When I was eleven, my parents gave me my own study Bible.
I’d had other Bibles before, of course. I remember a children’s Bible with a picture of Jesus on the cover and I once had a mini pink Bible that I ruined when I accidentally dropped it in a mud puddle. But to me, this Bible symbolized adulthood.
For years, the Bible has been an integral part of my life. I can honestly say it’s changed the entire course of my life.
The Bible is greater than any other book. It’s filled with life-changing power. In a culture that discredits and devalues truth, it’s absolute truth. In a world of darkness and division, it’s a “light to our path” and leads us to unity with God. It holds the answers to our hardest questions and the solution to our deepest struggles.
Yet sometimes we ignore God’s Word. We know a few catch-phrase verses here and there. We read the Bible verses in our devotionals. We post, share, and like Scripture quotes on social media. We’re entrenched in a culture of Scriptural piecemeal without knowing the depth and breadth of God’s Word.
Even as I write this, I’m struck with conviction.
Every morning that I carelessly allow my thoughts to wander because I secretly don’t find the section I’m supposed to be studying interesting or applicable, I devalue God’s Word.
Every time I push aside my Bible to scroll Instagram, I devalue God’s Word.
Every time I say “I’ll get to my Bible later” but of course never do, I devalue God’s Word.
My priorities and values are revealed by the way I live. I can’t help but wonder: If someone observed my life, without knowing anything else about me, how much would they think I valued God’s Word?
It’s a sobering question.
The culture around us is growing darker by the day. As followers of Jesus in an anti-Christian age, we’re bound to feel the tension and the pressure to give in. The overwhelming majority tells us that we, the God we serve, and the truths we hold are outdated, untrue, oppressive, and even hateful.
How can we stand strong in that kind of environment? How can we hold fast to the truth, when that truth is increasingly unpopular?I don’t want to simply “have daily devotions.” I want to be completely devoted to my Savior. Click To Tweet
There’s only one way. By standing strong upon the truths of Scripture and holding fast to the words it contains. But in order to do that, we need to know what those truths and words are.
Here are 6 tips to grow in biblical literacy.
1. Don’t cherry-pick Scripture—read the entire Bible
We often settle into a pattern of Scripture reading that feels comfortable to us. We revisit sections that brought us comfort or direction in the past and never venture further. As we do, we miss out on the fully-fleshed view of Scripture available to us. All Scripture is inspired by God, not just the sections that are easy to read.
2. Read it every day
Make Bible study a daily habit in your life. Personally, I read the Bible first thing in the morning. Putting time in the Word first is helpful because I know I won’t push it aside or forget later.
3. Dig Deep
Dig into the context of Scripture and delve into the historical background and truths of the text. Ask yourself questions like “Who wrote this?” “Why was it written?” “When was it written?” and as you read, search for repeated ideas, truths, and characteristics of God. I often find I need to read a book or chapter three or four times before I truly understand and grasp the author’s original intent and the meaning and messages the text contains.
By committing God’s Word to memory, you’re letting it’s truths sink deep into your heart and mind. Mediating on God’s Word through memorization not only increases familiarity with the text, but also alters our hearts as God’s Word becomes a part of our lives.
5. Lean Upon the Holy Spirit
We don’t have to glean truth from Scripture all on our own. We have been sent a Helper. The very Spirit who inspired the text will reveal it’s truth to your heart. Seek the Holy Spirit as you read.The very Spirit who inspired the text will reveal it's truth to your heart. Click To Tweet
6. Keep seeking
There’s so much I don’t know about the Bible. I often feel overwhelmed by my lack of knowledge. But I’m realizing that’s okay. I’ll never know everything there is to know about the Bible. I’ll never attain perfect knowledge. But I still need to keep seeking. Keep studying. Keep growing nearer to my Savior through these precious words.
Because the main point of Scripture isn’t to just gain knowledge. The point of Scripture is to get to know God. To know and love Him as we know and love His Word.
I don’t want to simply “have daily devotions.” I want to be completely devoted to my Savior.
I’d love to hear from you! What other tips have you found helpful in studying God’s Word?
It’s not too late to join the study! Pick up a copy of Love Riot today.
Join me on Facebook Live tonight at 7:30 EDT on the Rebelution’s Facebook page as I talk more about becoming devoted to God and Scripture and answer your questions.
Book Study Schedule:
Follow along or read at your own pace!
Week 1: It’s Time for a Challenge: Moving from Superficial Religion to Wholehearted Relationship (read introduction and chapters 1-3)
Week 2: Digging Deep: Letting God Change Us From the Inside Out (read chapters 4-6)
Week 3: From Devotions to Devoted: Growing in Consistency, Love, and Knowledge of God and His Word (read chapters 7-8)
Week 4: The Nitty-Gritty: Giving God Control of the Day to Day (read chapters 10-12)
Week 5: Radical Conviction 101: Living for Christ and the Gospel in an Anti-Christian World (read chapters 13 and 14 and conclusion)
Come back next Thursday to discuss The Nitty-Gritty: Giving God Control of the Day to Day.