Bible Engagement Blog: JumpIntoTheWord

Read, Reflect, Respond


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Ten Things You Can Do To Improve Your Engagement With The Bible

To know God and be godly, we must know God’s Word intimately.

Here are ten things you can do to improve your engagement with the Bible:

Use reading plans. “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” Benjamin Franklin. Check out Bible Gateway for a great selection of reading plans. If you want to read through the New Testament in a year, try the free 5/52 Reading Plan from SGM Canada.

Use reading guides. Informed commentary that helps you explore the wonders of the Word and apply it to life are invaluable. If you want to grow in godliness and intimacy with God, try the Scripture Union printed or online Bible reading guides for all ages.

Join a Bible study group. We need the help of others to better see and hear from God’s Word. Bible study with a group of like-minded believers will strengthen and enhance your Bible engagement.

Listen to expository Bible preaching. There are pastors, teachers and authors who you can learn from. Sites like Sermon Index provide a great selection of audio sermons by gifted speakers.

Take notes/journal. Writing down what you’re learning about God and yourself helps formulate your thinking, clarify the fuzzy, and aid your memory.

Slow it down. The Scriptures are best digested if we “eat them” slowly. Take your time. Masticate on each word. Listen for what God is saying. Enjoy the moment. Open your heart. Pause to pray.

Help others. A deeper level of Bible engagement comes when we help others engage with the Bible. Teach the Scriptures to your children, family, or friends and you’ll find that it “forces” you to go deeper in your own study of the Scriptures.

Be patient. Rome wasn’t built in a day and a transformed life doesn’t happen overnight. Changes in your attitude, outlook and behaviour happens indiscernibly over years of reading and re-reading the Bible.

Be realistic. Don’t expect to master the Bible in a month, a year, or a decade. There are depths to the Scriptures you will never plum, mysteries you will never understand, and contents that will leave you puzzled (cf. 2 Peter 3:16).

Be heavenly focused. Read the Bible until you can no longer read it, then when you close your eyes for the last time, know that you’ll open them to see the Word of God in the flesh!

Have your say. Add your suggestions by making a comment.

© Scripture Union Canada 2015

2 Corinthians 4:5


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State of the Bible in the USA

Weekly Bible reading is more likely among women, African-Americans, Southerners, and people from lower income households, than among men, Millenials, or people from the North East. This according to the State of the Bible 2015 report from the American Bible Society.

Some highlights from the report:

  • Four out of five Americans consider the Bible sacred or holy
  • 52% of adults describe the Bible as “inspired”
  • Most Americans believe everyone in the world should be free to own and read a Bible
  • Nine out of ten American homes have a Bible
  • 52% of adults read the Bible three to four times a year
  • Bible readers, on average, spend thirty minutes reading the Bible at each sitting
  • The most popular version of the Bible is the King James Version
  • 60% of Bible readers read the Bible to come closer to God
  • Bible reading increases when people realise how important it is for their faith journey
  • Busyness is the primary reason why people don’t read the Bible
  • Most Bible readers say their reading evokes feelings of peace, hope and being encouraged
  • Weekly Bible readers give a lot of thought to how the Bible applies to their lives
  • Printed Bibles are the preferred format for Bible reading
  • 50% of Bible readers use digital formats to read Bible content
  • Four out of ten adults believe the main message of the Bible is “God is love”
  • Americans believe the Bible strongly encourages forgiveness, generosity and serving the poor
  • Americans believe the Bible strongly discourages prostitution, homosexuality and pornography
  • One in three Americans believe morality is declining because Bible reading is declining
  • Donations to non-profit organizations increases with increased Bible reading

 

Download the full report: State of the Bible 2015

© Scripture Union Canada 2015

2 Corinthians 4:5


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Connect the Next Generation With Christ

The crying need of the day is to connect the next generation with Christ.

There are young people in Canada who have never heard the Gospel, never read a portion of Scripture, and never known the love of God.

According to a study by the sociologist, James Penner, “Fifteen per cent of young Canadians classify themselves as atheists”. Statistics Canada (2005) found that 33% of Canadians aged 15 to 24 have never been to church, compared with 25% in 1985. A recent assessment on the state of the Anglican Church in Canada indicated that it “may be only a generation away from extinction.” And the Hemorrhaging Faith Report states, “Only one in three Canadian young adults who attended church weekly as a child still do so today.”

Can these trends be reversed? I believe they can! The Lord does not want “anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” 2 Peter 3:9 (NIV).

When we think about connecting a disconnected generation with Christ, some may assume that it’s just not possible. Humanly speaking we know it’s an enormous challenge. But God isn’t limited! And, by extension, neither is His church.

So how do we connect the next generation with Christ? From a Bible engagement perspective it begins with mastering the message. All evangelism should be rooted, informed and driven by the Word of God. The message is all important. Methods are secondary.

To master the message the messengers should know how to explain the Story. This requires regular Bible reading and reflection. The aim of every Christian should be to know God’s Word from top to bottom and from beginning to end.

But mastering the message is not enough. The message should master the messenger. “Let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth” 1 John 3:18 (NIV). We must be living epistles! Our passion for the Word should be demonstrated by our compassion for the world. Children need to see how we live and give. To connect the next generation with Christ, our walk must line-up with our talk.

© Scripture Union Canada 2015

2 Corinthians 4:5