You may be an “old Christian.” That is, someone who has an awareness of the Bible, and what Bible stories are in it. Deep in your heart, you have a desire to share the Bible stories. Yet your stomach churns, and you become anxious when you think about telling your children or grandchildren about the beliefs of the Christian faith.
As a “new” Christian, learning the stories of the Bible seems overwhelming. Where do you start?
As a grandparent, you are not sure how to share God’s love with your grandchildren. It is hard to talk about traditions, values, and being a Christian, no matter what your age is. We have an uncanny ability to evade these conversations. Even when the opportunity to share is right in front of us
How can we learn God’s Word, the Bible, so that we can share our Christian faith with our grandchildren? We also don’t want to stumble through them. Uncertainty and apprehension hijack our desires to talk about religion, faith, God, and the traditions of the churches we are a part of. We need to tell Bible stories and stories of faithful Christians confidently. I am flooded by thoughts my listener won’t understand, get frustrated, or walk away.
I often worry that someone will ask me a specific question about the Bible. Will I be able to give an immediate response? I hope that what I say will make sense. I hope I don’t need to explain my answer. Yet I need to be ready.
I have found that a major factor is the comfortability we each have with our Bibles. Perhaps you learned some of the stories in the Bible years ago. Or you were forced to hear the stories, so you weren’t really listening. New believers may be unaware of the many actors and stories in the Bible. You know the Bible has a lot of information in it, but ohmygosh, where do you start?!!
HERE ARE SOME WAYS YOU CAN LEARN THE STORIES IN YOUR BIBLE:
Go to a Bible Study at your local church. This is helpful if you’d like to learn in a group.
Set aside some time each day to read the Bible and pray. It will deepen and strengthen your relationship with God.
Pick any section, or “book” that is in the Bible, and simply read it. I suggest that you start with the Book of Luke. This tells the story of Jesus, from his birth to his death. Then read Matthew, Mark, and John. This will fill in more details about the man Jesus.
Pick a topic to study. Many Bibles have a list of topics in the back. The list will give specific references to Bible verses to study. Another way to study a topic is to visit a Bible bookstore and look for a specific booklet on that topic.
Pick a person to study. Again, some Bibles have lists in the back, this would be a good place to start. You could also check what your local Christian bookstore has on its shelves.
For those of us who like electronic access to the world,
www.biblegateway.com This site provides a search engine that will take you to a specific verse, topic, or person in the Bible. You can adjust the search so that you can find a way to read the verses so you can understand.
www.sermoncentral.com/free-online-bible-scripture-search/ Another search engine that will take you to a verse, topic or person.
http://www.biblestudytools.com/ Another search engine that I like.
There are many types of Bible readings (often called devotionals) available on the Internet. These typically have Bible reading, a short reading about the verses, and a prayer.
Here are some of my favorites:
Our Daily Bread – https://odb.org/ – https://www.josh.org/resources/sign-up-for-daily-devotions/?mot=J79GNF&gclid=COXw8Jbl4tYCFYsdgQodo1QH1A
Josh McDowell ministries – https://www.josh.org/resources/youth-family/daily-devotions/
The Upper Room – http://devotional.upperroom.org/
Because we are all different and because each of us has a unique relationship with God, no one devotional pattern will work for everyone. And one way may not work for anyone all of the time. Experiment until you find the time of day, content, and length of time spent that helps you feel connected with God. By reading and understanding the Bible, you will have resources to draw from as you tell Bible stories to your grandchildren.
The Bible tells us
“He decreed statutes for Jacob
and established the law in Israel,
which he commanded our ancestors
to teach their children,
6 so the next generation would know them,
even the children yet to be born,
and they in turn would tell their children.
7 Then they would put their trust in God
and would not forget his deeds
but would keep his commands –Psalm 58:5-7
We must learn the stories so that we can tell our grandchildren about our faith!
Which type of Bible reading or devotional works best for you?