15 Ways to Read the Bible with Fresh Eyes

Fresh start
Reading the Bible regularly can be hard. Sometimes it can feel like it takes too much work to understand what Scripture is really saying. And the last thing you want is for your Bible reading to become stale, or to feel forced.

If Bible study matters to you but you’re struggling to keep going, try some of these techniques.

Here are 15 ways to read the Bible with fresh eyes:

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The Alternate Universe: True Christian Spirituality

true Christian spiritualityToday’s guest post is by Dr. Daniel Bush, author of Live in Liberty: The Spiritual Message of Galatians and Embracing God as Father: Christian Identity in the Family of God. Dan holds a B.Sci. from Michigan Technological University, the M.Div. and Th.M. degrees from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and a Ph.D. in systematic theology from the University of Aberdeen (Scotland).

I don’t recall how the conversation turned to the topic of hair. My sister-in-law noticed I still had a full head of hair, which is nothing spectacular, except when compared to my brother, who is growing bald patches where he ought to be growing luscious locks. So, I strutted and made a joke about Rogaine, then got honest: My brother is losing hair, but what he has is dark while mine is beginning to look like winter preemptively struck—morning frost everywhere.

Gray hair means I’m getting old and tired, and one of the things I’m tired of is comparisons, which are a gentle way of judging. We compare everything: our green lawns, our athletic and academic children, our fulfilled lives, our sin, and then we use social media to prove to ourselves and others that we actually have a life, a bunch of friends, a brilliant smile, and can strike a pose with the best of them. Beneath it all, however, we’re unconsciously leveling all of these things, attempting to compare goodness. It’s mostly innocent; nevertheless, the impulse to compare goodness is as powerful as the impulse to get a cup of coffee on a frosty winter morning.

There’s one more thing making my hair grey: Bumping into the notion that following Jesus is really all about “getting better”—that is to say, Christian spirituality is about putting an end to all of our sinning.

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How a Trip to Israel Changed the Way I Read the Bible

touring Israel

Today’s guest post is by Pastor Dan McEvoy from North Bay Christ the King Community Church, in Blaine, Washington.

My first images of Jesus and the land he lived in were a cheap print of Da Vinci’s “Last Supper” at my grandparents’ house and cartoon images on flannel graphs at Vacation Bible School. When I got older, what I pictured as the Holy Land came from poorly-produced movies starring characters with British accents and the evening news showing the Israeli and Palestinian conflict. When I became a Christian and began reading the Bible and hearing sermons, my mind began to form images of what I thought the Holy Land might be like—images that I adapted and described to others when I became a pastor.

It wasn’t until I personally toured Israel that I realized the picture in my mind was two dimensional and black and white.

From the moment I stepped off the plane, I sensed I was about to experience something very special and holy. With the help of a highly knowledgeable and articulate tour guide who brought us to places we knew well from Scripture, the Bible came alive in an instant. It’s hard to describe in words how my pilgrimage profoundly transformed me, but I’d like to share some highlights from my 10-day journey.

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5 Steps to Prepare Bible Studies for Children’s Ministries

Children’s ministry
Today’s guest post is by Pastor Sam Luce of Redeemer Church in Utica, New York. Sam has been a pastor for 17 years—14 of which he served as a children’s pastor. He received his BA in theology from Portland Bible College, and he’s been involved in children’s ministry for 23 years. Sam writes regularly about children’s ministry and Christian parenting at SamLuce.com.

“Bonhoeffer would often say that ‘if one couldn’t communicate the most profound ideas about God and the Bible to children, something was amiss.’”—Eric Metaxas

One of the most important and most neglected disciplines for children’s ministry work is personal study. Often when it comes to children’s ministry curriculum, the Bible story is either too complicated or too simplistic. The answer is not “buy a better curriculum.” The answer is personal bible study.

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Leading Well for the Long Haul

Biblical leadership
Today’s guest post is by author and pastor, Dr. Larry Osborne. Osborne has served as senior pastor and teaching pastor at North Coast Church for more than 35 years. He helped oversee the growth of the church from a group of 128 meeting in a rented school, to a multi-site ministry that reaches over 10,000 in weekend attendance. You can find Larry Osborne’s leadership books in Logos and Vyrso.

Everybody wants to leave a legacy. But the reality is we can’t control the impact or the length of our legacy. We’re prophets to our own generation (Acts 13:36) who serve God, play our role and are gone.

That said, how we live and lead does have an impact on our endurance. Our perspective, the way we love our people, our dependability and our sense of security all directly affect our ability to lead and serve effectively for the long haul.

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How to Start Your Family Bible Study

reading the bible with your family

A while back, Randy Brown, creator of BibleBuyingGuide.com, shared how he chooses a Bible for preaching. Randy reviews Bibles in all price ranges to help people make the best choice for their budget. His mission is to promote Bible reading and study, and to share quality publishing. Here, Randy shares how he and his family began reading the Bible together.

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Bonhoeffer’s Religionless Christianity: Engaging a Post-Christian World

bonhoefferToday’s guest post is by Prayson Daniel. Prayson, who blogs at With All I Am, has been using Faithlife Groups since 2012, and created the Natural Theology group. Prayson is from Tanzania, and he earned his BA at Harvest Bible College. He is currently pursuing his graduate studies at Aalborg University in Denmark. Prayson’s greatest desire is to inspire others to admire God through critical thinking.

“What keeps gnawing at me is the question, what is Christianity, or who is Christ actually for us today? The age when we could tell people that with words—whether with theological or with pious words—is past, as is the age of inwardness and of conscience, and that means the age of religion altogether. We are approaching a completely religionless age; people as they are now simply cannot be religious anymore. Even those who honestly describe themselves as ‘religious’ aren’t really practicing that at all; they presumably mean something quite different by ‘religious.’”—Dietrich Bonhoeffer

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Beware the Shorter Route

long roadToday’s guest post is by Pastor Kip McCormick. Kip is the campus pastor for Cornwall Church Skagit Valley in Mt Vernon, Washington—a satellite campus of Cornwall Church in Bellingham, Washington. Kip earned his Master of Divinity degree while running a youth ministry in Seoul, South Korea. Upon retiring from 28 years of service as an active duty colonel in the Army in 2009, Kip continued pastoring youth and men in the United States. He has a passion for God’s Word and recently completed his PhD in biblical studies. Kip combines his experience as a senior officer in the military, former U.S. Military Academy (West Point) instructor, and intelligence professional with his desire to equip and encourage others in their walk with Christ.

Sometimes the greatest life lessons come in the form of failure.

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The Most Talked About Topic in the Bible (Besides God)

jonToday’s guest post is by Jon Ng, ministry director of Rising Hope Street Ministry. Rising Hope seeks to address the immediate and long-term needs of homelessness through hunger-relief, authentic community, friendship, and care. In 2014, Jon was also an intern at Faithlife.

It was a warm summer night when I stood on my balcony, looking up at the stars. Dread and stress pulled at my heart, but for a moment, I had peace. At 24 years old, I was leading worship, volunteering in four other church ministries, working a full-time job, and going to school full-time. I was actively sharing Christ in every area of life—even at work, where my job was on the line.

I thought I was doing everything right to please God. Still, I felt like I was missing something in my walk with Christ. God felt distant, and I became more and more restless in my pursuit for greater intimacy with him.

Why did it seem like God was shrinking away when I was more active than ever in my faith?

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