The Bible: Gateway to Everything You Need to Succeed in Life
Today there are a plethora of versions of the bible from the King James Version (KJV) to the New International Version (NIV) to the Passion version. It is more popular than all the writings of Shakespeare, Confucius or Karl Marx.
As a lifelong student of the bible I have discovered a couple of things.
1. The bible version you read matters
2. The bible is written in an historical and cultural context
Many people today just try to pluck out verses and apply them to their life or teaching, completely out of context. In our efforts to 'fit the bible' into our day to day life we neglect the framework of its whole thinking and revelation. We modernise it to ourselves and then wonder why there is a disconnect.
The bible begins in history and ends history. It is a group of writings that reveal peoples revealed knowledge of God and what is the plan and purposes of this world. It has the ability to open up our minds to spiritual concepts and confidence in the our knowledge of God.
3. The bible requires that you think and perceive the connections
The bible is not linear. It is not step one, two and three, with a bunch of 'how to's thrown in. It is inspired by the Holy Spirit. There are concepts that are revealed in Genesis and revealed in the writings of Paul. There are prophetic dreams shared in Daniel and proven in archeology and historical findings. It takes time to 'see' what it is revealing.
4. The bible is much of the basis for all the great success teachers
Jim Rohn, Zig Ziglar, Napoleon Hill and Norman Vincent Peale - famous for their writings like 'Think and Grow Rich' and 'The Power of Positive Thinking'. All of these men, and so many more going back centuries, have used the proverbs and principles revealed in the song of Psalms, to prove strategies of a successful life. In society we throw around sayings and quotes, not even realising they are directly from the words of Jesus. The bible is a proven training ground for a life that is blessed.
5. The bible helps you know about where things started
The Bible is for everyone. It's not just for the 'religious' crowd or the Christian. There is so much in it you will never get bored.
When I study it I use it in combination with a few other books (click here to access the free guide to study tools). The more I have understood and learned, the more my life has changed. It is worth your attention too.
There is no right way to do it. No time line or schedule. And in fact, I recommend you just start in Genesis and read the whole way through - slowly, at your own pace.
Some days you'll read 7 verses, the next day you'll read 6 chapters. Just make a note of what you've done.
Grab a pen and underline the verses that stand out to you. (my bible is full of pen, highlighters, pencil marks!) It can help you to pay attention to different areas as you go through.
There are no rules here. Ask the Holy Spirit for help, He is the teacher (John 14:26).
My son started this a year ago and he has only just got to Matthew. He hasn't stopped to understand all the bits but if he has a question he comes and asks me, to talk it through. As for the rest he has just read through, verse by verse.
But something happens to the person who gets into the word of God - they start to see God in a whole new way, they can put together timelines and ideas in their mind, they can read another verse and see its implications in a different place, they can see where God has upgraded from one idea to another. You become immovable because His word is in you, like a tree that is growing.
You do not need study guides, devotionals or books that explain. Maybe the only thing would be a dictionary if you get stuck on a word. Be like a child!
This is a read from cover to cover. The purpose of this is to make a commitment between God and you, that you are going to seek Him in His word and trust His Spirit to open your eyes, fill your with wisdom and transform your life!
Have fun with it, it's an amazing book!
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