Monday, April 2, 2012

A to Z Challenge Day 2, the letter "B"

The Bible Tells Me So!

By Shelly Burke

How often have you heard someone say, “The Bible says…” or, “Jesus would {or wouldn’t}…”
Do you take these statements at their word, or do you seek The Word to find out if they are true?

Unfortunately, many of the people who say “The Bible says…” or profess to know what Jesus would do, do not. Recently I’ve read several articles critical of well-known Christian authors who are distorting God’s Truth. Even pastors, priests, and other religious leaders can mislead, whether intentionally or not.

Last fall I realized that although I’ve read through the whole Bible several times, I’d never taken the time to really study and take notes on what it says. I decided that this year (and probably next year as well) my Bible study time is going to focus on the Bible, and only the Bible.

Every day I am awed, surprised, or  shocked (sometimes all three) at what I learn. Many times I find that the Bible narratives that (I thought) I knew from childhood have a very different lesson than what I learned in Sunday School. For example, the narrative of Jonah and the Whale has very little to do with a whale (or “large fish” as it’s referred to in most translations).

I’ve been amazed at the ancient people and how they truly put God at the center of their lives.

I’ve discovered words to live by in every area of my life.

The Bible is full of great narratives, mysteries, advice, reassurance, encouragement, and instruction. The more I read and learn, the more I want to read and learn!

I challenge and encourage you to learn what the Bible says—not what other people say it says--but what you yourself see that it says.  

2 Timothy 3:16 tells us, “All scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that they man (and woman!) of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.” Every single word is written for a reason. 

There are no “rules” to reading the Bible! You can start with Genesis and read a chapter every day or you can skip around between the Old and New Testament. Make a goal of reading the Bible in a year (type “read the Bible in a year” into your search engine for a plan to do so). Consider reading the chapter of Proverbs that corresponds to the date (today is April 2, so you’d read Proverbs 2). Next time you’re at a bookstore, check out the different versions of the Bible and reading plans.

Remember to write down what you’ve learned, questions you have, or insights you gain from every reading. You can journal in full sentences and paragraphs, or just jot down a few words, in a special notebook or right in your Bible.

Below are several links to suggested study methods.

The important thing is to, as the Nike ad says, “Just do it!” You will be rewarded with understanding, knowledge, and leading that you need to live every day…and discern the Truth whenever you hear or read, “The Bible says…”

Bible Study Resources

Inductive Bible Study – this is a method of marking key words and thoughts in your Bible. “Inductive” means that the Bible is the main source of learning about God and what the Bible teaches.

Simple Steps to Bible Study  —I’m using the guidelines in this article. 
Check out my other blog,, where I'm also taking part in the A to Z Blogging Challenge. Today's post will give you techniques for Getting Through a Bad Day.