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why read the bible

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How and why do I read the Bible – a quick guide

This talk came out of the need to do a quick overview of how and why to read the Bible. Initially for a church on a Sunday morning. I also took along lots of books and phsyical examples of DVDs, CDs, books, Bibles, hip-hop audio Bible etc so people had a visual clue to the kinds of things that are available to help you read the Bible and the get the most from it.

Why read it?

1. Because it’s God’s Word and the main way he speaks. Want to hear from God? Read God’s Word!

2. Without it, we will be dry, empty, lacking in strength, power and purpose. Jesus is 'the Word' and so our faith without the Bible (Word) is like not having Jesus who is the Word! No Bible, no real God life!!

3. You need to get God’s Word inside of you, to be more like God, to know God, to know his will, to understand life, to make the right choices, to find peace and to be all that God has made you to be.

4. Whatever is inside will come out – as you get the Bible on the ‘inside’ of you, the Bible will come out of you, doing all God says his Word will do (Isaiah 55.11).

5. Jesus said (from Deut 8.3) that man cannot live by bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God (Luke 4.4). God describes his Word as milk (1 Peter 2.2), honey (Psalm 119:103), bread (Isaiah 55.10), solid food (Hebrews 5.12, 14).

6. Job says that, “…I have treasured the words of (God’s) mouth more than my daily bread’ – so in many ways, God’s Word is more important than food.

7. God’s Word also has spiritual benefits. Proverbs 4.20-22 says it is health (medicine) to a man’s whole body.

8. Psalm 119.9 says that we can stay pure “by living according to (God’s) word” and (verse 11) stop any sin against God by knowing that, “I have hidden your word in my heart.”

9. It also helps us stay strong and overcome the enemy because, “the word of God lives in you” (1 John 2.14) and enables us to defend against and then attack the enemy (Ephesians 6.17), “Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

10. It brings and builds faith – Romans 10.8-15 makes it clear that the word is near us, in our mouth and in our heart (quoting Deuteronomy 30.14). Romans 10.17 reveals how to get faith: “Consequently, faith comes by hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.”

11. God wants you to get his word inside of you - John 15.7 – and there are promises attached to God’s Word remaining inside of you, eg answered prayer.

How do I read and get the Word inside of me?

1. Lots of ideas (below) - doesn’t just have to be reading paper Bible.

2. However, reading (if you can read) is pretty essential.

3. Read the Bible every day if practical or read some notes with the Bible in.

4. Find a good time to read / listen / watch something and create a habit!

5. Speak the Bible out loud and make it personal. For example, “By his wounds I am healed’ (Isaiah 53.5). Memorise Bible verses.

6. Listen to audio / video / podcasts / youtube / mp3s from speakers etc.

7. Ask the Holy Spirit to speak to you before and after you read the Bible. Read the Bible slowly - don’t race through it. Pause if God says something. Write it down. Keep a diary of what God says and thank God that he is speaking to you.

8. Seek God when you’re reading the Bible for who he is, not just what he can give you!

9. Always read the Bible in the context of the verses around and the Bible as a whole.

Some Bible Ideas

TV / Radio / Internet:

www.god.tv - Online Christian TV. Also on TV via Sky / Virgin
www.ucbmedia.co.uk - Online TV, radio. Radio on Virgin / Sky
www.premier.org.uk - Online radio etc. Freeview / Virgin / Sky

Podcasts – eg worshipcentral, Bethel and most Christian ministries

Apps – Bible / study Apps for iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Nokia/Symbian

Video online – Joyce Meyer, Youtube, iHop etc

Web – eg www.biblegateway.com / www.myfishbites.com / http://bible.cc / www.cwr.org.uk /
www.thebibleinoneyear.wordpress.com /facebook groups etc etc. There’s so much on the web that you’ll know – use it!!

Print - loads of different versions of Bible in print. Get one you dig. Things like The Message are not exact translations so use alongside ones that are (NIV, Amplified etc). Some Bibles are chronological (so in time order) and others have notes in the margins to help eg Youth Bible to some extent.

Worship CDs and mp3s – learn the lyrics, there’s lots of Bible in worship CDs!!

DVDs or downloads - of worship, teaching, of the Bible with maps and video/audio etc.

Proclamation – learn and speak out the Bible!!
eg https://www.dpmuk.org/shop/index.cfm/category/proclamation-cards

Add some of your own ideas…

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