I took a little break from our series "Building a Relationship With God" partly because other things came to me that I felt I needed to write about and partly because I was waiting for inspiration to hit me again. Well God has inspired me again so lets continue with part 5 of our series.
In the past few articles of our series, we explored the topics of talking to God, hearing God talk to us, and looking for the signs God gives us in our lives. Now let’s discuss how we know and learn the word of God or, in other words, what He has already told us.
God has given us His word and His word has been recorded by various people throughout history. While there are many books and writings that we can look at to find what God has taught men over the course of history (some ancient writings were not found until fairly recently), the Bible is the primary source of our knowledge of God’s word. In fact, with estimates of between 2.5 and 6 billion copies being sold, the Bible is the most published and best selling book ever. So let’s start there.
In as few words as I can think of using, I would describe the Bible as a "handbook for life". In the Bible, you can find a message from God on nearly anything you need to know about or are concerned about.
The Bible is a recording of God’s interaction with man, the word God has given to man, and God’s teaching man how He expects us to live and interact with each other.
The content of the Bible is so diverse and deep that we could spend a lifetime studying the Bible. So how do we get started really getting to know what the Bible is all about and what it is telling us?
You can pick up the Bible and just start reading but there is so much in the Bible that you can quickly become overwhelmed by just diving in like this. I know my study of the Bible needed to start with an overview and a "map".
Having an overview and a “map” of the Bible can help you keep your bearings of where you are, the history behind each book of the Bible, and what the particular book of the Bible is about.
Some of the guides that I would consider starting off with would include:
Knowing the Bible 101, A Guide to God’s Word in Plain Language by Bruce Bickel & Stan Jantz, and
Discover the Bible for Yourself by Kay Arthur
(I have placed a link to these books on The Whisper of God website bookstore.)
Once you start getting to know more about the Bible and how it is laid out, then you can start to use it for guidance in your life.
I am not one of those people who can tell you off the top of my head where to go in the Bible for every situation that might arise in your life, so again, I have certain reference materials to help guide me. Some of these include:
The Handbook of Bible Application, A Guide to Applying the Bible to Everyday Life
What Does the Bible Say About… The Ultimate A to Z Resource
(Again, I have placed a link to these books on The Whisper of God website bookstore. )
There are many, many others like these but these are a few that you would find on my bookshelf.
Once you get to know more about the word that God has given to us through the Bible, you will be able to refer to the Bible to help you navigate the waters of life.
So grab your Bible, get yourself a map, and get started learning more about the Word of God!