Updated: Aug 26, 2018
Whether new to this journey or not, we all want to grow even closer to God and His heart. So if you’re looking for 5 quick tools to help you along the way, we’ve got a perfect mix below! Let’s dive right in!
1. A good, reliable bible in a translation you understand
As basic as this may sound, it’s so, so important – but many of us miss it. If we’re going to be spending a lot of time reading and studying the bible, then we want to make sure we’re not wasting our time. Translations like the King James Version (KJV) can sound really beautiful and poetic, but if you don’t understand old English, the KJV could stop you from connecting with God in a meaningful way.
For regular reading and study: The English Standard Version (ESV), the Amplified Version (AMP), the New King James Version (NKJV).
To add extra flavour to your base-reading: The New Living Translation (NLT).
2. A thorough Concordance
The scriptures weren’t originally written in English. It’s easy to overlook this as a modern-day believer, but it’s extremely important that we know this. Why? Because it enhances the way that we read, study and understand God’s Word. For example, when we see the word “repent”, we understand it to mean whatever we’ve assumed or been taught. It’s only through a deeper search that we discover that the word doesn’t simply mean “say sorry” or “stop doing X”, it essentially means “change the way you think”. This is where a good Concordance comes really handy. It helps you find where the word was used in the scriptures, and should also lead you to a definition of the original root word. There are countless times this has enriched my time in the scriptures, so would definitely say this is a must!
We recommend: The New Strong’s Expanded Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible – Red Letter Edition. Alternatively, you can use online resources like www.biblehub.com.
3. A journal
Something we probably take for granted in this modern, digital age is the art of pen to paper. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got close to 1,000 notes saved on my iPhone, so I know digital can be super convenient and helpful. But I’ve often found that there’s something powerful about using the old-fashioned pen and paper. Some say writing by hand helps you commit things to memory better (this has been true for me). So a good journal can be really useful for recording the pages of your life. The things you’re learning from scripture, the ideas that are being stirred up and even your plans and goals. Having journaled from the first year I became a Christian, it’s so refreshing to sometimes look back on where I was at back then. It also helps to give you an indicator of your growth!
We recommend: Moleskine journal’s (lined)
4. A few bible apps
You won’t always have your physical bible everywhere you go, but that doesn’t need to stop you from connecting with God’s word! We’ve always got our mobile phone by our side, so why not load it with the scriptures? When it comes to reading the bible, there are different types of reading sessions. There’s in depth study – when you’re sat at a table with the physical bible, your concordance and your journal. But there’s also light and on-the-go reading – like those few minutes on the train, in the taxi or just before you log on to social media. Both of these types of reading are useful and necessary too, so a bible app or two could really go a long way!
We recommend: YouVersion – Holy Bible, Olive Tree Bible App, Bible.is.
This last point might seem a little abstract, but here’s what I mean. All four tools above are great and amazing, but without the intentional commitment to make time for connecting with God, they won’t be any help at all. Life is full of different things competing for our attention. So we have to intentionally structure our lives to help us win with God. Here’s a few pointers to get you started.
Block out regular time to sit and connect with God’s word regularly. Always pray and ask for Him to meet with you. The number of chapters and verses covered each time isn’t the most important thing. The priority is to intentionally meet with God and His word regularly. I started off with a commitment to read at least one verse a day, and that helped me build momentum and a greater desire.
For those of us in the social media world. Rather than just scrolling through endless posts about what our high school friend just ate for dinner, why not follow and like a bunch of Christian pages to get godly content into your social feeds? That's a quick and easy win to give you nuggets of truth to help you grow! If you haven’t already, start by liking our Facebook page and following us on Instagram! @reasontobehold.