By Rachel Olsen
The holidays are a wonder-filled, yet extremely busy time of the year. For many, the eventfulness of the season causes time spent in bible study to fall to the wayside. This is such a rich time of year, however, to study God's Word!
Did you know, for example, there are over 300 Old Testament prophecies about the birth and life of Christ? At Christmastime I love studying the various ways Jesus has fulfilled the prophecies of old. It creates in me a renewed sense of awe and appreciation that God came to Earth as a vulnerable babe, and died as a guiltless yet persecuted man so that we could be redeemed.
The Book of Luke is another great place to spend some time, curled up before the flickering light of the fire or the tree. The early chapters of Luke contain the account of Christ's birth, often referred to as The Christmas Story. I suggest reading it in several different translations to deepen your grasp of this precious miracle. If you don't own multiple translations, they can be freely accessed online at www.crosswalk.com.
Have you made resolutions for the New Year? Is more time spent in bible study one of them? Here are some ideas for where to dig in come January:
The Book of John:It can be especially good for new believers, or anyone seeking to understand the claims of Christ.
Proverbs:It's practical advice in short chapters that can be read one-daily for each day of the month.
Philippians:It reveals Christ as the true source of lasting joy and unity.James:It could be considered a "how-to" book on Christian living.
The Book of Esther: It's the only book not to mention God by name. Featuring a woman as the main character, it reveals God's divine oversight of our life and families.
Whether you dig in at the beginning of a specific book, or tackle a topical study on a subject close to your heart - like marriage, perseverance or prayer - engaging in in-depth bible study can make 2005 a very enriching year.