Why Should I Read the Old Testament?

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Why should I read the Old Testament?

For years I coasted along in my relationship with God based solely off reading the New Testament. I’d basically known all of the Old Testament children’s stories well enough to know how sin entered. So, I knew Jesus saved us from that.

It wasn’t until I disciplined myself to read through the Old Testament, that my relationship with God grew drastically. Many of times before, I read Genesis and flipped through Exodus. It was always Leviticus that I would give up. I avoided the hard parts of the Bible. With that being said, I worked out some study methods that helped push me through Leviticus and also with understanding the text. It was then that I realized things I had been saved from. Genesis introduced sin to me, Exodus introduced it to God’s people through the 10 Commandments. But, Leviticus introduced me to the practices that were done in order to be cleansed from sin.

Another reason I love the Old Testament is that it explains a lot in the New Testament. We hear about lepers and unclean things, but the Old Testament clarifies that. We hear of the festivals celebrated in the New Testament, but the Old Testament tells the reason behind the celebrations in detail. In Numbers I learned how grossly my actions are similar to the Israelites in the desert. In Deuteronomy I saw how important it is to constantly remember all that the Lord has done. It only gets better from there. There are many places that scripture points to Christ in the Old Testament as well. I try and mark these so that I can reflect back. I’m still not finished with the Old Testament. I’m going slowly through each book in order to truly try and comprehend. Meditating on what I’ve learned.

When I look at the New Testament and what Jesus has done for us, I truly want to serve Him with my heart, out of love. I see the hardship that He delivered us from. I truly did not get grace until I started reading through the Old Testament.

-K

 

 

RESOURCES

There are too many resources out there to not be in the Word or spending time with fellow believers in person or online. I’ve passed through many of them over the past 5 years and will share them with you. Some I know longer use, but they made an impact on who I am today.

Man…where do I start?

Let’s start with…

1. ONLINE BIBLE STUDIES

* IF : Equip is AWESOME. I’ve been doing online bible studies with them since 2013. I’m still doing them. In fact, finishing up Ephesians with them now. Their website is http://www.ifequip.com

Jennie Allen and her team at IF : Equip bring theology and grace.

* Women Living Well as I mentioned in a previous post is a great online bible study as well. Courtney Joseph leads women through books of the bible with the S.O.A.K. method. That website is http://www.womenlivingwell.org

* She Reads Truth is fantastic! I love these girls and the women behind scenes that work hard to bring great studies for women of all ages. Amanda Williams and Raechel Myers are the masterminds behind this wonderful gem. Their website is http://www.shereadstruth.com

* Lysa TerKeurst has tugged a ton of heartstrings of mine through her book studies she has on her site. Proverbs 31 Ministries offers book studies and devotionals on their site. Lysa also has an amazing bible study called Finding I Am that fed my soul. Their website is http://www.proverbs31.org

Although there may be many more, these are the ones I gave my time to and they fed me over the years.

2. DEVOTIONALS

I would suggest devotionals alongside bible study. Please don’t replace it from reading your bible, but better yet, look at it as a side dish…a really yummy side dish…like super cheddary Mac n Cheese!

*As I mentioned above, Proverbs 31 Ministries offer daily devotionals. http://www.proverbs31.org

* Desiring God is legit. It’s real folks, and it’s real good. Theology at it’s finest. http://www.DesiringGod.org

* The Gospel Coalition will feed your mind with theology also.

* Daily Hope with Rick Warren was a daily listener back in 2013. I listened to his stuff to learn as a new believer and it helped so much in my growth.

3. APPS

*Guess what?! IF : Equip has an app. It is under IF:GATHERING in the app store and it is free!!

*aaaaaaand so does She Reads Truth!!

*I love my bible app. YouVersion bible app has been on my phone for years. It wasn’t until 2013-2014 I realized it had bible studies on there. I’ve done a many of them. And you can do them with friends on there too.

*Recently was introduced to the Logos bible app which goes into inductive bible studying. Haven’t played much with it but looking forward to using it soon.

*The Read Scripture app is insane. I love this. They lead you through each book of the bible with crazy amazing animation video that speaks to my brain!

4. BIBLE STUDIES

I will be listing some of the bible studies I’ve done and really enjoyed with friends or by myself. So, I know there are many more out there and that I would love to try out and give you feedback on. So I will keep you posted on future studies. Here are some of my favorites.

Lysa TerKeurst’s Finding I AM

Raechel Myers Amanda Williams Open Your Bible

Jennie Faith Allen’s RESTLESS

Angie Smith’s SEAMLESS

Shaunti Feldhahn’s For Women Only

Courtney Joseph’s Ecclesiastes

Lisa-Jo Baker’s We Saved You a Seat

IF : Equip’s Enjoying Jesus

Pastor Rick Warren’s What On Earth Am I Here For

Precept Ministries International Marriage Without Regrets (hardcore homework)

5. BOOKS

Oh My…that will have to be another post.

6. BIBLES

I love bibles. I have a few…

* She Reads Truth Bible CSB (yummy)

*Holman Rainbow Study Bible NIV

*ESV Journaling Bible (with blank pages for journaling)

*NASB Study Bible with Strong’s Concordance in the back

*Holmans Study bible NKJV edition (with colored pages and commentary)

I want to mention that I have several translations for studying purposes. So you can’t have enough bibles… 😉

I’m sure there is much more and I will spare you from the information overload. I hope you find some of these helpful. I suggest you give them a try.

Love you guys!

TIPS AND TRICKS!

TIPS AND TRICKS!!!!!

Okay, today will come off either GENIUS or juvenile, but either one I’ll take. lol

I’m going to share some tips. Some will be for using the bible as your go to resource and others will be to help with reading your bible and understanding it.

Let’s start with:

1.WASHI TAPE…..AHHHHHH! LOVE IT!

I love washi tape. If you are not familiar with washi tape, it is tape you can put on paper and pull back off. It is decorative and you can find it at Hobby Lobby, Lifeway, Michaels, Walmart even has some.

Here is how I use washi tape…for REMEMBERING. There are several verses in the bible that tell us to remember His word. Plus, I need to remember His word when I’m going through a trial or even having a bad day. I put a key in front of my bible with washi samples. Each design/color represents a characteristic. As I find verses that relate to these characteristics that are personal for me, I tab the edge of the page and underline the verses related. When I deal with anxiety, instead of worrying my head off, I glance at the edge of my bible and look for the dotted washi tape for anxious verses and my smooth gold tape for His promises. Remembering that God is faithful to do what He says and that I must trust Him. You can even quote the verses in your head throughout the day. The enemy hates this because it makes him flee.

2. ACT IT OUT!!

If you know me…I’m animated. When I was little, I remembering writing out comedic skits that I could possibly perform for someone one day. I never did..but I thought they were pretty stinkin’ funny.

ACT IT OUT brings empathy into the picture. Picture this, you are about to read John 5:5-15. About a paralyzed man who had no one to put him in the healing pool of water. Jesus approaches him. You act it out. You are the paralyzed man. Most great actors really get into the role of the character they are portraying. Really taking on how this person feels, their pain, isolation. Put yourself their shoes. Now, you see Jesus and He asks if you want to be healed. You can feel the desperation of the paralyzed man, who for years was lame. Watching others around him using their legs and possibly complaining over the littlest stuff. Now, put yourself in the shoes of the on looker. Say you saw Jesus talking to a lame man or a man with leprosy…back then, you didn’t touch those people. You would be disgusted to be near them. But then you play the part of Jesus, who talk to, listens, touches, heals, the forgotten, ignored. You have compassion for the lost and hurting. Woah…my heart right now is exploding…was this post for me today? Goodness!

We’ve lost empathy in this world today and taken up selfishness. Maybe we need to get back in our bibles and role play.

3. DIFFERENT TYPES OF STUDIES IN THE BIBLE

*Character Studies – studying a character. Finding them through out the bible and studying who they were and what God did through them. You may be surprised to find those who were “big wigs” had sin just like us.

*Topical – What topic do you want to further learn about. I love this when I need to confess a sin and remember what God tells us in the bible about how to respond. (ex. Love, Fruit of the Spirit, Contentment, Repentance)

*By Book – Read an entire book of the bible. Just read it through. This is awesome for context clues. Instead of pulling scripture out of context, read the entire book to see what your favorite scripture is really referring to.

*The entire Bible – I’m doing this now. And I’m taking my time. If it takes me 10 years, so be it. If I try and rush through it, my mind will not process what I’ve read. That’s where all these studying tips and methods have come from. I just finished Numbers…I’m really proud of that. I skipped to Isaiah and I will then go back to Deuteronomy. The laws were heavy, but I will push through.

*Chapter a Day – If you are reading through a book, do it by a chapter a day. Soak it in, read it several times, highlight it, cross reference it. This will feel like a sense of accomplishment finishing each chapter.

I hope any of these tips or tricks helps in your journey through studying God’s word.

Cross-Referencing

CROSS-REFERENCING

Cross referencing is an ADHD Christian’s dream. If you notice in the picture the tiny scripture references in black, they are cross references. Cross references are passages that relate to the scripture you are reading. Chaining the bible together. If you are studying a difficult passage, using cross referencing will point you to similar passages to help elaborate.

The bible is better at interpreting scripture than any commentary can. Scripture speaks for itself.

You’ll notice in the picture, in the text there are lowercase blue letters next to scripture. To cross reference those verses you look for the letter in the middle and find the verses that relate. Some bibles have their cross referencing at the bottom of the page.

Cross referencing is a fun tool and you can find yourself soaking up scripture for hours when you use it to study. The way the bible links together proves it’s authenticity.

Journaling

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JOURNALING
Journaling looks different to many people. There is no set way to do it. I will list a few ways I’ve done it and you can go from there!!
*BIBLE DOODLING
-Write out scripture in fun writing
-Draw out the pictures in your head from the passage you’ve read
-Write out genealogies (Just the practice of writing this out makes reading through it less daunting. I like to write down each person’s name. Plus, God had each of their names in there for a reason.)
-Write out characteristics
-Write out laws to understand them better.
-Write out prayers


*COMPOSITION BOOK OR NOTEBOOKS
-This is where a lot of Bible Study notes and deeper study goes for me. When you run out of margin space and have a lot to say or want to write out scripture. A lot of my tips will probably go best in this little gal.
****Keep this in mind guys…if you are focusing more on how beautiful your drawing looks only to Instagram it perfectly..then you aren’t doing it for the right reason. Maybe this isn’t the type of study for you if you are tempted with pride and bragging rights.

I enjoy doing this type of doodling because I’m a visual person and have a problem remembering what I read. Drawing it out leaves the image and story in my mind and helps me recall stories from the bible when I see pictures. We have to be intentional with the “pretty” and “popular” bible study techniques.

ESTABLISHING A QUIET TIME

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ESTABLISHING A QUIET TIME
Making a time and place to focus on God and be quiet and still is so important in our daily lives. You become who you spend the most time with. When we spend time focusing on Jesus and His life on a daily basis, we will become more like Him.
When I first started getting up early 5 years ago to study my bible quietly, I sat at my kitchen table. We were in a smaller house and that was the only place I had to lay all of my stuff out. I’ve always had a journal to write down things. I learn by writing. If I read a verse that speaks to me, I highlight it underline words in it and write it down in my journal (composition book or notebook). I still have those notebooks and journals. But the kitchen table is made of wood and you can see several spots where the pen made indentions from me writing notes on paper. I truly miss sitting in that spot. When I first started, I would sit for hours, because everything was so fresh and my eyes were open to see the beauty and understand what I was reading.
I’m going to go over some tips for establishing a quiet time.
*A PLACE:
This needs to be somewhere private if at all possible and a place that is available everyday. The environment should not be busy with “to do” tasks laying around. When I sat at my table years ago, I made sure the table was clear and I put only things I needed for my bible study time. I sat with my back against the kitchen. I wasn’t distracted by anything in there. For this very reason I can not have my quiet time in my office, because I will fixate on what all I have to do.
Place ideas – bedroom, basement, backyard, garage, laundry room (this one is mine), living room, patio, table, or even your closet.
*SET A TIME:
Make an appointment with God. I suggest finding a time that you are most attentive. Mornings are good for me because I tend to start tasks and snowball from there until I hit the bed. So I start off with bible study first so that I don’t feel distracted later in the day. If I have a break in my day, I try and read too. One thing I heard from a preacher that now I’m remembering is… you are setting up this appointment, Jesus will definitely be there. It’s up to you to show up or leave Him waiting. That broke my heart.
*SET YOUR INTENTIONS:
I’m an alarm freak. Like I mentioned before, I get distracted by the tasks in the day, so I have to set alarms that go off throughout my day to remember the smallest tasks. They are part of my daily routine. My 5:00 a.m. alarm is intentionally set for bible study.
*WHERE DO I START?
Very common question and can be answered differently by different folks. If you are reading the Bible for the first time, like really reading it, I started with the stories I was told as a child. I admit, I cheated by looking at my daughter’s story bible. That was a wonderful experience to read those stories. There were so many lessons to learn from each character. I also started in Genesis where a lot of those stories are found. Now, if you are a new believer, I suggest reading John first. Know the story of Jesus and then discover Him throughout all of the bible.
*GET RID OF DISTRACTIONS
This is iffy. I use my phone for study sometimes so when I’m not using it, I put it on silent and flip it over. But if you can put it in another room, you’ll be doing even better. Also, have a post-it pad near by. If you think of something…right it down, so you can have all those randoms ready to take on after bible study.

*WHAT DO I NEED?
*Well for starters, a Bible. I suggest a notebook or journal too. And pens. That’s it for basic Bible study.
If you are a deep thinker…you get another list:
*bible
*pens
*highlighters
*color pencils/twistable crayons
*post it tabs
*journal
*concordance
*washi tape
*post its
*index cards
*START READING
This one is self explanatory. Open your bible and start reading. I find when I leave my bible open, I may walk by my desk and start reading again. So I suggest leaving your bible open, that’s my own personal opinion. I’m a visual person.
Up Next -We will be starting on bible study techniques you can try out during your study time. I will have several. You can try these all out and see what works best for you. What you learn best by doing. If it is a distraction from you understanding God’s Word, then it’s probably not the technique for you. Find what feeds you Truth.

How to Approach the Bible

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HOW TO APPROACH THE BIBLE
I believe today we have forgotten how beautiful and holy our bibles are. We are holding the words of God!
1.Knowing that the Bible is God’s words.
It is alive and active and because of that, it is POWERFUL. The more powerful something is, the more it demands our respect. Do we treat our Bibles that way? Where does you Bible sit at home? In a safe place? Under your bed? Collecting dust?
What are some things that completely take your breath away due to it’s beauty or it’s sense of awe?
Do you feel this way when you approach your bible? Do you hope to feel this way?
Everything about God must be approached with deep respect.
2. We open it daily.
Jesus told the woman at the well in John 4:14 “Whoever drinks from the water that I give him will never get thirsty again, in fact the water that I give him will become a well of water springing up in him for eternal life.”
This water would quench her thirst and satisfy her unlike the worldly things. When we don’t drink from this eternal well of living water daily, we will walk parched all day long. We must quench our thirst every morning/day/night, expecting to be filled. Without water we will dry up.
3. We approach the Word of God prayerfully.
We should always invite the Author of this book into bible study each time we read it. We must ask the Helper to guide us and open our eyes for truth and direction, and our daily assignment.
Psalm 119 is packed full of prayers to approach God’s Word with.

Lots of love your way.