Maturity comes over time. It requires spending time with our Creator, sharing, and learning from him. But most important is, putting into action what we have learned. We talk to him in our prayers. He is our faithful, loving, and caring Father who is always available and excited to listen. He spoke and inspired several people to write about his love and the way of life. We hear our Creator's voice by reading His inspired writings called "The Scriptures" or "The Bible."
Reading the Scripture and meditating upon it opens our minds, expands our vision, provides superior wisdom, and helps us become increasingly successful. Although the Scripture or the Bible is a mystery, our Creator desires to open our minds to understand the Holy Scriptures if we ask sincerely! Jesus said:
“To you is given the mystery of God’s Kingdom, but to those who are outside, all things are done in parables”, (Mark 4;11)
“Then he opened their minds, that they might understand the Scriptures.” (Luke 24:45)
The disciples and followers of Jesus taught and shared what they witnessed and learned daily from Jesus. God inspired them to accurately write down Jesus' life and teachings so that people in remote cities and countries could hear the Good News too.
The word "Bible" means "a collection of books." The Bible is a collection of sixty-six books or letters. Thirty-nine books were written before Jesus was born and twenty-seven after Jesus ascended to heaven. We call the thirty-nine books "The Old Testament" since it's about the commandment and the covenant between God and people before Jesus was born. We call the twenty-seven books "The New Testament." The New Testament is about the new covenant between God and believers of Jesus Christ. Those books are letters addressed to the leaders of nations, the Christian leaders, and people like you and me!
God inspired people from different backgrounds to write the books of the Bible. Every book is a letter from the Creator of the universe to his people, his children. God protected those books for centuries, as Jesus said:
“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will by no means pass away.”
Each book of the Bible is divided into chapters and verses for easy reading and reference. For example, to reference the 5th verse of the 2nd chapter of the Gospel of Luke, we write “Luke 2:5”. Some of the disciples wrote several letters to the same churches. For example, when we see “2 Peter 3:5,” it means the 2nd letter of Peter, chapter 3, verse 5. Another example, “Luke 2:5-9” refers to the Gospel of Luke, chapter 2, verses 5 to 9.
Now that you know what those notations mean, I’ll use them whenever I quote from the Bible. And since there are different styles of translations, we may see abbreviations after a verse, for example (NIV), which means “New International Translation.” Unless stated otherwise, I’ll quote from the “World English Bible” translation in all my references to the Bible verses.
Daily reading of the Bible is crucial for our spiritual transformation and empowerment. It helps us understand how to live an honorable life that pleases our Creator and blesses our community.
“Every Scripture is God-breathed and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness, that each person who belongs to God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” 2 Timothy 3:16-17
The Bible is translated into many languages, but they all deliver the same message. You may search on the Internet, compare different translations and choose a style or translation you like most. You may read the Bible on the Internet or purchase a copy. https://www.biblegateway.com is one of the places to find different translations and styles. Some translations are for personal study, which includes special sections explaining each verse and providing guidance. “Life Application Bible” is a good example.
The purpose of reading the Bible is not just reading for knowledge. We pause, meditate, and let it speak to us. It’s good practice highlighting verses that speak deeply to us with a colored pencil. You may start reading a chapter from the beginning of the New Testament, the Gospel of Matthew, and continue to the end of the Bible. Then start reading from the Old Testament once you finish reading the New Testament.
Please click on “He Listens” to continue.
- We read the Bible as a ritual.
- Every writer of a book in the Bible was inspired and directed by God.
- False: We read the Bible and let it speak to us so we may understand God’s good plans.
- True: Writers of the books of the Bible wrote as God inspired them.