If this were a count-down list of the top resources for spiritual growth, I would certainly have to say, “And…the number one resource guaranteed to assist you in growing more Christ-like IS…God’s Word.”
Rather obvious, right? I guess that’s why I left it for last. What more can I possibly say about something so blatantly apparent? You have a Bible? Read it. You don’t have a Bible? Get one. Read it.
But I recognize that it isn’t always quite that easy. Choosing a Bible can be overwhelming today. With dozens of translations, plus many study bibles, as well as different formats like a 365-Day Bible, (divided up into readings for every day of the year)…a newbie may well give up in despair before (s)he ever settles on “the perfect Bible for me.”
The good news about the Good News is that a practical resource for all of us exists, which is also a great way to preview all those other resources: BibleGateway. com.
This easy-to-navigate website is the most comprehensive online compilation of Bible translations anywhere. With it, you can:
…”freely read, research, and reference Scripture on your desktop, laptop, tablet, smartphone . . . anywhere; in more than 70 languages and more than 180 versions–including a significant number of audio Bibles! Its simple yet advanced searching capabilities allow you to quickly find and compare particular passages in multiple Bible translations based on the keywords, phrases, topics, or Scripture references you have in mind.”
Want to develop a daily Bible-reading habit? Multiple through-the-Bible reading plans are available, and can be emailed to you, or sent to your phone. There are at least fourteen reading plans to choose from, and they appear to all be customizable to any of the translations that Bible Gateway includes on its website. Additionally, you can access one of dozens of devotionals (including some using works from writers such as Bonhoeffer, C.S. Lewis or Spurgeon), and two different commentaries…all from the same website.
If you simply want to compare multiple translations–there are 46 English-language translations alone!!–, look up a passage, or do a key word search, these are some of the website’s primary functions. And along with its other capabilities, it can be downloaded as an app for your iPhone, Kindle or tablet.
“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12 ESV)
And now you have no excuse for not drinking deeply from this fountain of Life. Technology has its dark side, but there are so many positive ways that it can impact our lives and help us to be more efficient and effective in our Bible study and our prayer life.
” But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.” (2Peter 3:18 NIV)
I hope that you have found this series informative, and that you will use one or more of the resources I’ve detailed in the past seven weeks to further your personal walk of faith. May God richly bless you as you seek to follow Him more nearly day by day.
“The Bible” by Tecarta is a great app that I have on my iPad. At this point, I think they have about 8 translations available, with the first one being free and then about $5 each for the others. Right now, I have the KJV, NIV, and AMP downloaded. It’s cool because when reading any particular passage, you can bounce back and forth between the translations you’ve downloaded. Still, BibleGateway.com is a FAVORITE resource, and their topical Bible Series, the story of Jesus, and 40 days with Bonhoeffer are EXCELLENT.
Regardless of which translation anyone is comfortable with, enter each reading with a prayer for the guidance and understanding as led by The Spirit of God… As we begin each study session, our prayer ought to be “Holy Spirit, anoint my ears to hear, my heart to receive, and my mind to be open to the knowledge of The Truth that makes me FREE”.
May The Lord blessings be upon us as we enter this holiest of times….
Thank you, PGH, for adding a valuable component to my more utilitarian post. Indeed, the things of the Spirit are spiritually discerned, and both prayer and a spirit of anticipation and humility are needed in order to really gain insights from the Bible. Blessings on your family at this season.