One of the most valuable lessons I learned as a new follower of Christ was how to study the Bible. Today I want to share some resources with you that I hope will help you study on your own and possibly lead others:
When I began studying the Bible, I focused on the New Testament. The stories in this collection of books and its messages are relatively straightforward: Jesus and his interactions with the disciples in the four gospels; the start of the church as portrayed in Acts; Paul’s instructions to the leaders of various churches.
My study of the Old Testament came much later. Its message seems muddled at best. I’ll admit to being confused by the stories in this collection of books: Abraham lying about his relationship to his wife Sarah; Aaron instructing the people to create a golden calf to worship while Moses was on the mountaintop talking to God; King David committing adultery and then orchestrating the murder of his lover’s husband; Rahab deceiving government officials and being lauded for her efforts.
Considering Old Testament characters and and their actions, I wondered: did God approve, become incensed, or just look the other way because these were his people? In contrast, even though I couldn’t replicate what Jesus and the disciples did exactly, I could grasp what sort of thinking and behaviors were appropriate.
Today, I still have questions. But I also see the coherence of the two testaments. Certain concepts surface and resurface: the frequent covering (and covering up) of sin, the need for God’s grace, and God’s love for us despite our imperfections. And I can relate my experiences to the triumphs and failures of the people in these books.
Over the years, I’ve noticed that the Bible isn’t simply a spiritual authority. It’s also a practical guide for living, a handbook for understanding human behavior, a tool for viewing experiences and their meanings. When lessons are applied consistently, the Bible offers insights that can lead to transformation, making us more like the people we’re intended to be. Saying “yes” and taking action based on these lessons offers an uncommon way of learning and becoming. Come join me on this journey.