Tools to help you read the Bible in 2016

In our family service on December 27th, we thought about how we could keep our eyes fixed on Jesus in 2016 (see Hebrews 12:1-2 for more information), and concluded that one of the best ways to do this was to spend regular time reading God’s Word.
Which is great in principle but when it gets to reality, it doesn’t quite feel as easy does it?
What passage should I read?

In our family service on December 27th, we thought about how we could keep our eyes fixed on Jesus in 2016 (see Hebrews 12:1-2 for more information), and concluded that one of the best ways to do this was to spend regular time reading God’s Word.

Which is great in principle but when it gets to reality, it doesn’t quite feel as easy does it?

What passage should I read?
What if I don’t understand it?
How can I make time to read the bible?
How on earth does it make a difference to my daily life?

These questions can often stop us from meeting with Jesus day by day through his word – they can stop us from daily taking time in our busy lives to deliberately fix our eyes on Jesus.

Over the past couple of years, I’ve been trying out several different tools aimed to help us read the bible more regularly and with greater focus and understanding than before. Some are free, others will cost. Why not a group of you by one each and then share once you’re finished? Have a read below and see what you think.


1) Tim Chester’s Bible-reading plan

bible-reading-plan-2016

Tim is a really helpful writer and church leader from North Yorkshire who has created a three-year bible-reading plan with a difference. Instead of giving you daily readings, he gives weekly readings to give you more flexibility over the course of your week. If you keep to the whole three years, you’ll read the Old Testament once and the New Testament twice. Here’s the link: https://timchester.wordpress.com/2015/12/23/bibel-reading-plan-2016/

Great for: Those who simply want to be told what to read.
Those who find rigid schedules too hard.
Time: 10-15 minutes.
Cost: Free!


2) God’s Word for You

God's Word for You

This is a series of bible studies from pastors like Tim Keller, Tim Chester, Richard Coekin and David Helm that each take a book of the bible and go es into it in depth. Each study is around 6 pages long and finishes with some (great) questions for thought and ideas for how to pray. Tim Keller’s studies on Romans and Tim Chester’s study on 1 Samuel are not to be missed!

Great for: Those with a bit more time on their hands
Those who want to go deeper in their faith.
Time: 15-20 minutes
Cost: £7-£10 via this link https://www.thegoodbook.co.uk/bible-study/gods-word-for-you/


3) 10 of Those Devotionals

10 of those

A series of short, accessible, insightful devotional books that take a book of the bible, give a page of explanation and a couple of questions for application and reflection. They are absolutely undated, so there’s no guilt when you miss a day. I’ve found these so helpful this year, particularly David Gibb’s study on Hosea.

Great for: Those with very little time – they’ve been a life-saver for me since having my first child in May.
Those who want help understanding scripture.
Time: 5-10 minutes.
Cost: £3.99 (free for the e-book) via this link https://www.10ofthose.com/search/?series=Undated+Bible+Readings


4) Engage

Engage

A series of bible notes aimed at helping teenagers get into God’s Word. It looks at books from all over scripture and also tries to answer questions and address issues our young people are facing. These are used by some of our knightlifers who have found them really helpful.

Great for: Teens wanting to get stuck into the bible.
Teens wanting to live for Jesus at school or college.
Time: 5 minutes
Cost: £3.99 (£2.99 for the e-book) via this link: https://www.thegoodbook.co.uk/daily-bible-reading/engage/


5) XTB (eXplore The Bible)

Explore the Bible

I used these when I was growing up. Aimed specifically at those aged 7-11, this collection of devotionals does exactly what Engage does, just aimed at a younger age. It’s good stuff!

Great for: Encouraging children to start reading the bible for themselves.
Families who want to read the bible together.
Time: 5 minutes.
Cost: £3.99 via this link: https://www.thegoodbook.co.uk/daily-bible-reading/xtb/


Happy reading – let’s keep our eyes on Jesus this year!