All scripture contained in this podcast is from the King James Bible (Authorized Version)
Jan. 14, 2012

What To Do With The Bible

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Is it necessary to read the Bible to be a Christian? How often should it be read? Is it too hard to understand? Find out what to do with the Bible!

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Website:  That's In The Bible?
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Bible Study

What To Do With The Bible

II Peter 3:18 says, “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” One of the greatest ways to begin growing in grace is with the Bible.  In Acts 20:32, the Apostle Paul said, “And now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up…” The Bible is well capable of building you up and helping to make you a strong Christian.

1. Desire It – I Peter 2:2

I Peter 2:2 tells us that “As newborn babes” we are to desire God’s word.  It is natural for someone who is saved to desire the word of God.  The Holy Spirit inside the Christian yearns to feed on the Bible.  If you do not have this desire, you are either not saved or you have something interfering with your natural appetite for the Scriptures.  The Bible compares and likens itself to honey in numerous places  (Psalm 19:7-10; Psalm 119:103; Ezekiel 3:1-4; Revelation 10:9-11).  A Christian, then, with his inborn desire for the word of God, has a natural spiritual sweet tooth.  Again, if this natural desire is not there, then something is wrong.  Let’s go to the book of Proverbs where we’ll discover what the problem might be, Proverbs 27:7 says, “The full soul loatheth an honeycomb; but to the hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet.” Sometimes you may find yourself so full with sin, or the things of the world that you don’t even “have room” for the Bible.  And instead of desiring it, you don’t even want to deal with it.  It’s like a child who spoils his appetite for a nutritious meal by eating junk food.  The solution is to cut out the junk and force yourself to partake of the word of God, until it becomes “sweet” to you again and your spiritual desires awaken.

2. Read It – Isaiah 34:16 

Isaiah makes it plain and clear that you should be reading the Scriptures.   In I Timothy 4:13, Paul told Timothy, “Till I come, give attendance to reading…” Reading the Bible will help you in so many ways.  It helps you to get to know God.  It helps you to know what God wants you to do.  It helps you to stay spiritually clean (Ephesians 5:26).  It empowers your inner man and gives you strength to do right. You should read your Bible every day.  God instructed the future kings of Israel to read in His word every day of their lives in

Deut. 17:18-19 {18} And it shall be, when he sitteth upon the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites: {19} And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them:

In Rev. 1:5-6, God told us that once we are saved, we are “kings” unto him. Revelation 1:5-6  And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, {6} And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father… Bible reading is an essential part of the Christian’s daily spiritual diet. Before you die, you ought to make it a point to read the Bible through.  After all, God will hold us accountable for all of the material in it. With a little dedication you can easily read the Bible through in a year’s time.  Reading the Bible through a minimum of once a year is a reasonable goal for most every Christian.  There are a number of ways to read the Bible through.  Some people prefer one over another.  There is no bad way to read the Bible through. Find what works best for you and do it. When I first began to read the Bible through I started in the New Testament.  I was given a Bible reading checklist, which had a corresponding box for each chapter in each book of the Bible.  This allowed me to jump around and keep track of what I had already read. When I finished a chapter I marked the box.  It didn’t take long to see a bunch of boxes filled in, and that provided me with an unexpected source of encouragement as I could visually see how far I’d come in my reading. I would read a gospel and then some epistles.  Then I’d go back and pick up the next gospel, followed by some more epistles.  When all the gospels were done I went to the book of Acts; and all the time I was saving Revelation for last, which spurred me on through the rest of the NT because I was excited to read the book of Revelation. We will include a file you can download that has a printable Bible Reading Checklist that you can use. A very nice, full color Checklist is available through the BEAMS Ministry and we will leave a link where you can find out how to contact them for more information on how to receive your own, if you’d like. You can also click on the pictures of their checklists on their website to print them out yourself.  There will be two with one below the other. We also have included those files where you can download them yourself.

We have a Bible reading calendar we have been passing out at our church for the last several years.  I learned about it at a Pastor’s School Bro. Steve and I attended in Toledo, OH.  Pastor Rick DeMichele from Idaho recommended it.  It’s a nice calendar published by Master’s Line and includes Bible readings for each day.  When followed it gets the reader through the Old Testament once, New Testament twice, Psalms twice and Proverbs twelve times.  I saw this plan get some people excited about Bible reading.  We will enclose a link to their website for anyone interested.

Down through the years as my preferred method of Bible reading has come to be to read it straight through in the order God has given it.  As I said before, if you have a different way you like to do it, have at it – Just read it! Whatever order you read it in, if you want to get through it in a year, you can figure how much you’ll need to read by doing some simple calculations.  You can figure how many pages you need to read a day, by determining how many pages are in your Bible. You may have to add the OT and NT pages if they restart the numbering in the NT, as is the case in my Cambridge reading Bible.  My OT has 1193 pages and my NT 363 for a total of 1556 pages. Divide the number of pages in your Bible by the number of days in the year and you can determine how many pages a day you need to read in order to get through it in a year.  That averages out to a little over 4 and ¼ pages a day.  To simplify things in such a case, a person could read 4 pages a day and then pick one day of the week to read 6 pages.  Or 4 pages a day, picking two days to read 5 pages. If you want to read it through more than once in a year, say twice – Then double the amount of pages. It has been my practice over the last several years to read it the Bible through an uneven amount of times during the year.  I have prayerfully decided on an adequate and comfortably sustainable amount of pages a day to read. This allows me to read the Bible through my desired amount of times and then read a little more.  One of the things I like about this system is that I don’t start in the same place every year.  And I am not reading the same part of the Bible at the same time every year.  Some people might like to read the same part of the Bible at the same time each year – and I reiterate – that’s perfectly OK. If for some reason, you are not able to read, the Bible is available in audio recording so that you can listen to it.  You can find the King James Bible on tape, CD, DVD & online. Acts 17:10-11  And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. {11} These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

3. Study It – II Timothy 2:15

There is a difference between reading the Bible and studying the Bible and God commands us to do both.  Studying the Bible involves comparing scripture with scripture as you look up different verses pertaining to a subject or passage.  Studying involves going into more detail. Studying is what is done in a proper Church Sunday School or Wednesday Night Bible Study.  This is where we look into a verse, a subject, or a Book of the Bible in greater depth.  In studying we take more time to understand the things we read.  Reading acquaints us with the material and gives us a measure of understanding.  Studying helps us more fully grasp and understand the Bible and the Lord. In Bible study we compare Scripture with Scripture. Isaiah 28:9-10  Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. {10} For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:

The three most important tools in Bible Study for the English speaking Bible student are:

A. A King James Bible – Don’t worry when people try to tell you other versions are easier to understand.  Other versions have changed the words of God and corrupted the true meaning of many scriptures.

B. An Exhaustive Concordance – A concordance is a book that that catalogs the words of the Bible in alphabetical order and gives you the Scripture references where they are found in the Bible.  You may have a small concordance in the back of your Bible.  You will eventually notice that it does not contain every word of the Bible, nor every reference for the words that it does contain.  An exhaustive or complete concordance will contain every word and reference or very close to it.  One of the best of these is the Strong’s Concordance.  (Also Young’s & Cruden’s)

C. A Good English Dictionary – When you don’t understand a word in the Bible, look it up in a dictionary.  A good, basic English dictionary should get you off to a good start.  For an even fuller understanding of many Bible words see Webster’s 1828 Dictionary.  Webster cites many Biblical references in this work to show you the definitions of many of the words used in the Bible.  Don’t worry about the Greek and the Hebrew.  Learn English and you can learn the Bible! Some other Bible study reference works you might find helpful are a Bible Encyclopedia or a Bible Dictionary.  These are similar type works as a Bible Dictionary gives more than just the definitions of words.  Both of these expound in detail on a variety of Bible topics.  You might also find a Bible Atlas to be a handy tool.  These contain maps showing the locations of Bible lands.  Some Bibles have such maps in the back.

4. Memorize It – Psalm 119:11

Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. While it is understood that having the Bible in your head, is not the same as having it in your heart; it should also be understood that if a person has the Bible in his heart having certain portions of it committed to memory will help to keep him from sinning against the Lord.  Thus the Lord admonishes us to hide His word in our heart. Moreover Proverbs 2:1 tells us to hide His commandments with us, without specifying hiding them in our heart.  Thus, memorizing scripture is a good thing that can help you immensely.  If it gets in your head, spiritual gravity will allow it to work it’s way into your heart unless you allow it to be choked.

Here is a simple way to memorize scripture:

Write a verse on one side of a 3×5 card.
Write the reference on the other side.
Work with the verse a bit at a time until you can say it without looking at it.
Without looking at it, say the reference, the verse and the reference again.  Count this as one.  Say the reference, verse and reference and count this as two.  Do this a total of 25 times the first day.
Each following day decrease your total by 5, then say it once a day for a week.

5. Overcome Temptation With It

As I just mentioned, Psalms 119:11  Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. When Jesus was tempted He quoted the Bible (Matt. 4:1-11). Ephesians 6:17 declares the Bible is “the sword of the Spirit”.  In times of spiritual warfare, pull it out of its sheath and quote it out loud, just like Jesus showed us.

6. Meditate In It – Psalms 1:1-2 

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. {2} But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. Here God promises to bless you if you meditate in His word.  That is reason enough to do it!  To meditate is to think deeply upon it, to go over it in your mind.  You can have a great time in the Bible as you walk, drive, work, etc. just by meditating on what you’ve already put in your mind through reading, study, memorization, etc.  See Psalm 119:97-99 {97} O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day.  {98} Thou through thy commandments hast made me wiser than mine enemies: for they are ever with me. {99} I have more understanding than all my teachers: for thy testimonies are my meditation.

7. Display It in Your House

God instructed His people in the Old Testament to write His words upon the doorposts of their houses and upon their gates.

Deuteronomy 11:18-21  Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. {19} And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. {20} And thou shalt write them upon the door posts of thine house, and upon thy gates: {21} That your days may be multiplied, and the days of your children, in the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers to give them, as the days of heaven upon the earth.

This principle of putting the word of God where it is visible at your house is something we can learn from.  It is a good idea to have Bible verses or passages displayed in your house. This will serve as a constant reminder to you of the Lord and His words, as well as being a testimony to all that come into your home.

Proverbs 4:20-21  My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. {21} Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart.

This can be done by displaying the word of God where you can see it.  reading it every day.  And meditating on it will help to keep it in your heart. The Bible is not just something to talk about – it’s something to make use of in your life every day.  The Bible contains the Wonderful Words of Life. Would you have life and have it more abundantly?  Then abide in God’s word and let it abide in you.

Study Material

1.) List at least 4 things to do with the Bible.

2.) List the 3 most important tools for Bible Study.

3.) What did Jesus do when He was tempted?

4.) Give a reference that tells us to read the Bible.

5.) Memorize Psalm 1:2