How to Unwrap the Bible’s Surprising Gifts in 4 Steps

It's the best way to benefit from your Bible.

Did you unwrap all your Christmas gifts? Silly question, I know. If we left a gift unopened, we might hurt the feelings of the giver. Plus, we wouldn’t get our gift! Still, we do have surprising gifts to open. 

How to Unwrap the Bible's Gifts in 4 Steps

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The Bible is a book of gifts, often unwrapped, because we simply don’t realize its tremendous value to our lives.

I want to share with you 4 steps that can help you unwrap the Bible’s blessings in your life.

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4 Reasons You Should Try Listening to the Bible for a Change

Experience the Word of God in a brand new way.

Do you want God to speak to you audibly? That’s easy. Just read the Bible out loud. When was the last time you tried listening to the Bible instead of simply reading it? I recently listened to the whole Bible in a year. In years past, I had only read the Bible through. But listening was a different experience.

4 Reasons You Should Try Listening to the Bible for a Change

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It took longer to listen to it, of course, but the experience helped me connect with the Word of God in a way much closer to the way the original recipients interacted with Scripture.

The Bible tells us, for example:

At the end of every seven years . . . you shall read this law in front of all Israel in their hearing. —Deuteronomy 31:10–11

When this letter is read among you, have it also read in the church of the Laodiceans; and you, for your part read my letter that is coming from Laodicea. —Colossians 4:16

Until I come, give attention to the public reading of Scripture. —1 Timothy 4:13

Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for reading the Bible. But the biblical authors originally wrote the Scriptures primarily to be heard—not read.

Here are 4 reasons why you should try listening to the Bible for a change.

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How to Find and Follow God’s Will This Year

Discerning God’s will is always found in God’s Word.

There is only one way you will know God’s will for you this year. Relatively speaking, that’s the easy part. But once you know it, then comes the tough assignment.

How to Find and Follow God's Will This Year

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From the first verse of Scripture, God revealed how the Earth set the stage for the divine drama of history to take place (Gen. 1:1). From its formless, void beginning, the Lord fashioned the Earth with His intention in its details. From this ground, God made physical people spiritual beings in His image.

Finding and following God’s will was no different for Adam and Eve than it is for us.

We have the same problem they did.

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8 Reasons You Can Believe the Bible is True

Believing God's Word doesn't mean you have to check your brain at the door.

Do you believe the Bible is true? A recent poll by the Barna Group revealed a startling fact about Christians and the Bible: “Just half of all self-identified Christians firmly believe that the Bible is totally accurate in all of the principles (not the facts, just the principles) that it teaches.”

The entire basis of Christianity’s faith stems from what the Bible reveals about God, humanity, sin, and salvation. Is the Bible true?

Is the Bible True? Here Are 8 Reasons You Can Believe It

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Although any belief is ultimately a matter of faith, it should have a basis of credibility, reliability, and correspondence with reality. In a world where opinions of truth vary wildly, truth has to be based on more than preference.

Is the Bible true? Ultimately, the decision to believe it is up to you.

Here are 8 extraordinary facts that support the Bible as the Word of God.

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How to Keep a Dogged Devotion to Bible Reading

What can you do when the Bible seems boring?

Let’s admit it. Sometimes reading the Bible can seem, well—can I say it?—boring. Especially if you’re reading through a program and you get to Leviticus. How can a book that has changed the lives of billions ever seem boring?

Keep a dogged devotion to Bible reading.

(Photo: By William Hoiles from Basking Ridge, NJ. CC-BY-2.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Some reasons Bible reading seems boring could be:

  1. The benefits of Bible reading don’t feel immediate.
  2. The Bible was written a long time ago.
  3. It takes work to understand parts of God’s Word.
  4. My busy life leaves little time for Bible reading.

Whatever the reason Bible reading is tough, the problem is still the same: How can we keep a dogged devotion for the most un-boring book in the world?

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How the New Testament Can Begin in the Wrong Place

As you read the gospels, think forward by thinking backward.

You may be surprised to read this, but the New Testament begins in the wrong place. In our thinking, at least. Hang on, I haven’t lost it just yet. Here’s what I mean.

How the New Testament Begins in the Wrong Place

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When we open the New Testament, we often read the gospels by thinking forward to the church. How does this apply to me today? After all, God’s Word has as its goal our changed lives. Nothing wrong with that. But we miss something important when we make a mad dash to application.

In fact, when we read the gospels by first thinking forward, we sidestep a truth that plays a critical role in the life change we long for.

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Finding the Dead Sea Scrolls Isn’t Enough

The Qumran caves only take us so far.

Our guide pointed from the road to a rocky outcropping on one of the distant hills. “This hike is definitely optional,” he warned. “But it’s worth it.”

Qumran Cave 4 interior

(Photo: The interior of Cave 4 at Qumran. Courtesy of the Pictorial Library of Bible Lands)

A few of us brave souls followed, and for the first time in my life, I wished I had four legs.

Our guide scurried over the rocks like a lizard and stopped ahead, halfway up the hill, near the fissure in the rocks to which he had pointed. He turned and stood, arms crossed, one leg over the other, and waited for us. Finally I arrived.

“This is it,” he beamed.

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How to Insert Your Quiet Time into Your Crazy Life

One discipline more than any other will make all the difference.

Sometimes I’m amazed at the chasm that stands between my morning quiet time and the rest of the day. You know what I mean? At times, there seems such a huge breach between Scripture and the real world.

How to Insert Your Quiet Time into Your Crazy Life

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Drinking deeply of the Word of God in the early morning hours, I express in prayer my love for the Lord, His Word, and His church. It’s all good.

But then I leave the house.

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Make This the Year You Read the Bible

It's the best thing you can do to grow in your walk with God.

If you want to grow in your relationship with God, there’s one thing you can do that will make more difference than anything. Read the Bible. Here’s why.

Read the Bible with Me This Year

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Did you know? Research shows that someone who reads the Bible 4 or more times each week is:

  • 228% more likely to share their faith
  • 407% more likely to memorize scripture
  • 59% less likely to view pornography
  • 30% less likely to struggle with loneliness

Bottom line? A person who reads the Bible will have a life that looks different from one who doesn’t—even as a Christian. Perhaps this is why Peter wrote:

Like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation (1 Peter 2:2).

I’ll be reading the Bible this next year. I urge you to join me!

Here are some easy ways you can do it.

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God’s Promises—How We Can Know They’re True

One sure way proves God has told us the truth.

When someone makes us a promise, it’s always best to give them the benefit of the doubt. Might as well believe them. Unless, of course, they have a history of fibbing to you.

God’s Promises—How We Can Know They’re True

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It happened again to me not long ago. A man I know shook my hand and said, “Let’s grab a coffee soon; I’ll call you.” I didn’t say it, but I wanted to reply: “No, you won’t. But thanks.” Does that ever happen for you? Honestly, it doesn’t take many times for someone to fail keeping a promise, and I lose confidence in the person.

The only way we can trust that people will keep their word is if they have kept their word.

The same is true of God’s promises.

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