what to stay away from because He is a good father and He wants good things for us– even when we don’t see it.

And when we think about God and his love for us, then it brings us joy and we can worship him so.

Shift your focus from oh God doesn’t want me to do ABCD. Focus on why? And when you do, you will see that it’s because God loves you and that knowledge. Is what’s going to give you true joy regardless of what’s happening around you.

So if you are feeling restrained, or are lacking joy, take some time and think about why God has called you for certain things or away for certain things. 

It may not make sense to you, or you may not get an exact answer to why- but, it will help you focus on The Lord, instead of the scenario. 

Remember that God loves us and wants good things for us. Take some time and think about how doing something, or not doing something can be for your good. 

Regardless of what is going on in your life, you can find Joy in Him. 

1 Peter 1:8-9 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Thank you for being with us. And I just pray this time to be a blessing to all of us amen thank you so much for joining me. I really appreciate this. That you’ve taken just to spend some time with me. In God’s word, I hope you’ve been encouraged by these devotions.

Multiple Types of Bible Reading Plans

Growing up, one of my favourite things to do was to go to The Bible bookstore and look at all the Bible studies, books, and CDs. These days, most of those stores no longer exist and the shopping experience is now online. There are so many types of Bibles and studies that it’s hard to find what you are looking for. To help you in your search I share multiple types of Bible Reading plans. 

**This blog post contains affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy for more information.

A picture of a person grabing their coffee as they read The Bible. Above the picture are the words 6 types of Bible reading Plans. Read now, www.onedeterminedlife.com

Types of Bible Reading plans

We can find Bible reading plans in physical books and online 

Some Bible reading plans can be found at the start of a Bible or at the end. 

For this option, look at the feature section of the description when shopping online. You can also look at the table on content which will tell you what additional pages they included.

Online Bible reading plans can also be printed off and put in your Bible or another accessible location. 

Read The Bible in 1 year: 

  • One Year Bible Reading Plan: this easy-to-use pamphlet offers 3 different plans to choose from. It tells you what to read and when to read it, helping you stay on track throughout the year. Its large print, check boxes, easy-to-use format, flexible options, and laminations make it perfect for individual or group use. Click here to learn more. 
  • The Bible recap: A One-Year Guide to Reading and Understanding the Entire Bible. The popular Bible Recap podcast walks readers through a one-year chronological Bible reading plan and explains each day’s passage in an easy-to-understand way. Click here to learn more. 

Read The Bible in 3 years 

  • Search The Scriptures: A Three-Year Daily Devotional Guide To The Whole Bible. Search the Scriptures that can support you in your discipline of daily Bible study. Using a question-and-answer approach, helps you discover God’s truth for yourself. Click here to learn more. 

1 Year Bible reading plan

Other Bible Reading Plans 

1. Refocus

reFocus: A Manageable Bible Reading Plan is the perfect tool to focus your heart, mind, and soul clearly on what matters most in this life. reFocus enables you to move at a pace that works best for you, with three levels of reading plans—Simple, Moderate, and Intense. This allows you to grow each day by reading a few Bible verses, or a key Bible Chapter, or by reading a few Bible chapters, eventually completing the whole Bible within 250 days. Click here to learn more. 

2. Daily Truth

Daily Truth: Study and Application Notes for the 365-Day Connect the Testaments Bible Reading Plan. Each day has a set reading, theme, and selected notes for an explanation, reflection, and application. One purpose in my mind when writing the notes was to show believers they can take real lessons from every day of the 365-day connect the testaments Bible reading plan. Click here to learn more. 

Internet-Based Bible Reading Plans

One thing I love about the times we live in is access to anything we need online. 

There are many internet-based Bible reading plans to choose from. 

1. Scripture of the Day Newsletter

Inspiration in your inbox, daily. Sign up today for the free Scripture of the Day newsletter, and start receiving daily Bible verses with commentary to help you start your day right. Sign up here

2. Our Daily Bread Plans

At Our Daily Bread Ministries, we want to encourage you to spend time with God daily. The Our Daily Bread app is a great tool to connect with God throughout your day. Learn more here. 

3. Bible Reading Apps

  • YouVersion App: Get a Free Bible for your phone, IPad, or home computer. Check out The Bible App here
  • The Bible Gateway App: is the OFFICIAL and FREE mobile Bible reading and learning experience from BibleGateway.com. The Bible Gateway App makes it easy to read, hear, study, and understand the Bible. Click here to learn more. 

Bible Reading Plans for kids: 

  • Exploring the Bible: A Bible Reading Plan for Kids. This simple, gospel-centred, 365-day Bible reading plan guides children ages 6–12 through the most important passages of the Bible, helping them see and appreciate the big-picture storyline of Scripture. Click here to learn more. 
  • Meeting with Jesus: A Daily Bible Reading Plan for Kids. his reading plan introduces children ages 6–12 to Jesus Christ over the course of a year, working through the 4 Gospel narratives and what they have to teach about the Savior of the world. Click here to learn more. 

In the comments below, let me know the Types of Bible Reading plans you like using.

Grab a 1 Year Bible Reading Plan 

Do you struggle with having consistent Bible reading time? I made an easy-to-follow and flexible reading plan. Read each scripture and go to the next, or pick and choose the ones you want.

This Bible reading plan Will Help You: Save Time, have some flexibility, and encourage you to keep going. If you have been struggling to read your bible every day, this reading plan was made for you!

Click here to grab your plan today.

45+ amazing Bible Verses about The Word Of God

The word of God is also known as The Bible. As Christians, we know The Lord gave us The Bible to know Him more. But, The Bible is so much more than that. That is why today, I share with you 45+ amazing Bible verses about The Word of God.

45+ amazing Bible Verses about The Word Of God

A picture of a Bible open on a table with a pen in the Bible. Under The Bible are the words 45+ amazing Bible verses about God's word.

The Word comes from God

  • John 7:16 Jesus answered, “My teaching is not my own. It comes from the one who sent me.”
  • John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
  • Ezekiel 12:28 Therefore say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: None of my words will be delayed any longer; whatever I say will be fulfilled, declares the Sovereign Lord.’
  • John 1:14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
  • 2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

The word of God is Perfect & True

  • 2 Samuel 22:31 As for God, his way is perfect: The Lord’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him.
  • Psalm 119:160 All your words are true; all your righteous laws are eternal.
  • Psalm 33:4 For the word of the Lord is right and true; he is faithful in all he does.
  • Psalm 19:7 The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple.
  • Proverbs 30:5 Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.

The Word of God endures Forever

  • Isaiah 40:8 The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.
  • Matthew 24:35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

The Word of God directs us

  • Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.
  • Proverbs 4:20-21 My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart.
  • Colossians 3:16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.
  • Proverbs 4:10 Listen, my son, accept what I say, and the years of your life will be many.

The word of God compels us to do something

  • Philippians 2:14-16 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life.
  • James 1:22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
  • John 8:31-32 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
  • Matthew 7:24 Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.
  • Psalm 119:9 How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word.
  • Luke 11:28 He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”

The Benefits of God’s word

  • Psalm 119:130 The unfolding of your words gives light;
  • Acts 2:41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day.
  • John 7:38 Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.
  • John 15:3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.
  • Proverbs 4:5 Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or turn away from them.
  • 1 Peter 1:23 For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.
  • 1 Peter 2:2 Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation.
  • John 15:7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
  • Romans 10:11 As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.”
  • Psalm 119:11 I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.
  • Proverbs 2:6 For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
  • James 1:21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.

Our feelings toward God’s word

  • Psalm 130:5 I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word, I put my hope.
  • Job 23:12 I have not departed from the commands of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread.
  • Psalm 119:114 You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word.
  • Psalm 56:4 In God, whose word I praise—in God I trust and am not afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?

The Word of God Nourishes us

  • Deuteronomy 8:3 He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.
  • Matthew 4:4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

Other Bible verses about God’s Word

  • Isaiah 55:11 So is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
  • Psalm 107:20 He sent out his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave.
  • Matthew 13:22 The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful.
  • Matthew 5:18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.
  • Exodus 34:28 Moses was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights without eating bread or drinking water. And he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant—the Ten Commandments.

I know that Bible study can be intimidating. I also know that you may feel you don’t have the time, or you don’t know where to start. I get it. 

That is why I am so excited to invite you to The Faith in Action Conference.

The Faith in Action Conference

The Faith in Action Conference is a FREE 4-day virtual event to help Christian women take action in their faith through a deep dive Bible study of Mathew 5-7 & James.

The conference is all about helping Christian women take action in their faith through a deep dive into Bible study.

16 speakers over 4 days will help you discover how to live out your faith by looking at Mathew chapters 5-7 & James. These chapters are filled with practical advice for us. Everything from how to treat one another, to marriage advice.

Click here to register for your FREE ticket today!

What is the difference between reading The Bible and studying The Bible?

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On my blog and in this Facebook group, I talk a lot about reading your Bible and Bible study. Today, I want to make sure we all understand the difference between reading The Bible and studying The Bible and give you some simple guidelines regarding which to use & when. 

Christian circles can use lots of words that don’t make sense to other people. Sometimes, we can also use words we think we know their meaning, but we actually don’t.

 

What is the difference between reading The Bible and studying The Bible?

It’s important to know the differences between the 2 and what they mean so that when I use a particular term so we can all be on the same page. 

To start us off, let’s define the terms and then, I’ll talk about what each can be used for. 

Reading The Bible

This definition may seem simple, but it’s still worth covering. 

Reading The Bible is exactly what it sounds like. It’s when someone opens the Bible and reads one verse or more. 

This may sound simple but it’s oftentimes hard to implement. 

We may look down on just reading our Bible, but I want to share a quote with you. 

This was said by Billy Graham

“The very practice of reading [the Bible] will have a purifying effect upon your mind and heart. Let nothing take the place of this daily exercise.”  Billy Graham

In today’s world, our minds are filled with images we see, dirty or mean thoughts that go through our minds, and so much more. 

One way to cleanse ourselves from all those things is to fill our minds with the word of God. 

When we know what the word of God says, we can use it to fight against the enemy. 

A perfect example of this is the temptation of Jesus. 

After 40 days of being in the wilderness, the devil came to tempt Jesus. 

Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 After fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.”

4 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’

Matthew 4:1-4

This verse quotes a verse from the Old Testament. 

He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.

Deuteronomy 8:3

I love this story because Jesus is showing us how to fight the devil’s lies and temptations. 

Jesus used scripture and so must we. 

The scripture is full of truth and the only way to fight against the lies of the devil is to respond with The Word of God- The truth. 

But, we can’t fight with truth unless we know it. One way we can know the word of God is to read it every day. 

Studying The Bible

Many people may have different definitions, but this is mine. 

Bible study is when you read the scripture and then take time to understand what it says through asking questions, defining words and looking at scripture and comparing it to other scripture looking at larger themes and connections across scripture. 

Studying The Bible takes Bible reading to the next level. 

I’ve just covered why it’s so important to read God’s word, but there could be a danger as well. 

When all we do is read scripture, it can become an exercise we do to make us feel like we are “doing what we are supposed to do”. 

There have been many times when I’ve read scripture, but it just went through my brain without any stops or convicting me whatsoever. 

The Bible gives us a good example of this. 

James 1:23-25For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror. 24 You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. 25 But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.”

How many times have you read the word of God, or heard the word of God- and got distracted by something and forgotten what you read or heard? 

This happens all the time, and is normal- so please don’t take this as a judgment on you. If anything, it’s a conviction for me- because this happens more than I want to admit. 

A picture of a Bible open on a wood table with a mug close by. On top of the picture are the words, Read now, What is The Difference between reading The Bible and studying The Bible

So, what is the remedy to this? 

I truly believe that the word of God becomes so much more precious when we spend some time and study it. 

I often feel like Bible study is like a treasure hunt. You spend some time reading God’s word- contemplating it, comparing it to other scripture, and thinking about how it applies to your life. When you do that, you will always find a gold nugget. Something The Lord reveals to you shows you, teaches you. And because you were the one to find it- it’s precious to you and you remember it longer than if someone else found the nugget and told you about it. 

So, you may be asking yourself, which one should I choose?

The simple answer is- Both. 

As Christians, we should be doing both. Reading The Bible and studying The Bible for ourselves. 

They are equal to each other and not in competition. We should not be using our Bible reading habits to compare ourselves to other Christians or as a way to feel “more spiritual” than another. That is not what God intends. 

God’s desire is for us to know Him and be close to Him. He’s given us His word for us to read and holds court for us to enter into His presence anytime we want. 

“For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

Hebrews 4:12

I’ve been reading The Bible for a long time and I just want to tell you how great it is. It is living, and it is powerful and it can change your life. 

I know that Bible study can be intimidating. I also know that you may feel you don’t have the time, or you don’t know where to start. I get it. 

That is why I am so excited to invite you to The Faith in Action Conference.

The Faith in Action Conference

The Faith in Action Conference is a FREE 4-day virtual event to help Christian women take action in their faith through a deep dive Bible study of Mathew 5-7 & James.

The conference is all about helping Christian women take action in their faith through a deep dive into Bible study.

16 speakers over 4 days will help you discover how to live out your faith by looking at Mathew chapters 5-7 & James. These chapters are filled with practical advice for us. Everything from how to treat one another, to marriage advice.

Click here to register for your FREE ticket today!

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