BrettBoe

equipping God's people for free and living Christianity

Category: Bible

Seeing the Forest and the Trees

Do you ever feel like you’re missing something? Like you’re not seeing the big picture? At times we may feel as if we are focusing so much on a small thing that we lose sight of how that small thing fits in with the larger whole. Some have described this as “missing the forest for the trees.”

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In a previous blog post I described a way of reading and studying the Bible that seems unconventional yet highly beneficial. After trying that out on a few books of the Bible, I found myself in a place of feeling like I was missing something. When you spend a lot of time reading and studying one part of the Bible, it becomes easy to lose sight of the big picture story of all the Bible.

In light of that, I have tried a new approach to reading and studying the Bible. For two weeks, I choose one book of the Bible to read and re-read. Using the approach in the post linked above, I recorded my thoughts and gleanings from my reading and study. I have gotten through Amos, James, and 1 Peter. In the alternating two weeks, I started at the beginning of the Bible, right at Genesis, and read as much as I could in those two weeks. After taking two weeks again to choose another book of the Bible, I return where I left off to reading the whole Bible. Using this way of doing things, I have had two weeks of closely examining the “trees” and two weeks of seeing the big picture (the forest). For now, I will keep up this plan and see how it goes.

Sometimes, I think I tinker too much with my personal approach to reading and studying the Bible! As pastor, I want to be an example to you and also find that sharing my thoughts helps sharpen me. Hopefully, this post sharpens you. I hope that you take time to prayerfully consider how you are going about the approach of Bible study in your own life. You should not say, “I’ve read all that. I have it covered.” Instead, pray that God would give you a hunger for His Word and ask, “God, what are You saying to me in Your word today?”

An App for Serious Bible Readers

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During the last few sermons I’ve preached I have mentioned that I want to give you tools to help you to read and study the Bible well. I’d like to highlight one resource that has been very helpful. If you have a smart phone or tablet, YouVersion is a must-have app. One can also go to their website in any web browser. With YouVersion, you are able to read the Bible digitally without having to carry around your physical Bible. In addition to that, you can listen to the selected chapter. When you sign up for a free account in YouVersion, you can also sign up for Bible reading plans that will guide you in a day-by-day plan to read the Bible. Personally, I have tried a few of these options and have enjoyed them. For a season I read/listened to three-to-four chapters a day so that I could finish the entire Bible over the course of a year. Another year I chose a plan that would take me through the Old Testament over the course of a year. Choose one and try it for awhile. Try another one. If you would like suggestions, please ask me or a trusted friend who can help. Head on over to their website and check it out. If you are already using this wonderful app, how has it blessed your life?

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