Be thinking about how you would answer those questions because those are the “Opportunity for Response” questions that will appear again at the end of today’s post.
In the meantime, I want to share with you some of my all-time faves and why they remain that way. Now, keep in mind, that I’m not critiquing the Bible. All 66 of those books are to be honored and held in high reverential regard. What I am referring to here is studies of those books and/or topics within that have left a mark on my life for the better.
- Covenant, by Kay Arthur. No joke, but I think that this one should be required for all believers in order to grasp the significance of this in their relationship with God and Jesus Christ. Kay has it through Precept Ministries International in the Precept Upon Precept and In/Out formats as well as a more current release through LifeWay with new videos. I have led both and think highly of both versions (PMI PUP and LifeWay). This study changed the way I thought about communion, marriage, and most of all the saving work Jesus did for us. Profound. Major light bulbs went off when I took the In/Out version 20 years ago. It impacted me as a young mom wanting to raise two sons to understand Jesus’ atonement way better than I did at their young ages.
- Lord, I Want to Know You, by Kay Arthur. This is a devotional study on 16 of God’s names. The student covers one Hebrew name a week looking at the context in Scripture of what the name is, when it was first used, where else it is used, and then moves the student into finding the unchanging truth to apply to their lives today. This one is a favorite of mine because it revolutionized my prayer life as I gained a better understanding of God’s nature, character, and attributes as He reveals Himself through His names. In our English translation, we see God and Lord. I had not the first clue that there were so many more names for Him until I took this study. I have led this one several times to a variety of ages (middle school children to grown up women).
- Hebrews, by Kay Arthur. I taught this one two years ago. LOVED IT! It takes a year to complete both parts, but it is well worth it. Up until I studied it in depth, I had been a chicken about reading it because, well, I felt rather stupid when I would try to work through Hebrews. There is a lot of doctrine that I was lacking clarity on and this study of Hebrews opened my eyes to a better understanding. Now when I read Hebrews, I see the author’s purpose and the flow of the letter makes sense. I understand the context of this book and often turn to it when I am facing difficult times and I bathe in the knowledge of Jesus as my faithful High Priest and what all of that means to me.
- The Patriarchs, by Beth Moore. One lesson in this study in particular lays out the significance of understanding the conflict that exists in the Middle East today due to Abraham’s son Ishmael by Hagar, and his son Isaac by Sarah. The whole book is great and the student gains better understanding of some concepts that run through the Old Testament and into the New based on the lives of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. In typical Beth Moore fashion, the dvd’s that go along with the series have excellent teaching on them. When I led a group through this study we had done my first and second favorite studies, so they were very familiar with His names that were mentioned and were also familiar with covenant so that this study solidified what they were hearing from Beth. It was a fabulous Bible study trilogy/arrangement/order.
- Whatever I’m currently studying…Okay…I suppose you might call that a cop out, but because I really love to study the Bible, I usually enjoy whatever the current study is that I am leading. This time, however, that would be three different ones and I like all three for various reasons. So, I’m cheating and slipping all three in right here:
- Isaiah, part 2, by Kay Arthur. It covers Isaiah 40-66 and focuses on comforting His people. After the last couple of years we’ve had, comfort food from the Word is a balm to our wounds.
- Five Conversations You Must Have With Your Son, by Vicki Courtney. I’m enjoying this one because of the topic, Vicki’s delivery in the workbook and on her dvd, and because of the season in life I’m in. I’m on the end of parenting our two sons. One is married and on his own. The other, is a couple of years away from college graduation. This small group of women have boys still at least six years away from college-age. I get to smile a lot, nod, and offer some of the comfort I’m learning from Isaiah.
- Lord, Teach Me How to Pray in 28 Days, by Kay Arthur. This one covers the basics of praying as defined by the index sentences in the prayer Jesus taught his disciples to pray. It takes that prayer from ritual to understanding that prayer is a privilege to those in real relationship with Jesus. It’s about more than prayer. I prefer this newer version with the dvd’s although I am currently using the older edition without the dvd’s.
There you have it. I know, I know. There are many on there by a particular author, but if you read my testimony of the Word’s impact on my life, you’ll understand that this ministry has had an answer-to-prayer influence on my life regarding my desire to learn how to study the Bible for myself.
I have read and completed lots of other studies, but these above are the ones that have left a very memorable impact on my life…so far.