- Which Bible should I use?
- How should I go about reading this huge book?!
- Meditating & memorizing
- Being mentored with daily devotionals
- Great preaching & sermon notes
Five great questions of life: Life * Love * Learning * Labor * Leadership
[If you want, you can start with part 1 of this post...]
What Bible should I use?My first choice of Bibles is still the NIV (New International Version) for familiarity. I've also come to love The Message Bible. It's a paraphrase that hits our ears today like the original words would have hit the ears of those who originally heard and read them. The NASB (New American Standard Bible) is a solid, scholarly translation in English. I also use CEV, NKJV and the Living Bible.
Try to get your hands on a good study Bible. They're not cheap, but they will walk you through the sections and books of the Bible as if there were a seasoned scholar by your side all the way.
How should I go about reading this huge book?!I always want to take what I’ve read and let it penetrate my soul and change my life. Here are some plans you might consider:
- Read through the Bible once a year. Plans are readily available.
- Read five Psalms and one chapter of Proverbs each month, taking you through those books monthly.
- Soak in a book of the Bible per month, giving you a deep interaction with the entire Bible in five and a half years.
- Choose special topics that are relevant in your life.
- Read through biographically, following the story of key Bible characters.
MeditatingMeditation has flowed best for me through journaling. Not to be melodramatic, but I like to ask myself, “How does what I’m reading change my life? Holy Spirit, come and have your way with this.”” The Bible is a life-changing book. If I’m not seeing that change, I may not be taking the words to heart.
MemorizingAnother great tip from Dr. Meyer: work at memorization from the big picture and the small picture. The big picture is the overview of each book’s details: title, key verse, key idea, and outline, for example. I have the outline of Genesis engrained in my mind from Dr. Meyer’s Pentateuch class: Creation, Fall, Flood, Nations, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph.
The small picture is more familiar to us: memorizing specific verses and themes. These could be verses on salvation or other important themes. Or they could be verses with much personal meaning. One of mine is where Jesus says:
Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. (John 12:24, NIV)Nothing brings the Word to life in your Spirit like memorization.
Being mentored with daily devotionalsThere are thousands of wonderful devotional resources available in books, on websites, on YouTube, and as daily emails. Some are laid out as daily readings for a year, while others are just good inspirational material. This may be the all-time leading graduation gift!
Just typing “devotional books” on Google or Amazon will give you hundreds of options. There are daily readings for you alone or for couples. Or you could just pick up good Christian books that inspire without the daily format. Study Bibles are also loaded with tools to help you personalize God’s Word.
Great preaching & sermon notesOne last thought about getting into the Word. Choosing a church is complicated (more on that later). But as you weigh your options, please place a very high value on a pastor who honors God and his people by pouring heart, soul, mind and strength into his weekly sermon.
- Does he take the time most every week to prepare?
- Does he make it interesting?
- Do you feel that his messages honor the Word of God, rather than stretching what scripture says?
- Does he allow God to speak through him in a life-changing way?
- Does he walk the talk?
 Thank you Dr. Don Meyer for your timely thoughts on a lifetime of absorbing God’s Word.
Here's a link to all my posts on "Life: What's My Spiritual Center?"