Since LivingForJesus.com is a site that is ultimately trying to encourage the constant progression toward an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ, I feel it is quite reasonable for me to post some of the best resources to help you in that Journey. The following is a list of resources I feel are most important to ones walk with God. I will Start with the two mandatory ones, the rest are recommendations.
- Prayer – This is a key essential in any believer’s life. God is not just a concept, or history, He is REAL! Prayer is our way of communication with Him. Prayer is more than just asking for something, it is real communication. Talk to God how you would talk to someone real, have conversations with Him, write letters to Him, etc. Give Him time to talk to you as well, that is a crucial part that many overlook.
- The Bible– This and prayer are ultimately the most important resources in your relationship with God. It is the infallible word of God Himself. It is so important for one not to rely on others interpretations of it, but to delve into it themselves and begin to get to know who God truly is.
The are multiple translations of the Bible, such as NIV, KJV, NKJV, NLT, The Message, etc. But the ones I like the most are NIV and NKJ. I have found it very beneficial though to have multiple translations so you can compare them. I recommend having a small travel size Bible, and another Bible for Study. The Following are my recommendations, but don’t feel limited by them, there are hundreds of versions to choose from:
The Zondervan NIV Study Bible – The Zondervan NIV Study Bible is the #1 bestselling study Bible in the bestselling NIV translation. It is excellent for home study use.
The NIV Compact Thinline Bible – A trim, go-anywhere pocket Bible that contains the entire Old and New Testaments plus many features usually found only in full-size Bibles.
- Bible Concordance – A Bible Concordance is an alphabetical index to all the words found in the English text of the Bible. The common uses for a concordance is to: 1. Find Verses 2. Study topics of interest and 3. Study people, places, and events. A lot of Bibles have a small concordance in the back of them. The following is my recommendation for one:
The Strongest NIV Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible – This is the only exhaustive concordance based on the New International Version of the Bible; it gives complete access to every word of the NIV text as well as to the Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek from which the NIV was translated.
- Bible Dictionary – A Bible dictionary is a very valuable tool for studying the Bible. A dictionary gives us invaluable information about Bible characters, Bible books, geography, the cultural context of the Bible, theological topics, and much more. Here is my recommendation:
- Bible Commentary– Another good tool. The commentary emphasizes interpretation of the biblical text. It is most often used to help explain difficult passages to understand, and to learn the historical background of a book of the Bible. Though this tool is useful, I warn you not to rely on someone else’s interpretation all the time. A lot of Study Bibles have a commentary at the bottom of every page. I don’t have a recommendation for this one.
- Another Fun Tool – another tool that I love, is Halley’s Bible Handbook. Halley’s Bible Handbook provides time-tested help for understanding the Bible. It includes a concise Bible commentary, important discoveries in archaeology, related historical data, church history, maps, and more. It is one of my Favorite tools to have with me when I am reading the Bible.
- Christian Books and Devotionals – These are important tools for us as well. Though they should never replace the Bible, Christian books and devotionals offer us contemporary help and guidance for our lives. And there are hundreds for every topic you need. I’m listing 3 books that I HIGHLY recommend. They are:
My Utmost for His Highest – Written by Oswald Chambers. This is a classic daily devotion that I believe stands the test of time. Every devotion I’ve read from it has impacted me so much, and I believe it is a great addition to anyone’s resources for getting closer to Jesus. I honestly say GET IT!
The Love Dare – written by Stephen & Alex Kendrick. The Love Dare is a 40-day challenge for husbands and wives to understand and practice unconditional love. I recommend this for any married couple, whether your marriage is hanging by a thread or healthy and strong.
Crazy Love – written by Francis Chan. In the book Chan emphasizes the need for a personal relationship with Jesus. It’s not about following a list of do’s and don’ts, its about falling in love with God. Also another great read! Add it to your library.
I hope you found this information useful. There are countless other wonderful tools out there as well, the preceding are just some of my favorites. Don’t be overwhelmed by the amount of tools there are. All God ultimately desires is an intimate relationship with us. None of these are required for that (except the Bible and Prayer). They are just tools to help.
Press in to God and get to know Him better. Fall in love with Him, or more in love with Him.