Small Group Questions:
1.What did you learn about the Bible today that you never knew before?
2. Read this quote. Do you have any personal experience of any of these moments?
“Reading the Bible generates life, it produces change, it heals hurts, it builds character, it transforms circumstances, it imparts joy, it overcomes adversity, it defeats temptation, it infuses hope, it releases power & it cleanses the mind.” Rick Warren
3. Reading the Bible is not a one-and-done. It takes time, consistency, and some helpful tools. What application points shared today are you going to try this week?
THE MAIN POINT
Reading the Bible generates life, it produces change, it heals hurts, it builds character, it transforms circumstances, it imparts joy, it overcomes adversity, it defeats temptation, it infuses hope, it releases power & it cleanses the mind.” Rick Warren
The Bible is the most purchased and read book each year, and every year. One of the most popular books of all time is The Lord of the Rings Trilogy which has sold over 150 million copies. The Bible has been distributed over 4 billion times. One hundred million copies are sold or given away every single year. It is the most translated piece of literature in all of history available in over 1000 languages. It is the most popular book of all time!
Why is it so popular? It can’t be simply because it’s a good read, has some encouraging stories, or has historical accuracy. There are many novels that are a good read, many self-help books that are encouraging, and encyclopedias that have accurate historical information.
WHAT MAKES THE BIBLE SO SPECIAL?!
Christians believe that the Bible is the very word of God, for us, which has the power to change our entire lives. Pastor Rick Warren puts it this way:
“Reading the Bible generates life, it produces change, it heals hurts, it builds character, it transforms circumstances, it imparts joy, it overcomes adversity, it defeats temptation, it infuses hope, it releases power & it cleanses the mind.”
Not only does the Bible change our lives for good, but it also shows us who God is and how he feels towards us. The Bible is also described as being alive & active (Hebrews 4:12), which means that even though it was written a few thousand years ago, God actively uses it and speaks through it to us today. It can literally change our hearts & our minds, making us more into the person God has called us to be.
As you prepare the core of the message using personal stories and questions keep in mind these points:
- The Bible was never designed to simply be a historical account or a rule book. It was created for humans to have an experiential relationship with God that is alive and full. Share how reading the Bible has changed your life. Think of a story where the Bible brought life to you.
- Christians are not to worship the Bible. The Bible is the word of God, but Jesus is the WORD. The Bible points to and teaches us about Jesus. The purpose of the Bible is to show us Jesus. The word points to the WORD. If reading the Bible does not lead you to Jesus, you may be reading the Bible a little confused and need to surround yourself with some helpful Bible-believing Jesus followers.
- The Bible is true. Not only historically. But about God, humanity, and life. In this world, lies speak very loud. Lies influence how we think of ourselves and others. The Devil’s native language is lies (John 8:44) and wants to confuse people so that they don’t know they are loved deeply by God. The Bible counteracts lies and helps us live life to the full (John 10:10).
As you prepare the application, challenge, and/or encouragement, keep in mind these points:
- 8 Tips to getting the most out of reading the Bible so that it is good for you:
- Get a Bible. We recommend CSB translation. A paper copy and/or YouVersion.
- Find a time and place that works for you.
- Don’t flip & point. Read one book at a time. We recommend starting with Mark or John.
- Genre matters. Knowing what type of book you’re reading helps you understand it better.
- Ask lots of questions (parents, mentor, youth pastor, small group leader).
- Pray. Ask God to help you understand his word every time you read it.
- Talk to people. Talk about what you are reading with friends, and share stories.
- Don’t stop, you never graduate from the Bible. God keeps wanting to speak to you.