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the joy of understanding

 

Nehemiah 8:12

Then all the people went away to eat and drink, to send portions of food and to celebrate with great joy, because they now understood the words that had been made known to them.

One of the things that Christians struggle with, is reading the Bible. Some parts of the Bible are really hard to read and some are downright depressing. As we can see from this verse, we are not alone in our struggle. As Ezra read from the Book of the Law of Moses, the Israelites finally understood. They experienced their “A-HA” moment and they celebrated with great joy!

It takes time, patience and prayer to understand God’s Word, but don’t give up. The Bible is our guide to daily living a Godly life and without it, we will fail miserably. I have a few suggestions on understanding the Bible better:

  1. Church– Find a church that not only teaches the Bible but encourages a daily living out of the Scriptures. Start attending the Bible studies that are offered or start one of your own with a small group of like minded individuals.
  2. Internet– The internet is full of resources on Bible study. There are videos on probably every passage in the Bible, along with online commentaries, Bible study guides, read thru the Bible plans and a variety of other tools to understanding the Bible. I love to look up Biblical maps and guides to the background history of Biblical times to give me a broader understanding of what was going on.
  3. Bookstore or Library– Your local bookstore (christian bookstore) or library will have Bible study guides. The benefit of the library is that you can check it out and see if you like a particular book.
  4. Prayer– Regardless of what other study tools you use, praying for wisdom and enlightenment is something you need to do EVERY time you read the Bible. A christian giant, George Mueller, never used commentaries or study guides. He said that those guides were one person’s interpretation of the Bible. He simply prayed for wisdom and God opened the eyes of his heart. He only read the Bible and he understood because he prayed.

The Challenge:

Reading the Bible is one of the most important disciplines of a christian life. When we read the Bible, we get a glimpse into the heart of God. We start to build that relationship with our heavenly Father, as He draws us closer to Him. I am challenging you to choose a Bible reading plan that fits your lifestyle and start reading. Take the time to meditate on what you read and let God’s words sink into your heart. Find a quiet time when you can sit and reflect on what God is saying to YOU through His word. Make this the year that you get to know the heart of God. I guarantee that you will soon be celebrating the joy of understanding.

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