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Guides to Study the Bible in the New Year

It’s a known fact: most Christians have “Read the Bible every day” (or some variation thereof) on their New Year’s Resolution list.

Some people scoff at resolutions—but I think there’s something intrinsically hopeful about people wanting to better themselves each year, even if they fail miserably by February. Because when people make that resolution, they’re telling themselves “This year will be different. This year will be the year I finally deepen my faith, lose weight, reconnect with my family.”

So make your resolutions. Stay hopeful. Ask God to walk with you on your journey to fulfill your resolutions—so that you can glorify Him and serve your neighbor in love.

Whether you’re looking to read the Bible in a year or learn more about a story you’ve only ever heard in Sunday School, our Books of the Bible Study Questions will guide you through specific books in Scripture with a focus on understanding the context and applying it to your life. Whatever your Resolution for Bible reading is, we’ve got a study guide for you!

 

If you want to read the Bible from start to finish

A lot of people make it a goal to read the Bible through in a year—but oftentimes we end up hurrying through our readings and not really understanding what it means in the context of Scripture or what it teaches us about God.

If you’re doing a reading plan and starting in Genesis, use the Genesis study questions to deepen your study at the beginning of the year.

 

If you want to put your faith in action

Maybe your goal is to love your neighbor better this year—you want to intentionally reach out to those in your community but have a hard time distinguishing between the fact that “faith without works is dead” and “we are saved by grace alone.”

The Book of James is one that directly addresses putting your faith in action, making it a good beginning-of-the-year read as you prepare to live out your faith.

 

If you want to deeply study the theology of the Gospel

The Gospel seems simple at first glance—we are sinners, we are saved by the work of Jesus—but as you begin to think about the intricacies of faith, life, and the Gospel, it can get a little murky and confusing. The core is still there, but you need a little more explanation.

Paul’s letter to the Romans addresses the Gospel on a deeper level, so much so that Martin Luther said every Christian should memorize this book! It’s full of passages that convict you of your sin, followed up by passages that comfort you with God’s grace.

 

If you want to learn more about a Sunday School Bible story

I’m always surprised at how many Bible stories I read as a kid in Sunday School but don’t know the actual context of. I could recite the story of Jonah, but I might not exactly be sure what it’s teaching me about God, or where it fits in the grand narrative of Scripture.

As short as it is, the Book of Jonah contains a lot of foreshadowing to Jesus as well as a lot of insight into humanity’s sinful nature. As you read, use the study questions to think about your vocations and what God is calling you to do.

 

If you want to understand how emotions intertwine with faith

Sometimes, we forget that emotions are real. I mean, we know they’re there, but we forget that faith and emotions can sometimes become intertwined—whether we’re overjoyed at God’s faithfulness or maybe even a little angry at God.

The Book of Psalms encompasses the entire range of human emotion: grief, joy, anger, despair, hope. Maybe your New Year’s Resolution was to be more emotional (hey, crying is okay!). If that’s the case, read the Psalms!

 

If you want to find comfort in suffering

The holiday season is often one of stress, grief, and sorrow. The New Year, especially, often marks the first year a daughter spends without her mother, a husband spends without his wife, a child lives away from home.

Job experienced a lot of suffering in his life—suffering that many of us can’t even imagine. As you journey through this New Year, wherever you’re at, the Book of Job can help you find comfort in God in the midst of suffering.

Written by

Hannah Osborne

Hannah has been writing, editing, and whistling while she works at CPH since 2016. Growing up in the self-proclaimed bagel capital of the world gave her a deep appreciation of carbs, although nowadays you’ll find her experimenting with vegan recipes in the kitchen, running really slowly, or laughing too loudly.

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