“How did you do it?”
I am asked this question all the time about the strength and joy in my family.
The answer: God’s Word. The scriptures have been the single most significant source of guidance for marriage, parenting, and everything else in life.
I keep at the forefront of my mind the fact that JESUS is described as the Word who “became human and made his home among us.” (John 1.14 NLT) When I study the Bible, I focus a lot on studying the life and words of Christ.
If you are interested in growing in your knowledge and understanding of scripture, don’t be intimidated. God’s word is filled with inspiration and simple principles to help you love God and your neighbors. You’ll never regret any commitment you make to understanding and living the scriptures. Like eating food and drinking water daily impact your physical health, daily meals with God will strengthen your heart and soul.
Here are a few simple tips to help you get started:
1. Start with Jesus. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John – The Gospels – reveal God’s heart in the person of Jesus Christ. From Jesus we learn of God’s love for us, we see what obedience looks like, and we learn how to love others.
2. Read through entire books of the Bible. You’ll become familiar with the people whose lives were touched by God, including their fears, failings, and triumphs of faith. More importantly, you’ll grow strong in your understanding of who God is, his love for humanity, and his call to live in a way that honors him.
3. Study topics with a topical Bible. I recommend the Thompson Chain Reference Bible because it enables you to easily follow a topic from Genesis to Revelation. In this way, the Bible is commenting upon itself, themes and threads emerge, and no one verse becomes a proof text. Comparing scripture with scripture is so important! And yes, you need a Bible you can hold in your hands and mark with pen and highlighters.
5. Purchase lessons offered by reputable authors. You can find a great list at Christian Book Distributors. Or visit your local bookstore so you can flip through the pages and see what the options are. Many pastors, churches, and speakers offer online courses and audio or video lessons.
6. Journal as you study. Purchase a beautiful journal and write down what you are learning and what you are feeling as you read. Copy scriptures. Write prayers. This journal will be a meaningful record of your conversations with God and his voice in your spiritual journey. I began journaling in 1983 and now I have about 20 journals! It’s so awesome to return and read all the ways God touched my heart as I spent time with him and talked to him about being a mom.