Elevating The Idea of Bible Study

Studying a Book That’s More Than a Book

A Next Level View of The Bible – Part 3

Let me tell you about my 1997 Bible. This Bible is precious to me. Do you have a Bible that is precise to you? There aren’t many books that a person can place in the precious-to-me category, but for many, they have a Bible that falls at the top of this list. My 1997 bonded leather Bible with perfectly aligned Bible tabs makes the list. To be totally transparent, this Bible is a giant-print Bible which in most cases would be an old-folks Bible (no offense), especially when you consider when I purchased it. With that little embarrassing thought out of the way, in 1997, I was so very young. This Bible, however, was perfect for adding Bible tabs. Bible tabs are nothing more than dividers for a Bible so that a person can easily turn to various books of the Bible with ease. 

Meticulously placed, these tabs in this New King James version of the Bible, reminds me of how good I was at adding tabs to the Bible. In fact, I placed tabs in the majority of my pastor’s Bible during one period of my life. Today, I still place tabs in Bibles for others. Remembering my Pastor’s teaching Bible, we referred to it as “The Rock.” Not only was it precious to him, but it was also his main Bible which we took great care of. It had a special metal case for transporting and we had it rebound a number of times. This is what happens when a person’s Bible becomes precious. 

Let me remind you of our goal which is to present this content in a way that brings excitement when it comes to the Bible. This content is designed to paint the Bible in the best possible light so that it inspires you to love and to motivate you to read and enjoy your Bible. To do this, we share common experiences, Bible resources, Bible tools, and more, to fulfill the expectation of taking the study of our Bibles to the next level.

I tell you all of this not to impress you or to give you a trip down memory lane, but rather to show you what happens when you take your study of the Bible to the next level. Your Bible, this book, will become something special to you. With that said, let’s talk briefly in this installment about The Bible’s title, the Bible Study experience, and how the Bible changes me.

The Bible’s Title
When we think and imagine a Bible in our minds, it’s the words printed on its cover that we see. Holy Bible. The word “holy” is the most misused and misunderstood word in all of scripture. Here’s why. Unknown to most, the scripture (The Bible) itself infers that the word means “something other than normal.” [1] When you talk about God, you must conclude that He is not normal. When you talk about this book, The Bible, you must conclude that it is not normal. Hence the word, “holy.” One of the primary purposes of The Bible then, is to teach us how not to be normal. Sidenote: this is the theme for which “No Longer Common: When Ordinary is No Longer Enough” was written. If you have God in your heart, being a person of faith, then you cannot be ordinary. There is no one who encounters God in The Bible who remains normal. For that matter, there is no one who encounters God in the present and remains normal. 

The Bible Study Experience 
When I was growing up, we attended a small country-style, family-oriented church, in Alabama. Bible Study which was a weekly service for all to attend was held one-night mid-week. As I reflect, I don’t know who in their right mind would have desired to attend Bible study back in those days in that way. There wasn’t much at all to be desired. There were very few people when compared to a Sunday service. Most of the folks were seasoned in life, if you know what I mean. However, I wanted to be there, unlike many of the teenagers around my age. That’s another story for another day. Obviously, there is nothing at all wrong with attending and participating in a Bible Study. This is not a message to bash Bible studies or how we used to do things and may still do them. This lesson by nature of its title is intended to encourage and provide insight into how we take Bible Study to the next level.

Picture this small crowd gathered together to study The Bible. A few members of the church, the preacher, and at times someone who doesn’t have anything else to do. Here’s a question to get your thoughts going in a new direction. Why in the world would a Bible study be empty when we know The Bible has a lot to offer life? We all for the most part agree The Bible has a lot to offer and if applied to one’s life will bring positive change. If that is the case and it is, what explains an empty room when we open the doors for Bible Study? Can we agree that it must not be The Bible, but something else. It’s this something else that we are after in order to take the study of our Bible study to the next level.

By the way, I can not rest with what I’m seeing regarding this topic. For I know that when I get to heaven, my grandmother, Lula Clark, is going to be there to confront me. Here it is, she gave me my foundation and it was my job to build upon it. It’s my job to take what she gave me to the next level. She left me with a love for Bible study, so she’s expecting me to spread that love to others.  

The Bible That Changes You
Not all Bibles are created equal in this regard. I mentioned by 1997 NKJV Bible above, but I must tell you about my green, Christian Life Bible. You see, I found my 1997 NJKV Bible, but my Christian Life Bible found me. You may or may not have experienced this yet, but the Bible, being that it is unlike any other book, is alive. [2] Therefore, not only can you read it, but it can read you. When you fall in love with the Bible, I’m afraid one just won’t do. It’s like eating Doritos, you can’t just stop with one. The Bible has a power within to draw you into its words. But before we can get to that, there is much that you need to know. So, stay with us for more. 

When I was a teenager and because no one could really explain to me the Bible like I wanted it, this green Bible and the way it was written and arranged made it come alive to me.

Let me take a step back and say this. Even for somebody who loves the Bible, the Bible can be challenging to read through. Therefore, we need help with it. That’s the reason we are writing this book called “Next Level Bible Study.” We are going to do our best to make this easy, enjoyable, and hopefully fun for you.

Here’s a thought for you to take with you. Clear your mind of any of the thoughts and concepts you have of the Bible. Let’s start over. Take a look at the title and examine it and what it means. More importantly, imagine how this title can impact your life. Forget about your last Bible study experience and find one that brings energy and excitement for you. If you can’t find one, then I’m looking for you to create one. Yes, you, who else is better?  You don’t have to accept things the way that they are when you have the ability to change them. Next, begin to search for that one Bible that reads you. 

I almost cried when the doors of LifeWay Christian Book Store closed. To me it felt like a big blow to the church, as a whole, but I was quickly reminded that Barnes and Nobles has a pretty nice section dedicated to Christian books and Bibles. Visit one so that you can put your hands on a few Bibles with the hope of finding at least one that reads you. This is the beginning of your journey of taking Bible Study to the next level.

Question: What was your most recent Bible study experience like and what would you suggest to make it better?

Highlights from the Bible (Exodus)

When a person starts their journal of first reading through the Bible, one usually makes it Exodus. Genesis, then Exodus, which is the second book of a traditional Bible. The word Exodus means “the road out.” This particular book describes how a group of people who were enslaved were rescued. You’ve heard the stories of Moses and seen the movies like the Prince of Egypt. Exodus is the true history behind what you’ve heard and the movies you’ve seen.

In Exodus, you will find…

  • Moses: his birth, his life and story, and his encounter with God
  • God speaks to Moses and Aaron to confront Pharaoh, the king of Egypt 
  • The great miracle at the Red Sea.
  • The origin of the Ten Commandments that we find in courtrooms today.
  • The formation of the Tabernacle and places of worship.
  • And much more…

Uncommon Truth to Pique Your Interest (Moses – Live in the Faith Zone, Not in the Safe Zone)

The story of Moses is one that exemplifies this phrase “live in the faith zone, not the safe zone.”

Your life story is written in risks – the ones taken, and the ones avoided. It is a decision that brings daily encounters with the living God! Moses left the safe zone and attempted something big for his people. Sad is the day when you become absolutely satisfied with the life you are living, the thoughts you are thinking, and the deeds you are doing.

Moses didn’t feel qualified and tried to talk God out of selecting him. [3] Sometimes God will not take ‘no’ for an answer. We must learn to leave the safe zone. Try something new. Have a new experience.

Like Moses, we do not naturally leave the safe zone. Growth begins when we leave the safe zone. You must be open to be broken and remade by God. You can’t stay the same and learn at the same time.

The safe zone robs us of our greatest moments and memories. Many people are so afraid of risk that they spend their entire lives in bondage to others, the place of “not enough.” What comfort zone are you resting in and is holding you back from an opportunity to grow?

Pray This: Lord, draw me out of the safe zone so that I may live every day in the faith zone. Make me wholly dependent on You, so that I can do things greater than I can do alone. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

Resources | Summary of Exodus

If you would like to hear a summary of the book of Exodus, please see the videos we discovered at The Bible Project. 

[1] Leviticus 10:10 NIV‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬, Bible.com, accessed February 21, 2023, https://www.bible.com/bible/111/LEV.10.10.NI
[2] Hebrews 4:12 NLT‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬, Bible.com, accessed February 21, 2023, https://www.bible.com/bible/116/HEB.4.12.NLT
[3] Exodus 3:11-13 MSG‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬, Bible.com, accessed February 21, 2023, https://www.bible.com/bible/97/EXO.3.11-13.MSG
[4] Exodus 4:1,10 MSG‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬, Bible.com, accessed February 21, 2023, https://www.bible.com/bible/97/EXO.4.1,10.MSG

All Scripture references used by permission, see our Scripture copyrights.

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