If you haven’t already done so, I recommend that you read the Holy Bible. It’s God’s “letter” to us; to you. He loves you so much, and stands inviting you to loosen your burden and let it fall; let Him have it. If you start with reading the first four books of the New Testament, it tells the accounts of just what happened to make the way for all to be relieved of their burdens, and be saved; if we only accept the invitation to do so. It will help if you first ask God to open your heart and your eyes to see what it is He has for you to see in the Bible. It isn’t some kind of magic He uses. It’s simply His words that are there for you to understand, if you ask sincerely. A friend of mine and Roy’s, a fellow believer and child of God, was riding in his truck one night talking to God. He received this simple explanation to share wherever he goes, called simply
“P’s to Paradise.” I print this with his permission:
Problem -Romans 3:23 – “…..for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”
Penalty – Romans 6:23 – “…..for the wages of sin is death,”
Prize – Romans 6:23 – “but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Plan – Romans 10:9 – “That if you confess with your mouth, Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”
Promise – Romans 10:13 – “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
If you want to do that now, you can say a simple prayer from your heart to God asking for forgiveness and salvation. You don’t have to say these exact words, but something like this: Dear God, I know now that I am a sinner. I believe that you sent your only son, Jesus to live here on earth, die for my sin, and that He rose again to live with you and make a way so that I can be saved in Jesus’ name. I believe if I ask You to, that You will forgive me of my sins and make me clean, make me Your child, and fill me with Your Holy Spirit. I ask Yto do that for me now since I can’t do it for myself. I thank You for your free gift of forgiveness and salvation through Jesus that I cannot earn, but that you offer to me freely. Thank You for making me your child. I pray in Jesus’ name, Amen.
As you read Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, and the scriptures above, God will speak to your heart. I’d like for you to share with me what God shows you, and any decisions you make concerning any of this. I look forward to hearing from you. My prayer for you is that you accept His offer of forgiveness and salvation through Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten Son. May God bless you abundantly.
RESOURCES I USE:
At this time my favorite Bible to use is the “Hebrew – Greek KEY WORD Study Bible,” and mine is the New American Standard Version. There are a lot of reasons I love this Bible. Within the text key words have a number beside them. I use that number to look up the Hebrew root word and detailed meaning in that verse in the Old Testament; or if it is in the New Testament I use the number to look up the Greek root word and detailed meaning in that verse. I wanted to be able to go to the root word so I could see as close as possible exactly what that word meant in the language of the original text. This Bible also has footnotes that contain cultural details and other information to help me understand the Bible better. There is also a limited concordance in the back to help look up verses if you only remember a word or two of it, and can’t find it. In the very back is a series of maps from Bible times. You can look this Bible up at http://www.Lifeway.com, http://www.Amazon.com, and many other book sites. This one is a little expensive to start out, but you can find Bibles for less than $5.
For these next resources, I think it is easiest to go to a Christian Book Store and ask them to help you find the ones that will be compatible with the version or translation of the Bible you have.
I like to use two different Bible dictionaries. The first one we bought is Vine’s Bible Dictionary. We also bought Unger’s Bible Dictionary at a friend’s recommendation. It has some words in it that Vine’s does not. Both of these are very simple to use. I feel it is best when you go into a store looking for any resource material that you ask someone who works there for a resource that is easy to use. I find that if I try to use one that is very difficult for me to use, I get discouraged and end up not using it as I would if were easier to use. Ask if it is made to use with a certain version of the Bible and make sure it is made to go with the one you have, or that can be confusing sometimes.
Strong’s Concordance is a great tool for looking up Bible verses. Sometimes I find I may remember a phrase or a few words of a passage or verse but not where it is in the Bible. That is what this is for; to help you find that allusive scripture so that you can find it in your Bible. Here again, it is easier if you ask for help in the book store and buy one that is the same as the version or translation of Bible you have. This tool has saved me a lot of time and frustration in finding a verse if I could only remember two or three words.
Paul Little’s books: Know Who You Believe, Know What You Believe, Know Why You Believe. These three little books are great to read through and to use as reference books. In these books, the author makes answers to these important questions every person should ask themselves: Who do I believe? What do I believe? and Why do I believe? These are foundational to any belief. We should be able to stand firm on a firm foundation. These aren’t meant to take the place of the Bible ever; simply to break down those questions and the answers to them so it’s easy to understand.