Last year was a big milestone for me in my faith. I had an amazing Christian mentor, signed up and attended 4 bible studies and made some awesome Christian friends, particularly other mamas in a similar season. It is no surprise that God moved me in a huge way. And it was all tied up in a pretty bow when God answered my prayer of finding the best Bible I had been searching for.
My Bible search journey began with one little Bible study. What I find so fascinating is that somehow several of my studies tied together so perfectly and I can’t resist the urge to share with you how transformative it all was, and encourage you to pick up one (or all) of these books.
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In my mommy-and-tot Bible study, we began reading Open Your Bible: God’s Word is For You and For Now. This book really opened my eyes on how I should approach the Bible. One thing I should have known but never really thought about was I wasn’t praying before or after reading the Bible. The authors of this book provide some great scripture prompts to pray before you begin reading the Bible and to pray after, which I thought was so great because that is one of the most important times to pray.
We want God’s words to speak to us, for the Holy Spirit to work in our hearts and show us what God wants us to know through His Word. How else will we get there without prayer? It’s so simple, but it really blew my mind.
Related: How to start a prayer journal
I really encourage anybody who hasn’t read this book to read it. In fact, take it a step further and start a small group or bring it up to your women’s ministry at church. I promise you will appreciate the insight!
While I was reading through this book I was also in a study about Ruth titled A Woman Who Doesn’t Quit – 5 Habits from the Book of Ruth. Despite being a Christian for a few years now, I truly didn’t know the story of Ruth. This book taught me so much and I honestly dived much deeper into it because of the Open Your Bible study.
I won’t give away her story, because you should really read it. But I am giving you the biggest spoiler alert….Jesus is a direct descendant of Ruth! And Ruth didn’t start out as a believer, nor was she an Israelite. Because of Ruth’s faithfulness, because of her obedience and because she never quit, Jesus (and King David!) stem from her lineage. Girls, her story will give you so much encouragement about YOUR importance!
What fascinated me so much about the Book of Ruth is that how did I not know more about this woman? How did I not know more about the importance of this book? So this challenged me, between both these studies, to find a different Bible. I loved the Bible that I already had because it was gifted to me by my husband, but I was determined to get a good study Bible. After doing a lot of online research I decided to go to Barnes & Noble so that I could see the Bibles in person and get a good feel for what they had to offer on the inside.
One particular women’s study Bible caught my attention because it is pretty-and I’m all about pretty things. It’s gray, with a hardcover and thick with lots of pages. It seemed like such a great choice, but pretty isn’t the way to go with such an important book.
Knee deep in the book of Ruth, I went strait there to see what this Bible had to say. And it was so perfect – all the importance I was searching for was laid right out on that first intro page. They understood how important Ruth was, and why we should give thanks for her.
Yes! Then, I looked it up on Amazon and quickly realized that this Bible was created by the same authors, along with other Christian Scholars, from the Open Your Bible book that I was reading in Roots and Fruits. I was floored. It was like God was literally handing me this Bible after so much searching. I had spent time in prayer trying to figure out what Bible I should get I was so moved by how directly God was speaking to me!
I am so in awe of the way God works, the way this Bible and the studies have transformed my life. This year I am committing to read the Bible. This particular Bible sets it up to do studies that align with every book and different chapters. So far, Genesis is rocking my world!
I strongly encourage you to check these out, and if you do let me know your thoughts!