Due diligence: Handy aids that help you study the Bible through 2020
Salt&Light // January 2, 2020, 6:00 am
The Word of God contains wisdom that is pertinent to life. Not sure where to start? Here are some resources. Photo by Jazmin Quaynor on Unsplash.
New year, new resolutions?
For the hopeful, at least. For the jaded, resolutions nonetheless represent decisions made – choices that perhaps entail a new commitment to something or someone. That could mean saying your marriage vows (newlywed), signing up for a course (new student) or even taking out your first-ever bank loan (newly in the red).
At the turn of the year, Christians everywhere make the resolution – or renew their commitment – to read and study the Word of God.
Resources abound, whether you want to go it alone in personal study or in community with a group of other like-minded Christians. We’ve put together a list:
Resources (free!) for personal study
- YouVersion The Bible App: If you don’t already have a Bible app installed on your phone, this one comes with Bible reading plans of different durations, covering the range of topics and seasons (like Lent or Christmas, or even the new year). It also has a verse-of-the-day prompt, featuring a selected verse every day of the year.
- SheReadsTruth / HeReadsTruth: Apps for Bible reading plans and devotionals catered separately to men and women. There’s even a kids’ version!
- Alternatively, tick the boxes as you go along with a format like The Discipleship Journal Reading Plan from The Navigators. It’s been tried, tested and loved by generations of Christians, with daily readings from both the New and Old Testament scheduled over five days. The two-day breathers every week help assuage – and accommodate – the guilt that comes with missing a day or two!
- The Bible Project: Illustrated videos in short five- to eight-minute snippets explaining each book of the Bible, the common themes and selected Hebrew or Greek keywords. Difficult concepts are broken down visually and holistic overviews are offered. The best part? There are fully-animated videos in Chinese and Cantonese.
- Teachings by pastors and authors: Online podcasts and articles, such as those by pastor and author Timothy Keller, bible teacher John MacArthur and pastor John Piper, are well-known sources of information. Some, like those from bible expositor Ray Stedman, are broken down into bite-sized teachings with application questions that are emailed to you daily.
Bible study in community
You could also join one of the many Bible study classes open to Christians from any church and denomination. Precept Ministries and Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) are two such examples; both offer in-depth Bible study.
“Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth. Meditate on it day and night.”
Faithful and gifted Bible teachers follow highly structured materials, and every session incorporates group discussion. Held at various locations across Singapore, the meetings also provide the opportunity to meet other like-minded believers from different churches.
There is an infinite depth of wisdom found in God’s Word, but without our engagement with it through the hearing, reading, study and meditation of it, we will remain ignorant and our lives, ineffective.
“Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth,” the Lord said to Joshua after giving him the command to cross the Jordan river into the Promised Land. “Meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” (Joshua 1:8-9)
These instructions were important enough for the Lord to give Joshua at the start of a new chapter in Israel’s history. We would do well to heed the same exhortation as our calendars usher in a new decade.