50 Bible Verses About Loving Yourself

Inching its way into our subconsciousness, our media-driven culture subtly and inevitably draws us into the comparison trap. Such comparisons can generate negative thoughts and low self-esteem.

The Comparison Trap

We tend to compare gardens, homes, health, families, good works, careers, outward appearance, education, churches, and even denominations. Perhaps we are tempted to go so far as to determine our “lovable” quotient based on these external things. So what does the Bible say?

We can even fall into the comparison game with people in the pages of Scripture. Perhaps we see the faith of Esther, Hannah, Rahab, or Ruth and compare our faith level to theirs. We see the bravery of Daniel, Joseph, or David and compare our strength to theirs.

And at whatever level we indulge in comparison tends to directly impact how we feel about ourselves if we do not let Scripture remind us of our worth in Christ as a child of God. It is important to cultivate those dear friends who remind us that God’s greater love is the true love that we cannot live without.

Loving Yourself

The spiritual collateral damage of the comparison trap is believing that anything external determines your inward value in Christ. It comes down to loving yourself based on the fact that you are made in the image of God through the sheer grace of God.

“Loving yourself” or “self-love” may sound like a feel-good, psychological sound bite, but there is much truth to it as Christ-followers. Believing by faith how much Jesus loves us enables us to embrace loving ourselves as He does.

Culture’s idea of self-love and being lovers of pleasure can lead to a multitude of sins. Such self-centered love focuses on our own happiness.

There is a huge difference between being lovers of God and lovers of self. Loving God means loving yourself through His eyes. Being lovers of self means loving yourself through external measures and leaving God out of the equation altogether.

So if you struggle to love yourself in the way God loves you or feel worthy of love, allow these fifty best Bible verses about His love for us and loving others to sink deep into your soul.

Old Testament Verses

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth” (Psalm 139:13-15).

Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you (Isaiah 54:10).

How priceless is your unfailing love, O God! People take refuge in the shadow of your wings” (Psalm 36:7).

You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you” (Song of Solomon 4:7).

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22-23).

Whoever gets sense loves his own soul; he who keeps understanding will discover good” (Proverbs 19:8).

Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments” (Deuteronomy 7:9).

Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you” (Psalm 63:3).

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).

But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness” (Psalm 86:15).

You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord” (Leviticus 19:18).

Help me, Lord my God; save me according to your unfailing love” (Psalm 109:26).

The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing” (Zephaniah 3:17).

Give thanks to the God of heaven. His love endures forever” (Psalm 136:26).

The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness” (Jeremiah 31:3).

New Testament Verses

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

The Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God” (John 16:27).

Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love” (1 John 4:8).

For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church” (Ephesians 5:29).

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity” (Colossians 3:14).

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13).

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved” (Ephesians 2:4-5).

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10).

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).

We love because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19).

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8).

May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance” (2 Thessalonians 3:5).

So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:17-19).

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God” (1 John 4:7).

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are” (1 John 3:1).

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:37-38).

Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12).

Owe no one anything, except to love each other” (Romans 13:8).

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them” (1 John 4:16).

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13).

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love” (John 15:9).

And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us” (Romans 5:5).

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:6-7).

This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (1 John 4:9-10).

But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you” (Luke 6:27).

A new commandment I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:34-35).

Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life” (Jude 1:21).

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love” (1 John 4:18).

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The Shortest Chapter in the Bible Packs a Punch

The Bible is God’s breath exhaled on the page. Scripture is filled with wisdom and guidance for a Christ-follower’s faith walk, along with how we are to love, live, forgive, and interact with each other.

We can spend our whole lives studying the Bible’s contents, memorizing Bible verses, and participating in Bible study, never knowing it all. The Hebrew Bible does not contain verse divisions like our English translations, but those are certainly helpful for navigating through the books of the Bible.

So, let’s talk scope and facts first.

Facts About the Bible

Here is a quick content overview to demonstrate its complexity. The Bible contains:

  • 66 books total
  • 39 Old Testament books
  • 27 New Testament books
  • 783,137 words
  • 3,116,480 letters

Verses and Chapters:

  • The Bible has 1,189 chapters, which contain 31,102 verses
  • There are 929 chapters and 23,145 verses in the Old Testament
  • There are 260 chapters and 7,957 verses in the New Testament

Shortest and Longest:

  • The book of Psalms is the longest book with 150 chapters
  • Psalm 119 is the longest chapter with 176 verses (and longest psalm)
  • Esther 8:9 is the longest verse with 78 words
  • By word count, 3 John is the shortest book
  • By word count, Psalm 117 is the shortest chapter (and shortest psalm)
  • John 11:35 is the shortest verse with only 2 words: “Jesus wept.

The Timeline and Locations of the Bible

Inspired by God, the Bible was written by forty different authors from many different walks of life, covering forty generations experiencing different times. Spanning 1,500 years (from 1400 BC to AD 100), it covers three continents (Asia, Africa, and Europe), and is recorded in three different languages (Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic).

The Old Testament

The 39 books of the Old Testament contain:

The New Testament

The 27 books of the New Testament contain:

There is a reason that the Bible is the most printed, most read, best-selling book in history!

What is the Shortest Chapter in the Bible?

Psalm 117 is the shortest chapter in the Bible. And even though it is the shortest chapter, it conveys the core message of Scripture: God’s never-ending love for us. The first half of verse 2 encapsulates this beautifully: “For great is His love toward us” (Psalm 117:2a, NIV).

God’s love for us and His creation spans the entirety of both the Old and New Testaments, yet simple enough to rest in the shortest chapter. He loves us. Period.

There are no conditions attached to His love toward us. There is no action that we can perform to earn it. God’s love is His free, extraordinary gift to us. The greatest gift, in fact, that we have ever or will ever receive – bar none.

Interesting Facts About Psalm 117

The two verses of Psalm 117 contain 17 Hebrew words. It is the shortest chapter in the Bible in both the number of verses and the number of words. Psalm 117 is also the precise center of the Bible. As the 595th chapter, there are 594 chapters preceding it and 594 chapters following it.

God’s Enduring Faithfulness

And if God’s never-ending love was not enough, the second half of verse 2 affirms: “and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever” (Psalm 117:2b, NIV).

God’s boundless love and tender care for us never cease. You and I can spend a lifetime looking for meaningful, lasting human love. Yet the shortest chapter provides the quickest assurance that we are loved beyond measure by the One who knit us together in our mother’s wombs.

Psalm 117 is Also About Praise

Psalm 117 begins with “Praise the Lord” and ends the same way. The shortest chapter in Scripture found the space to remind us twice of the importance of praising God.

Psalm 117 is both a personal and worldwide reminder to praise God. Here we are over two thousand years after Jesus’ glorious resurrection still worshipping Him regardless of color, creed, or credit. Because of His great love for us, we are able to love and serve one another (1 John 4:19).

Whether we read a short chapter in the Bible or absorb the longest one, every verse and chapter conveys God’s unwavering truth along with lessons we can learn and apply to our lives.

Even though Psalm 117 is the shortest chapter in the Bible, it is long on God’s love and faithfulness toward us. Knowing those truths enables us to live courageously to share the hope of Christ in our turbulent times when people are desperate to hear it.

Praise the Lord!

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50 Motivational Bible Verses About Aging Gracefully

An archaeologist is the best husband a woman can have. The older she gets, the more interested he is in her.” Agatha Christie

At the age of 40, Agatha Christie married prominent British archaeologist Max Mallowan in 1930. Afterward, she spent several months each year traveling with her husband to archaeological digs in the Middle East.

Leveraging her first-hand acquired knowledge of archaeology, she became one of the most well-known, best-loved, and best-selling detective novelists of all time. And she was no spring chicken!

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How can we age gracefully in the Lord when the world around us only sees our wrinkles?

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1. Aging Gracefully in the Lord
  2. Old Testament Bible Verses
  3. New Testament Bible Verses

1. Aging Gracefully in the Lord

When it comes to aging gracefully, one of my favorite Bible verses is Psalm 90:12: “So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.”

There’s no age limit on that verse. We count each day significant because through them God increases our spiritual wisdom. And the longer He keeps us here, the more opportunities we have to share that acquired wisdom.

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On countless occasions, I have said to my family, friends, and at conferences: “If you are still breathing, God still has a purpose for your life.”

Perhaps the Best Years are Still to Come

I am in my mid-50s, but I truly believe in the marrow of my bones that my best years are still to come. God controls the steering wheel and I am simply a passenger in the most glorious, thrilling adventure of all time.

The truth is that God faithfully watches over us. No matter how advanced in years we become, He’s still got us. He still has a purpose for our lives for our good and His eternal glory.

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Since before the foundation of the world or before He knit us together in our mother’s womb, God’s plan for our life was already mapped out in its entirety.

We Have a Choice

We have a choice. We can enter our “Golden years” kicking and screaming, or we can enter them with the greatest sense of expectation and wonder.

Our health may decline in our senior years. We will face difficult times. We will likely need glasses, hearing aids, false teeth, or joint replacements. We will likely need a little more time and a little more effort to get from point A to point B.

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Yet the good news is that aging is a truly beautiful gift from God. When we abide in Him, wisdom abounds.

Giving Thanks for “Spiritual Giants”

I am so thankful for the older “spiritual giants” in our lives. Only those dear friends can offer godly guidance to the deep spiritual questions we ask. And all because God has given them the gifts of faith, time, and wisdom.

And now, we have the privilege of being those older, spiritually wise people for the next generation.

We cannot turn back the clock on the aging process to wrinkle-free days. But we can embrace this season of life as wisdom-rich days.

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When Agatha Christie reached seventy-five years old, she said: “What can I say at seventy-five? Thank God for my good life, and for all the love that has been given to me.” Agatha Christie, An Autobiography

God’s Word provides infinite encouragement, inspiration, and wisdom on how to age gracefully. I pray that these Bible verses encourage, challenge, and inspire you. May God bless you in your Golden years!

2. Old Testament Bible Verses

*Note: All Bible verses are in the English Standard Version.

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  • “He shall be to you a restorer of life and a nourisher of your old age” (Ruth 4:15).
  • “Wisdom is with the aged, and understanding in length of days” (Job 12:12).
  • “Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained in a righteous life” (Proverbs 16:31).
  • “I said, ‘Let days speak, and many years teach wisdom.’ But it is the spirit in man, the breath of the Almighty, that makes him understand” (Job 32:7-8).
  • “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” (Psalm 73:26).
  • “The glory of young men is their strength, but the splendor of old men is their gray hair” (Proverbs 20:29).
  • “The righteous flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedars of Lebanon. They are planted in the house of the Lord; they flourish in the courts of our God. They still bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green, to declare that the Lord is upright; He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him” (Psalm 92:12-15).
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  • “So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12).
  • “Do not cast me off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength is spent. But I will hope continually and will praise You yet more and more” (Psalm 71:9, 14).
  • “With long life I will satisfy him and show him My salvation” (Psalm 91:16).
  • “He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might He increases strength” (Isaiah 40:29).
  • “[The Lord] redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s” (Psalm 103:4-5).
  • “You shall not mistreat any widow or fatherless child” (Exodus 22:22).
  • “You shall walk in all the way that the Lord you God has commanded you, that you may live, and that it may go well with you, and that you may live long in the land that you shall possess” (Deuteronomy 5:33).
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  • “That this is God, our God forever and ever. He will guide us forever” (Psalm 48:14).
  • “Remember the days of old; consider the years of many generations; ask your father, and he will show you, your elders, and they will tell you” (Deuteronomy 32:7).
  • “Cast your burden on the Lord, and He will sustain you; He will never permit the righteous to be moved” (Psalm 55:22).
  • “Moses was 120 years old when he died. His eye was undimmed, and his vigor unabated” (Deuteronomy 34:7).
  • “These are the days of the years of Abraham’s life, 175 years. Abraham breathed his last and died in a good old age, an old man and full of years, and was gathered to his people” (Genesis 25:7-8).
  • “He will tend His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs in His arms; He will carry them in His bosom” (Isaiah 40:11).
  • “Young men and maidens together, old men and children! Let them praise the name of the Lord, for His name alone is exalted; His majesty is above earth and heaven” (Psalm 148:12-13).
  • “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling” (Psalm 46:1-3).
  • “Listen to your father who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old” (Proverbs 23:22).
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  • “But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31).
  • “Even to your old age I am He, and to gray hairs I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save” (Isaiah 46:4).
  • “Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may go well with you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you” (Deuteronomy 5:16).
  • “You shall stand up before the gray head and honor the face of an old man, and you shall fear your God: I am the Lord” (Leviticus 19:32).
  • “Grandchildren are the crown of the aged, and the glory of children is their fathers” (Proverbs 17:6).
  • “So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim Your might to another generation, Your power to all those to come. Your righteousness, O God, reaches the high heavens. You who have done great things, O God, who is like You?” (Psalm 71:18-19).
  • “As for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried in a good old age” (Genesis 15:15).
  • “Now Abraham was old, well advanced in years. And the Lord had blessed Abraham in all things” (Genesis 24:1).

3. New Testament Bible Verses

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  • “For nothing will be impossible with God” (Luke 1:37).
  • “Honor widows who are truly widows. But if a widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show godliness to their own household and to make some return to their parents, for this is appealing in the sight of God” (1 Timothy 5:3-4).
  • “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
  • “Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, in all purity” (1 Timothy 5:1-2).
  • “I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
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  • “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. ‘Honor your father and mother’ (this is the first commandment with a promise), ‘that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land’” (Ephesians 6:1-3).
  • “Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching” (1 Timothy 5:17).
  • “So that you are not lacking in any gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord” (1 Corinthians 1:7-9).
  • “Therefore I intend always to remind you of these qualities, though you know them and are established in the truth that you have. I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to stir you up by way of reminder, since I know that the putting off of my body will be soon, as our Lord Jesus Christ made clear to me. And I will make every effort so that after my departure you may be able at any time to recall these things” (2 Peter 1:12-15).
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  • “For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison” (2 Corinthians 4:17).
  • “Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that’” (James 4:14-15).
  • “But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” (1 Timothy 5:8).
  • “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved His appearing” (2 Timothy 4:7-8).
  • “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6).
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  • “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.” (2 Corinthians 4:16).
  • “Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” (1 Peter 5:5).
  • “Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves with too much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled” (Titus 2:2-5).
  • “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” (John 14:27).
  • “Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God” (Hebrews 13:16).

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13 Best Bible Study Methods

Whether you are a new or seasoned Christian, knowing how to study the Bible and where to start are daunting tasks. Been there. Done that.

Technology allows us to have the Bible at our fingertips 24/7. Smartphones, tablets, and laptops enable us to access God’s Word just about anywhere in the world.

We can attend church online, listen to sermons and podcasts as we drive, or experience worship through music videos without leaving our homes.

The entire Bible is more accessible than at any other point in history, yet “How to Study the Bible” is searched online over 8,500 times each month.

Access to the Word of God is not the issue. Yet our knowledge of its contents is decreasing.

Where Do I Start?

I will say it again: knowing how to study the Bible and where to start are daunting tasks. Our spiritual growth stagnates the longer we wait. Many Christians lack practical tools to study the Bible effectively.

It takes time to incorporate a new habit, discover the best way to study, and the best study bibles to utilize on this new journey.

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Why Is Knowing Scripture Important?

Studying Scripture changes our lives from the inside out. We learn how to love like God. Forgive like Jesus. And treat enemies with kindness. Counter-cultural to say the least.

Most importantly, the Bible reveals God’s beautiful truth that He sent His only Son to rescue us from sin, death, and the grave!

I first started studying Scripture after becoming a Christian at age 23. I did not know anything about the Bible. There’s an Old Testament and a New Testament? You get the gist.

I felt that my basic questions were off-putting to mature Christians. I lacked a good starting point, a good study bible, or a good direction on which steps to take first.

Over the past thirty years, God has cultivated in my daily life solid tools to study, memorize, and apply Scripture every day. I am passionate about biblical literacy.

Bible study methods

Participating in church or small group Bible studies along with Sunday sermons is important. However, taking a personal lead in developing effective self-study methods stokes that flame of faith.

Some of these methods may work better for you than others. Invest some time trying each one to discover which works best for your personality and schedule.

First Things First: Start with Prayer

Scripture is God’s breath exhaled onto the page. Focusing your mind and thoughts on Him comes first and foremost. Always begin your study time with prayer.

Perhaps, one similar to this one:

Dear Lord, as I open my Bible today, open my heart to hear your words of truth. I pray that your Word comes alive in me. Remove all distractions right now. Open my mind to gain understanding as your words heal, teach, inspire, convict, and restore my heart. Enable your words to take root, grow and blossom in my life. Bring your light of understanding and peace that passes all understanding. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Method #1: Study One Book of the Bible

I suggest starting with a small book from the New Testament. The books of James, 1 Peter, and 1 John are all good choices for first-time studies.

Depending on your schedule, plan to spend 3-4 weeks studying the book you have chosen. Take time to read through the entire book more than once.

Look for themes that may be woven throughout the chapters. For example, the book of James contains an obvious theme of persevering through hard circumstances. Write down the verses around each theme.

Also, make a note of life application principles within the book. In James, a clear life application is that words need to result in action. Saying that we forgive is vastly different from moving toward forgiveness.

As you meditate on the themes and life application principles, allow God’s Word to speak to you personally. Where can those themes or applications apply to your life right now?

Method #2: Read Straight Through the Bible

Reading the Bible straight through (without taking notes) allows us to “hear” it like Israel’s nomadic tribes. Individuals did not have parchment, so the Bible stories were shared verbally.

Note that you do NOT have to start at the beginning of the Bible. The Bible contains 66 separate books compiled into one. You can start anywhere you like, just use a checklist to ensure you read through all 66.

Bible study methods

Also, choose a Bible version that is easy to read. Let’s face it, if you don’t understand it, you won’t get far.

There are dozens of translations and different versions of God’s Word, but the King James version is probably the most difficult. For clear reading, I suggest the English Standard Version (ESV), New Living Translation (NLT), or The Message versions.

As you settle down for uninterrupted reading, imagine story time around an evening campfire. Or story time in the afternoon with milk and cookies. (That’s a flashback to elementary school.)

This method allows us to see and hear the overarching story of God’s love and goodness to His children from Genesis to Revelation. His passionate, relentless pursuit of us toward salvation comes across with beautiful clarity.

I have many different Bible reading plans and checklists as free downloads here.

Method #3: Write Out Parts of the Bible

Our culture moves at lightning speed. Since we are technologically driven (for the most part), we desire things to move fast – such as food, lines, and traffic.

Absorbing Scripture into the marrow of our bones takes time. Breathing space. Quiet surroundings. That’s where grabbing a pen, your Bible and a journal plays a vital role.

The rhythm of physically writing slows us down to absorb the words. Words have a chance to stick with us past the moment – especially if you want to memorize particular verses.

As an author, I love the steady cadence of writing out God’s Word. That cadence resounds in my soul to retain those life-giving words. I recently started once again with the book of Matthew.

Make writing fun! I use my favorite Tul pens and a variety of colorful journals that are readily available and inexpensive.

Method #4: Character Study

One of the most frequently asked questions is, “Who’s who in the Bible?” The follow-up question is usually, “Why do they matter?”

I love reading current biographies of historical great men and women because they lend insight into the person. Doing character studies throughout Scripture accomplishes much the same with an added bonus: we glimpse the character of Christ.

For instance, Scripture contains only two books named after women: Ruth and Esther. My quest to understand Esther using this method turned into a full-blown, published Bible study. Talk about an amazing woman of faith that God used mightily! We can learn invaluable life lessons from Esther.

https://cph.idevaffiliate.com/idevaffiliate.php?id=110&url=334

Studying characters matters because their examples teach us how to actually live a life of faith:

  • Moses steadfastly led the Israelites through the desert for forty years.
  • Joseph never complained about being thrown into prison after refusing Potiphar’s wife.
  • Mary did not doubt when God told her that she would be the virgin mother of our Savior.

Character studies allow us to see how God moved in their life. How He provided for their needs, disciplined them toward success, and loved them beyond measure. He still does that today with you and me.

Pick one person and get started! You will be amazed at how relevant their experiences still are today.

Method #5: Topical Bible Study

This method is similar to the Character Study method listed above. However, instead of a person, pick a topic. Temptation, peace, addiction, and forgiveness are a few that could be tackled.

I remember as a new Christian being confused by what it meant to be “quenched” or “hydrated” by the Lord. What does “living water” mean? Years later, I used this topical Bible study method and turned that personal quest into another full-blown Bible study.

https://www.artesianministries.org/book/quenched-christs-living-water-for-a-thirsty-soul/

What topic do you long to know more about how God instructs His children? Use the concordance in the back of your Bible to find where that topic appears in Scripture. Then grab a notepad.

Read and/or write down all of those passages. What does God teach about that topic? Are common misconceptions debunked? Most importantly, meditate on how God can apply those truths to your spiritual journey.

Method #6: Memorize Scripture

Hiding God’s Word in our hearts is vital. When the enemy knocks us to the ground, God brings relevant verses to mind to comfort us and bring His peace. Scripture memorization is a crucial line of defense.

One of the first portions of Scripture I memorized was the Armor of God from Ephesians 6:10-18. The evil in this world is evident – just turn on the evening news. As His children, we need to know God has protected us from head to toe.

If you are facing a particular battle right now start with verses that speak to that situation. If you are experiencing joyful circumstances, start with passages that praise God.

Yes, all of Scripture is worthy of memorizing. However, focusing on ones that directly apply to your current situation will be more meaningful. Memorization and real-time application will come easier.

Method #7: Bible Journaling (the SOAP Method)

A vital step in our faith journey is applying Scripture to our lives. A popular, helpful method appeared a few years ago called “S.O.A.P.” It stands for Scripture, Observation, Application, and Prayer.

Bible study methods

I used this method effectively when writing The God of All Comfort based on 2 Corinthians 1:3-7. Paul teaches how God comforts us in our affliction, which enables us to also offer His compassionate comfort to others.

The S.O.A.P. method is simple. Pick a section of Scripture each morning or evening during your devotion time. Using a notepad or SOAP journal:

  • Write down the Scripture passage.
  • Read through it again and record your Observations.
  • Jot down how you can Apply those truths in your life.
  • Close with Prayer asking God to make that verse personal to you.

When you come across your S.O.A.P. journals later in life and read through them, you will be amazed and encouraged by God’s faithfulness along your journey.

Method #8: Single Word Study

Have you ever wondered what the Bible says about fear? Love? Humility? Kindness? Such wondering offers a perfect opportunity to undertake a single-word study.

When I experienced divorce over a decade ago, I did not feel very loved (to say the least). One of my pastors challenged me to read through the Bible and write out every passage that talked about God’s love. WOW!

That undertaking left me without a trace of doubt about how much God loves me, even when people may not. Writing all of those love passages consumed an entire journal. If I am ever feeling unloved, I still pull out that journal. I don’t feel unloved for long.

If you desire to be more kind, I challenge you to search for every instance in Scripture where God talks about kindness. Write them out in a journal. Ask the Lord to enable you to be more kind.

God will blow you away as He works through this discipline.

Method #9: Coloring Scripture (Bible Marginalia)

Bible marginalia appeared on the scene a few years ago and has exploded in popularity. If you are an artistic person, this method is a great tool.

The premise is to meditate on a Bible verse as you highlight, color, and create art around it.

https://www.visualfaithmin.org/bible-journaling

Friends of mine have a hugely popular Visual Faith® Ministry. There are hundreds of free graphics and ideas (where I downloaded the one above) that include examples of how to highlight, color, and visually enhance your Bible reading experience.

The Bible is God’s inspired Word – a TEXT full of grace and love to you. Think of the margins as your invitation to text back your response of love, gratitude, praise, or devotion. Adding a date to your pages creates a story of your spiritual journey – and leaves behind a legacy of faith for your children and grandchildren.

Visual Faith® Ministry

The goal is to utilize your God-given artistic gifts to engage with and meditate on Scripture. Be sure to keep in mind the main purpose: meditate on that passage(s) as you use your artistic talents.

Method #10: Read Scripture Like a Novel

Right from Genesis 1, Scripture opens as an epic, cosmic tale about the heavens and the earth. We see God creating everything out of nothing. We see marital drama between Adam and Eve. Blessings and curses. Covenants. Promises. Murder. Adultery. Betrayal. War. Political subversion. Even cinematic-worthy battles.

If you are a writer or wannabe screenwriter, simply look at the account of David’s battle with Goliath in 1 Samuel 17. You can’t make that stuff up. It flat out reads like an award-winning novel.

https://cph.idevaffiliate.com/idevaffiliate.php?id=110&url=379

There are main characters, metanarrative, and deep plot development that become clearer when reading the Bible like a novel. The settings are both intimate and dramatic. The important difference? Scripture is non-fiction.

The overarching message of the Bible becomes crystal clear: God’s love towards us never fails.

If you love stories, read through the Bible like a novel. Mentally insert yourself into those stories. Visualize your surroundings. See how God challenges and rescues. Scripture comes alive!

Method #11: Pray Through the Psalms

As a new 20-something Christian struggling with how God could love someone like me, a godly mentor pointed me to the Psalms.

The Psalms put into words the hurricane of thoughts whirling in my head that I could not verbalize. She suggested that I use the Psalms as a prayer guideline.

It was a spiritual game-changer.

Every emotion that we experience can be found in the Psalms. Anger. Love. Bitterness. Praise. Confusion. Hurt. Thanksgiving. You name it, and it’s in the Psalms.

This method can be written out in a prayer journal, as well as spoken aloud. Since prayer is spoken aloud, start by reading the psalm aloud. You will hear the emotion of each psalmist.

Why do emotions matter?

God created us with emotion to move our hearts and soul beyond our comfort zones. What emotions are in the psalm? The key to relating to the Psalms is putting yourself in the place of the psalmist. Speak as if you were writing it from your own experience. Joy. Heartbreak. Victory. Loss.

King David penned almost half of the psalms. He poured his heart out to God in his writing. And as he wrote, God’s peace and comfort faithfully surrounded him. And his writing reflected it.

As you pray the Psalms aloud, God’s peace and comfort also surround your everyday life. We are verbally handing over our worries and concerns to the only One who has the power to change them.

The Psalms are also infused with worship. Worship was an integral part of the Israelite’s life. Consequently, the Psalms overflow with adoration and worship of God. If your circumstances leave you without words to worship, speak those worship Psalms aloud.

Praying and worshiping through the Psalms continues to be one of the most powerful spiritual tools that God has given us.

Method #12: Pull Out Your Biblical Maps

Understanding the geography around Biblical stories adds an important layer to studying Scripture. Years ago, a friend gave me an ESV Bible Atlas as a birthday gift and it is never far from reach.

For example, when Jacob sent his favorite son Joseph to check on his shepherding brothers, a map reveals that Joseph’s journey was between 50-60 miles. Not just up the road! Such insights lend a greater understanding of the hardships and blessings of Biblical characters.

When you realize that the Sea of Galilee is only eight miles wide by twelve miles long, we can visualize how the crowds tracked Jesus’ boat as they followed Him along the shore to experience the miraculous feeding of the five thousand (Matthew 14:13-21).

I regularly lead tours through the Holy Land. One comment repeatedly stated is that they had no idea the close proximity of some locations to others. For instance, Magdala, Tiberius, Capernaum, and the Mount of Beatitudes can be seen from an anchored boat on the Sea of Galilee.

Holy Land Tour

If you love maps, this is a very effective method of diving deeper into Scripture. Grab a Bible atlas, pick a story from Scripture, and track the character’s movements. This is particularly eye-opening in Exodus.

I have spent many hours lost in the pages of that Bible atlas seeing Scripture come to life through geography.

Method #13: Use Bible Flash Cards

Flashcards are not just for school students. As a bona fide lifelong learner, flashcards are an invaluable way to study Scripture.

When my Forgiveness Bible study was released, the publisher had the brilliant idea of offering Scripture memory cards as a companion study tool. I still keep those cards close as a reminder to keep a short account of hurts. Life is short. Forgiveness is commanded.

If you are new to the Bible in general, there are flashcards for learning the books of the Bible, significant characters, and even timelines.

This study method is a great resource if you do not have much daily time for in-depth study.

The Bottom Line

The Bible is our only true source of wisdom and knowledge. Regular studying of God’s Word provides a firm foundation to grow and strengthen your faith.

Remember to give yourself some grace as you study Scripture. You are learning the spiritual riches of a personal relationship with the Creator of the universe. It takes a lifetime.

The Bible is a life manual for all Christians. God’s Word is life-giving and life-changing. There is a reason that it is the world’s best-selling book of all time.

Above all, diligent Bible study will remind you time and again of the assurance of salvation through Jesus Christ alone. God bless your study time!

{As an Amazon Associate I may earn from qualifying purchases.}

Code Blue and Ash Wednesday

Once again, the darkened wee hours are startled awake as “Code Blue!” rings loud over the hospital’s ICU intercom. The staff rushes as one to battle the emergency.

I selfishly thank God that they are not rushing into mom’s room.

It’s 3am as I hear them working to save a life. As my prayers ascend each time Code Blue rings out, I know that God is already in each room.

God was in mom’s room before we were, as well. And He will be there after we are gone, whether the inhabitants acknowledge Him or not.

Prayer moves the heart of God, but faith reminds us that God is already moving.

The season of Lent begins this week with Ash Wednesday. Isaiah 53:5 tells us, “He was wounded for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.”

Jesus was crushed for our sin. And the most amazing thing? He did it willingly. He deliberately put Himself in harm’s way to save our lives – literally.

God positioned Jesus in a certain place and time to be the Savior of the world. Before Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, we were in a spiritually life-threatening situation.

We weren’t going to make it out alive.

We were bleeding to death in our sin.

We were going to lose the fight for life.

But because our Savior stepped in to take God’s wrath on our behalf, we have been extended the extraordinary promise to have eternal life.

If you would like to ponder more deeply the ultimate sacrifice that Jesus made for you and me, you can download my 4-lesson Bible study on Isaiah 53:5.

DOWNLOAD HERE.

Jesus loves us more than we can possibly imagine. God’s blessings as you travel toward Calvary during Lent.

Tidbit Thursday: Bible Reading Checklists

As 2022 approaches, many people resolve to read the Bible daily – or at least more often. Recently, I have been asked repeatedly what guide I use for reading through the Bible.

Reading, studying, and memorizing God’s Word is vital to how we love, forgive, and serve as Christ followers. Hebrews 4:12 tells us: “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”

Scripture is not just a Christian checklist – it is hope on the page. “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope” (Romans 15:4).

Encouragement and hope.

Who doesn’t need more of both? Especially nowadays.

Whether we need the grace in Romans or the love in John’s Gospel, we need God’s Word to take root in our heart. I don’t know about you, but as I read the Bible, it often reads me. Convicts me. Transforms me. That is precisely what it is supposed to do through the Holy Spirit’s power.

God faithfully guides us to the precise verse we need each day – often before we realize just how much we needed it. Sometimes He equips us with a verse that someone around us needs to hear that day.

God always knows our needs.

Years ago, I created four Bible study checklists that I still use interchangeably to this day. I have already printed fresh copies for when the calendar turns to 2022.

The four choices are: (1) a general Bible Reading Checklist to read at your own pace; (2) a 90-Day Bible Reading Plan to hear Scripture’s overarching story; (3) an Historical Overview Bible Reading Plan that is lined out a bit differently; and (4) a One Year Bible Reading Plan.

Download one or all four here.

If you have resolved to read the Bible more in 2022, I pray that these tools are useful along your journey. Share them with a friend or two. They just might want to walk the journey with you.

Advent blessings!

Sunrise on the Sea of Galilee

Today was simply incredible! My morning began by watching the sun rise over the Sea of Galilee as its cool breezes and lapping waves provides the soundtrack to my prayers. As I looked out over the calm waters, the realization hit home hard: Jesus walked on THIS water. Jesus performed miracles on and around THIS water. Jesus preached by THIS water. JOY!!

We enjoyed another incredible breakfast at the hotel, then it was “All Aboard!” in a replica wooden “Jesus boat” to set sail across the Sea of Galilee. The captain welcomed us by turning the boat into an American vessel for our journey by playing the Star Spangled Banner. The American and Jerusalem flags waved majestically side-by-side in the morning sun as we sang our national anthem.

I read the account from Matthew 14 of Jesus (and Peter) walking on the very waters on which we sailed. The captain played several familiar worship songs as we sang, visited, sat in silent awe, or let emotions roll down our cheeks. Meanwhile, these words rang fresh in our minds: And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped him saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” Matthew 14:32-33

We disembarked to tour through the Jesus boat museum where we saw a beautifully preserved fishing boat that had been discovered and excavated in the 1980s that dated back to Jesus’ day. The archaeologists identified 12 different types of wood used on that boat, indicating its constant fishing use over a long period of time. There is a good chance that Jesus knew or came in contact with the owners of this very boat!

By 10:30 am, we were back on the bus headed to the Mount of Beatitudes. It was a busy, bustling place. Wayne gathered us on the steps facing the front of the church and led a powerful devotion while reading the beatitudes from Matthew 5.

As we drove away from the Mount of Beatitudes toward Capernaum, the panoramic view of the rolling hills and mountains around the Sea of Galilee was simply stunning.

Capernaum is the seaside location where Jesus spent much time with Peter and teaching in the synagogue. Built over the original black stone synagogue of Jesus’ day, the remains of a white stone synagogue stood dramatically. A boat-shaped church has been built over the site of Peter’s home to help preserve it.

We had worked up quite an appetite, so we stopped at a local establishment and ordered the famous “Peter’s Fish.” Yes, they serve it head and all! I’m not accustomed to my food staring back at me, but this was a special exception.

All gone! 😂

Our next stop was Tabgha, a Byzantine church dating from 350 AD, commemorating the place where Jesus multiplied the loaves and fishes to feed the 5,000. We walked on intricate mosaic tiles that were over 1,500 years old!

Our final stop for the day was at the Jordan River where John the Baptist baptized Jesus. We remembered our baptisms in a special ceremony in the Jordan River. God’s gift of baptism was celebrated with joy, tears, and raw, beautiful emotion. How very appropriate that the Jordan River ends at the Dead Sea — the lowest place on Earth. “Our sins are carried to the depths of the sea to be remembered no more.” Micah 7:18-20

We are back at the hotel on the Sea of Galilee for the night, my mind still whirling at what we experienced today. It is sobering and surreal to walk the very same places as Jesus and His disciples walked over 2,000 years ago. Sweet dreams, fellow disciples.

Holy Land Pilgrimage: It’s Finally Here

My view of Jerusalem in 2010 as I walked across the Kidron Valley toward the East Gate.

After eighteen months of planning and preparation, my group and I leave for Israel on Wednesday!

Pastor Wayne Graumann and I will be teaching at various locations as our group of 35 pilgrims make our way through the Holy Land. Here are the dates and locations during our journey:

Wednesday, Nov. 13 – Depart the USA, arriving in Tel Aviv on Nov. 14th
Thursday, Nov. 14 – Jaffa, Caesarea
Friday, Nov. 15 – Megiddo, Mt. Carmel, Nazareth, Cana, Mount of Precipice
Saturday, Nov. 16 – Mount of Beatitudes, Capernaum, boat ride on the Sea of Galilee, Bethsaida, Jordan River, Tabgha, Church of Primacy of St. Peter
Sunday, Nov. 17 – Caesarea Philippi, Tel Dan, Gideon Springs, Beit Shean, Jerusalem
Monday, Nov. 18 – Western Wall, Temple Mount, Via Dolorosa, Southern Steps, Bethlehem
Tuesday, Nov. 19 – Qumran, Ein Gedi, Dead Sea (swim/float), Jericho
Wednesday, Nov. 20 – City of David, Shrine of the Book, Model City, Hezekiah’s Tunnel, Pool of Siloam, St. Peter Gallicantu, Garden Tomb
Thursday, Nov. 21 – Mount of Olives, Palm Sunday Road, Elah Valley and the Garden of Gethsemane
Friday, Nov. 22 – Depart the Holy Land to return home forever changed

Wayne and I will both be blogging (with photos) each day along our journey and we would love for you to follow along. My posts will appear here and Wayne & Kathy’s posts will be here: https://gofarther.me/

We would covet your prayers as our group of 35 walks the very places where Jesus walked. The spiritual growth that each of us will experience simply cannot be overstated. We carry you in our hearts with us!

Next stop: ISRAEL

Bible Study Winners and An Exciting Announcement

This past weekend I attended the LWML Texas District Convention where this brand new study was officially launched. Your incredibly supportive response has been overwhelming!

So many of you sent emails and messages of encouragement. Your comments on the giveaway blog post brought tears to my eyes as you wrote about the women and places where you wanted to share this study.

Thank you so much. 

The two winners of a DVD/workbook set each are:
1) Arla Mae Luther
2) Meridee (Canada)

Congratulations!! I will be reaching out to you by email later today.

NOW FOR THE EXCITING ANNOUNCEMENT

After much prayer and planning, I will be leading a tour of the Holy Land, along with Rev. Wayne & Kathy Graumann, in November 2019! WOOHOOOO!!!

As many of you know, my initial visit to Israel in 2010 truly changed my spiritual journey. Receiving communion while looking at the empty tomb is forever etched in my soul.

Won’t you join us on this 10-day Biblical tour of Israel? Pastor Graumann and I will tag-team teach at various sites as we visit them throughout the Holy Land.

Registration is open RIGHT NOW (on my website’s “Events” page or with links below) to give you 16 months to plan, save, invite friends, and ask the Lord prepare your hearts.

Detailed Information and Itinerary
Registration Form

You will hear more information about this tour as time goes on. I pray that you will consider joining us for a life-changing adventure through the places from Scripture.

Dear friends, it is grace upon grace to be able to serve the Lord and you.

Launch Day! “Where Love Abides” Bible Study

I have been waiting for this wonderful day for the better part of two years!

Today, it is a JOY to offer my latest DVD Bible study series in partnership with the LWML, “Where Love Abides.” It is an in-depth study of John 15, where Jesus talks with His disciples about God’s vineyard and our place in it.

Here is a quick snippet from the study’s back cover:

Seasons matter in vineyards. They also matter in our spiritual journey. We experience winter seasons that seem prolonged and harsh. We endure seasons of pruning where God removes the superfluous to nurture deep roots in Him.

We also experience bountiful seasons of harvest where we, through the power of the Holy Spirit, experience the abundance of God’s beautiful fruit. But this fruit is not just for believers to sit back and enjoy. God calls us to go into all the world and share it.

Jesus, our Vine, lovingly invites us to abide in Him (John 15:4) as He abides in us. What does that mean? What does it look like amidst our modern, fast-paced days?

As you walk through His Word with this study, you will gain a clear understanding of both the blessing and responsibility of being chosen for God’s vineyard.

Jesus said, “Love one another as I have loved you.” When we abide in Him through the faith He gives, He draws us into an intimate relationship with Him as branches in His vineyard — that beautiful place Where Love Abides.

LET’S DO A GIVEAWAY!

I’m giving away TWO sets of this new Bible study. WooHoo! To enter, simply:

  1. Leave a comment below and let me know how/where you plan to use this study;
  2. Sign up (look to the right) to receive my weekly devotions;
  3. Share this post on your social media outlets (and let me know where so I can share your posts and tweets)!

I will pick two winners and share them in this coming Tuesday’s blog post right here.

Today is a day of praise to God for what He is doing through the LWML as they continue to offer Christ-centered, in-depth resources to build an intimate relationship with our Lord and Savior!!

God’s blessings as you dive into and share this new Bible study in your homes, churches, and communities. To God be the glory!