One of the very best habits you can ever form is that of spending a little time each day reading and studying the Bible and Bible-based Christian literature. Start by devoting 15 minutes a day, and then increase it to 30 minutes or more as time goes on. As you read God’s Word and try to follow it, your life will become deeper, you’ll be happier and have more peace of mind, and you’ll have more love for and understanding of others. It doesn’t all happen in one day, but it does happen.
Having an ongoing reading project—reading through all four Gospels or the New Testament or the Book of Psalms, for example—will help you get the most out of your daily Word time. One idea of a daily study plan that offers some variety is as follows:
Daily Dose for Optimum Growth
• One chapter from the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John).
• One chapter from Psalms.
• Half a chapter from Proverbs.
When reading through the Bible, pray for the Holy Spirit to help you understand what you read, but don’t worry if you don’t understand everything the first time you read it; no one does. Keep at it. The more you read the Word, the more you will understand, and often when going back to reread a certain passage, you’ll find new meanings and “treasures” that you hadn’t noticed before.
In order to help you understand the amazing truths in God’s Word and get the most out of it, we’ve put together some books and booklets that cover the various aspects of Christian life. The object of these publications is to help you know how to apply God’s Word in practical ways, as well as to help you develop a more personal relationship with Him so you will be better equipped to face the ups and downs of life. Books available include Daily Might, Discovering Truth: A Topical Bible Guide, From Jesus With Love, and the Get Activated series, among others. (You can order these from Aurora Production.)
With all that’s been said in this issue of Activated, about the importance of reading God’s Word, you’ve probably come to the conclusion that you’d better get a Bible of your own if you don’t already have one. But that raises an important question: What version of the Bible is best? Here’s our recommendation:
The King James Version (also called the Authorized Version) is considered by a great many to be the most accurate, the most inspired, the most fundamental, the most poetic, and the most authoritative English translation. It is also the most well-known and widely recognized, having been around for 400 years. One drawback is that it’s written in seventeenth-century Elizabethan English, which some people find rather difficult to understand.
The next best English translation is probably the New King James Version. It’s based on the original King James Version, but the antiquated words and punctuation have been changed to modern English. (For that reason, this is the version usually quoted in Activated.)
Other translations are generally not as inspired nor as true to the original Hebrew and Greek texts, and some modern versions have serious flaws. It’s best to stick with the version which has been the standard for hundreds of years!