There are a few things that are true about me:
One, I’ve seen Friends way too many times.
Two, I have an unhealthy love for Air Jordans.
Three, once you get me talking about the Biblical narrative and the importance of knowing Scripture, I can’t stop.
Believe it or not, that last thing about me hasn’t always been true. In reality, I’ve really only grown in my knowledge and love for the Word over the past few years, despite spending my entire life in the church. Part of the reason I didn’t understand the Bible was that it wasn’t really taught to me, outside of verse memorization and Sunday School stories. The other big reason I didn’t understand Scripture was that it always seemed so overwhelming to study.
The truth is that studying the Bible can feel daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. There are many methods of study, but before you determine the best way to go about it, it’s important to recognize why we study the Bible. There are many reasons to study Scripture, but here are four of the most important to me:
1. Studying Scripture reveals who God is.
The Bible was written for many reasons, but the number one reason studying the Bible is important is that it teaches us who God is. It breaks down the attributes and identity of God throughout the entire book. We learn He provides, He keeps His promises, He protects us, He is our foundation, He is gracious, and the list goes on. We are shown these traits through different historical events, and digging into the Bible helps us know and understand the Lord better.
2. Studying Scripture shows us why we need Christ.
The main point of the gospel is that God sent His Son, Jesus, to come to the world as a man, live a perfect life, and die as the final sacrifice in order for us to be righteous. A lot of the time, however, that’s the extent of the teaching we get on why Jesus’ sacrifice was important.
At a basic level, yes, God sent His Son to die for us because sin was brought into the world. Through the rest of the Old Testament, however, you see so many different instances of a cycle of sin, punishment, repentance, and forgiveness. Not only do these instances teach us who God is, they show us how badly we need another way to redemption. The more we learn about why we need Jesus, the more we understand the sacrifice He gave.
3. Studying Scripture teaches us how to live like Christ.
As Christians, we are called to live like Jesus (1 John 2:6, Galatians 2:20, John 3:30). It’s important to pursue a Christ-like life because it’s our actions that point others to Him. What better way to learn how to act like Christ than to study the book that was God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16-17)?
While we see Jesus all over the Old Testament, even back to Genesis (Genesis 1:26), some of the more obvious information about how Jesus lived is in the New Testament. We see His life in the Gospels, and the letters of the New Testament show us how other men and women lived out the gospel in their own lives. From these experiences, we see what it looks like to live a life that reflects Christ.
Personally, I find Paul’s letters to be very helpful. He gives some excellent and practical ways to be like Christ in his letters, and he acknowledges the struggles we go through as humans.
4. Studying Scripture strengthens our relationship with the Lord.
Just like close friendships require communication and attention, so does your relationship with the Lord. And it starts with spending time in His Word.
If you’re not regularly reading your Bible, I encourage you to start. You don’t have to jump into daily study if you haven’t opened your Bible in weeks. Start with something you can manage and go from there. In my experience, the more I studied the Bible the more I wanted to study the Bible. What was once a “I didn’t even bring my Bible to church on Sundays” reading habit turned into a daily reading habit that I make time for and enjoy doing.
I won’t lie to you: it isn’t always easy. Whether you’re busy or you’re struggling to understand the passage you’re reading, it can be hard sometimes. But you know what? It’s so worth it!
If you want to learn more about studying Scripture, are looking for something to guide you in biblical study, or are seeking a Scripture-based devotional to use, Whatever Is True and Lovely is exactly what you’re looking for! By providing practical Bible study tips and favorite journaling techniques in Whatever Is True and Lovely: a DaySpring Devotional Guide, author Carrie Cristancho shares how to make meaningful connections with God’s Word. Your life will be transformed as you dive into Scripture and start seeing the goodness of God at every turn.
Whatever is True and Lovely is now available! Pick up your copy today, and leave a comment below for a chance to WIN a copy!
Then join Carrie and (in)courage community manager Becky Keife for a chat all about Whatever is True and Lovely! Tune in tomorrow, 6/15/22, on our Facebook page at 11am CST for their conversation.
Giveaway open to US addresses only and closes on 6/17/22 at 11:59pm CST.
Good morning Carrie! Your article is certainly on point for me. I grew up attending Catholic grammar (with daily Mass attendance) and high school, married, raised children, attend Mass weekly, yet still knew little about the Bible. It is only within the last few years when bedbound due to a herniated disc did I come to start reading the Bible (isn’t that often the case – we turn to God when in trouble). Anyway, while I still find it difficult to understand at times, I enjoy my morning routine of prayers and readings; it has become the more I read the more I want to read it. I know I am a better person for spending this time with Him. Thank you for the opportunity to win your new devotional.
Carrie, I so appreciate this. And Nancy, like you, I was raised in the Catholic tradition, went to Catholic school from grade 2 through high school and even my first year if college and bascially knew nothing of the bible. How sad. It wasn’t until I joined a small Congregational church that I finally began to make a connection. I still have trouble understanding it but I try and have a collection of bibles, some study bibles, different versions. I find I learn the most by reading the footnotes and explanations of the words and historical events. I look forward to daily readings and also enjoy Paul’s enthusiasm writing to the early church.
Thank you fir todays devotional. It is true. When you don’t know how to start studying can be overwhelming. You wonder if you truly understand, and do you understand correctly. Prayer is an important part of studying. And allowing the Holy Spirit to open your eyes and allow the Word of Gid speak to you.
Kathy McKinsey says
I find such comfort in reading the Bible.
Carol Foose says
Always looking for something that will draw me closer to Him.
Karen Riggins says
I was never taught how to read the Bible or study it either. It is something I have been working on in the past year. I want to teach my children how so they know and understand and are better prepared for this life than I was.
I like reason #1. God has many more traits than we realize. It makes Him more relatable to learn about all His characteristics.
Robyn Williams says
Thank you for these incredibly helpful tips and reminders about how important and meaningful reading scripture is!
Good morning! I would love to be in the drawing for the Whatever Is True and Lovely guide. I know that I need to “think on these things” more. I have to be careful to not let reading many devotionals take the place of actually reading the Bible and hearing what God wants to tell me through the scriptures. When we make time to read the Bible it helps us so much in our everyday lives. I’m so grateful that God has provided us with this wonderful book and that I still live in a place where it is easily accessible.
Patsy Hockaday says
I, too, found the Bible overwhelming and approached it as something to check off my list, having “read the Bible in a year” several times, listened to scripture fed to me in sermons, that sort of thing, but its not been until the last several years that I actually asked the Holy Spirit for discernment before reading the Bible that I have had some “Eureka Moments!” While I would like to say I ask every time before reading the Word, I can’t, but I do it enough now to tell the difference when I do. It is incredible how things jump out from the pages that I know I have read many times, yet never “seen” before. God continually never ceases to amaze me with His mercies that are truly new everyday.
Carrie, this is very inspiring!
Paulette Lalljee says
So true. The more I read the Bible, the more I become interested in reading and studying. I’m all over the place with it and would still love to read the whole Bible – (I’m 70 and haven’t done so, yet!)
We have occasional Bible study at our church, and I always feel I can’t get enough when it’s over. My spirit hungering?
Sharon A says
Thank you for sharing honestly. I love studying the Bible. There are many people who need this. I would love to receive one and share it with others.
Rose Booth says
This hit right on the nose. I too didn’t crave the Word until later in my spiritual journey. And even though I’m not always faithful to deep dive in the Word God motivated to indulge in its goodness every day even if just a tidbit.
This sounds SO awesome! I can definitely relate to growing up in church but maybe not studying the Bible or understanding biblical narrative as much as people might think. I’ve been on a journey this year to learn more by doing some online seminary courses on surveys of the Old and New Testaments. Really excited to check out this new book (and would love to be considered for the giveaway of it ;). Blessings to you!
I really struggle with understanding the old testament. I would sincerely appreciate a good bible study that helps with that.
Carrie Paulson says
Blessings, from a fellow Carrie.
We are a strong, caring, & compassion bunch.
Thank you for sharing & caring enough to get God’s truth across!
I would love to learn to study the Bible.
I find myself reading more
In Courage devotionals than actually reading the Bible. I truly have a desire to study & dig deep into the Bible. I find it difficult and very overwhelming.
Brenda M. Russell says
It’s wonderful to give advice on making Bible Study priority in your Christian Walk. Trying to do too much without understanding the goal of drawing closer to your Lord and Savior can be overwhelming.
When you grow up in the Church, you think you know way more than you really know. You may do better to start studying from a new perspective. Some people find it easy to memorize scriptures. I find it doable to focus on what I can relate to in the scriptures. Children are a gift from God. The Lord is my Shepherd. Make a joyful noise into the Lord all ye lands. Honor your father and mother that thy days may be long up on the land which the Lord thy God give th these.
I enjoy learning new things about Bible characters. Abraham got married again. Some names in the Bible are duplicated for different characters. Why did Jesus go to the wedding in Cana? He and the disciples were invited. What fruit did Adam and Eve eat in disobedience? The Bible does not specify. My guess, a beautiful fig, very ripe.
My children enjoyed Bible Stories. I enjoy conversations regarding how to be honest with yourself in your Christian Journey. How does a young Christian ask for guidance?
How does forgiveness work when you make daily mistakes? Is Sin going to always trip up a Believer’s steps? Does God look at the heart and then correct us through guidance from the Holy Spirit ? Are we allowed to judge others? Are we perfect in any way? Do we strive to grow whole and complete lacking nothing, in Christ Jesus?
Yes, I need Bible Study. Yes, I am a better daughter, wife and mother when I learn more about my Lord and Savior.
Enjoy your day.
Thank you for the tips, Carrie. I am going to share them with my Bible study ladies. I hope it will inspire us to delve deeper and encourage others to join. With all the ways to now experience scripture (I am enjoying listening to podcasts, like The Bible in a Year with Fr. Mike, ones from (in)courage, and more) I can fit more opportunities than ever to connect with and get to know our amazing God. What a blessing we have in the Word of God!
This sounds great to have a Scripture-based devotional instead of having the devotional being the focus. Also, I could use the emphasis on “whatever is true and lovely” as I’m going through a hard transition at church with a lot of negativity. Thank you so much.
Stacey E. says
OMG! This sounds exactly like me. I find the Bible overwhelming and am looking for a way to relate to it. Blessings to you for sharing this. Would love to win this.
Nancy Ruegg says
I was SO blessed to grow up in a home and in a church that valued biblical knowledge, and encouraged personal quiet time. As I got older there were small-group Bible study opportunities that “just happened” to materialize. Now all these decades later, I STILL love to study God’s Word, where I get to know him, glean his wisdom for life-choices, and discover his encouragement for difficult times. My quiet time each morning is my favorite time of day. How wonderful that DaySpring offers resources to help women get acquainted with their Bibles!
I enjoy these devotionals. As I’ve gotten older, I’m having a more difficult time staying focused in my prayers and my bible reading. The devotionals help quite a bit. Thank you.
Lisa Wilt says
I’ll dial onto FB tomorrow at 11:00 cst! Excited to hear more about your book!
I have been wanting this devotional for a while! I follow Carrie on Instagram and have loved how she dives into scripture head first even when it’s hard. I think her encouragement has helped me keep up with my own reading and I have even incorporated her style of verse breakdowns in my own reading!
Beth Williams says
Sure I was in church as a youth & young adult. Active in choirs & youth. Bible reading wasn’t done in our house. It took God putting me in a “Christian” church to really understand about a relationship & the Bible. I was 40 when I finally got “dunked” baptized. My denominational upbringing said just sprinkle as a baby that’s good enough. Now I do my best to read through the Bible each year & have done several Bible studies both on line & at church.