For the Word of God is living and active.Hebrews 4:12
Just open it
Every journey in life starts with a first step. The same holds true with God’s Word. To know it, to be in it, begins when you actually open your Bible. Keeping it on a shelf or lying in a drawer near your bed brings you no closer to the truth, just as looking at a house on a random street makes it no closer to being your home.
Ezra opened the Book.Nehemiah 8:5
Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.Hebrews 4:12
The Levites–Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozaad, Hanan and Pelaiah–instructed the people in the Law while the people were standing there. They read from the Book of the Law of God, making it clear and giving the meaning so that the people could understand what was being read.Nehemiah 8:7-8
In ages past, the Old King James Bible was heralded as standard Bible to have in the home. It was, and still is available, written in Old English. For many, that form of English had become too difficult to understand. As printing, technology and communication improved, new versions of the Bible have been produced in modern English.
There is a plethora of choices out there. Many translations have been developed by teams of specialists, who have poured over the Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic texts in consideration of every word translated into modern day English. Some versions are much more looser in translation as they focus on finding verbiage that is easily understood, while others stay as close as they can to original text.
There are Bibles that only contain Scripture, and there are others that contain commentary, maps and additional information. There are study Bibles. There are Bibles that follow denominations. Bibles that focus on the development of godly character specifically for men and for women. There are chronological, historical and topical Bibles; versions that encourage good leadership, healthy relationships and life-stages specific, like teen, motherhood, and children Bibles. Most of them offer this: an opportunity to explore God’s Word.
Finding the one that is best for you is an important first step, because you need a Bible that you will actually open, read and think about. One that frustrates you will continue to remain on the shelf, unused.
Life Application Study Bible
Life Application Study Bible, New International Version (NIV), Zondervan
Compiled by hundreds of scholar
“How it was made helps to give the New International Version its distinctiveness. The translation of each book was assigned to a team of scholars. Next, one of the Intermediate Editorial Committees, revised the initial translation, with constant reference to the Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek.”
~LASB, NIV, preface.
Thought provoking notes
The notes help you apply God’s Word directly to your life. “The Book of the Law of Moses was probably the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Bible. The people listened intently to Ezra as he read God’s Word, and their lives were changed. Because we hear the Bible so often, we can become dull to its words and immune to its teachings. Instead, we should listen carefully to every verse and ask the Holy Spirit to help us answer this question: ‘How does this apply to my life?'” ~Ezra 8, LASB, NIV, note for Nehemiah 8:1-5 (emphasis ours)
Available in the NIV, NKJ, and NLT
Some prefer the King James wording, and the New King James is just an updated version that removes some of the antiquated language that is unfamiliar in today’s world. Some prefer the New International Version, and others like the style of the New Living Translation. The key to God’s Word is being in it and developing the skills to correctly apply it to your life. A Life Application Study Bible can get you off on a great start to being reflective and thoughtful about God’s Word and how it relates to you.
Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.Hebrews 4:13
Walking in His Word
Those who know Your Name will trust in You, for You, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek You.Psalm 9:10
Seeking time in the Word is key to growing closer to God and building your faith. To “seek” is “to go in search or quest of; to look for; to search for by going place to place; to inquire for; to ask for…” American Dictionary of the English Language, Noah Webster 1828, Foundation for American Christian Education, reprint 2009.
Being in God’s Word begins when you engage. It continues when you ask questions. Faith grows when you explore His Words, seek their contexts and apply the possibilities. Your walk will strengthen when you meet with Him regularly. Let’s look into our toolbox for engaging Scripture and consider these helpful practices:
To know God is to know His Words
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.John 1:1-2