If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, or have ever spoken to me at all you’ll know that I read tons and tons of books. I enjoy devouring information and learning from the insights of many people who are much smarter than myself. But the most important weapon that any Christian can have in their possession is the Bible.
Charles Spurgeon said “Visit many good books, but live in the Bible”
The Bible is the book that transforms lives, it is the Word of the Living God and it is an unbelievable privilege to have it in our own language to read and praise God. I would like to draw your attention to a few Bibles and one notebook (for now…); Bibles because everyone needs a good Bible, and notebooks because they can assist your learning and are a joy to look over at a future date.
Engage NIV Youth Bible
This is a great youth Bible, I seriously wish I had this when I was growing up. I promise that I am not saying that just because I was given a copy to review!
So why do I like it so much?
– It’s a journaling Bible. It has wide unlined margins so that you can draw and doodle any insights. It even gives you tips of how to pray Scripture, pointers on what to journal about and it points out key verses in certain places.
– It’s articles. There are a number of articles through the Bible which are split into four categories; essential = doctrine and theology, tricky = apologetics, stuff = real life questions teens have, and really lives = testimonies of other teenagers. The thing I love about these articles is that they aren’t in and around the text which means that the teenagers aren’t tempted to read the articles about the Bible, but rather they are encouraged to get right into the text!
There is so much more too; timelines, insights, reading plan and introductory notes on every book of the Bible. If you know a teenager, buy this Bible, they will love you for it!
One of my bugbears is that Bibles can be so expensive, I find it very frustrating! The Word of God should be available to everyone and surely we should make it as cheap as possible so that more people can get stuck into devouring God’s Word. This Bible is going for £2.99 (when this post was written), it’s an absolute steal!
Why not buy a few copies to have in the house, or at work, or in the car to give away to people? There is no greater gift than God’s Word
NIrV Accessible edition New Testament
This is a simpler translation with smaller sentences and more accessible English developed specifically for those with learning disabilities, moderate sight loss, lower levels of literacy and English as a second language. It has a Bible reading plan in it and a few pointers on specific parts of the Bible to go to if you’re struggling. This would be helpful tool for anyone in your church or family and friends network who struggles with their eyesight, has learning disabilities or for whom English is their second language. You can also get a copy of this same edition but just Mark’s Gospel.
This wee booklet, which only costs £1 (when this post was written), is the Gospel of Luke and the book of Acts in story form. By that I mean, the chapters headings, the chapter and verse numbers have been removed so that it reads more like a story. This is a great tool because it shows the journal of the life of Jesus and of his first followers. This would be a helpful book to give to a young person, to people who are maybe used to reading novels and to people from cultural backgrounds where stories play a huge part. It also has a few helpful pointers in the beginning for those who have maybe never picked up the Bible before.
There is one notebook I’d like to recommend to you today, keep an eye out for a few more later this week linked in with a post on listening to and taking notes during sermons.
The Growth Group Notebook
This is not just a normal notebook, or a lined pad, it is must better than that! Each page has sections for you to take specific notes in, for example ‘what I learned from this study’ and ‘questions I still have’ and ‘who would benefit from me sharing with them what I’ve learned today?’. There are also six-week review pages which get you to reflect over previous studies and to think about the coming studies.
I lead the Small Group ministry in the church that I serve at, I currently write booklets with note taking sections. But this book is much nicer and slicker than my wee booklets. This book could be really beneficial because it means that you could keep all of your notes in the one place and it also has a sermon notes section too so that you can use it on Sunday as well as at Bible study (but more about sermon notes later in the week!). This would be a great tool for you to use in your Small Groups, I think it would be a huge encouragement for you to also be able to look back over notes and see how God has been at work in your life. I highly recommend that people consider getting this resource.
I began with a Spurgeon quote so let’s end with another one which points us to the place that the Bible should have in the life of the Christian…
“All human books grow stale after a time–but with the Word of God the desire to study it increases, while the more you know of it the less you think you know. The Book grows upon you: as you dive into its depths you have a fuller perception of the infinity which remains to be explored. You are still sighing to enjoy more of that which it is your bliss to taste.”