John 8:31-32 “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
I’ve read some glaring statistics that show that many Christians aren’t exactly abiding in God’s Word. Many of us are not reading, studying, meditating, memorizing, or taking God’s Word authoritatively anymore. God has shown us through the recorded scriptures that His people are very good at forgetting what He has said, and we don’t seem to be doing much better than those who have gone before us. Bible literacy is at an all time low and getting lower every day. I’ve heard our problem referred to as a “crisis” and a “famine”. Some say we are starving ourselves to death spiritually in spite of the fact that the food with which we need to nourish ourselves is readily available to us . This is almost unimaginable when we stop to consider all that Christians risked to put the English Bible in our hands . Ouch!
A recent study by LifeWay Research found that less than half of those who regularly attend church read the Bible more than once a week. 40 percent of the people surveyed read their Bibles maybe once or twice a month, if at all. And, saddest of all, 18% of those surveyed who attend church regularly said they never read their Bible . If you find these statistics to be as convicting to your soul as I have, then there’s only one thing for us to do about it: pick up your Bible! If we are going to truly transform our heart and lives for Him, we must turn back to the Gospel (1 John 1:9), seek the power that the message of the Gospel holds (Romans 1:16), and allow God to write His words upon our hearts (Jeremiah 31:33). God will not write His words upon our hearts if we are not feeding on His Word, and if we are not feeding on His Word, we are not abiding in Him, and if we are not abiding in Him, our lives will not be gospel-centered.
I am thankful for a beautiful, God honoring woman who took the time to share her love of God’s Word with me. She taught me how to study the Bible and in doing so, she taught me how to feed myself and how to satisfy the insatiable hunger and thirst I had and still have for God’s Word. I am also thankful for another one of God’s daughters who gave me the gift of a Bible. I received a New Inductive Study Bible (Precept Ministries International)  while taking a Precept Upon Precept Bible study class. This Bible has the instructions for how to use the Precept™ Inductive Bible Study Method and has become invaluable to me. My Bible has a hardcover, and I absolutely love it because it is made well. It has held up to the heavy use I have given it. There are other cover options available for this Bible as well, and it is available in either ESV or NASB translations, which is great because both of these are known to be good, literal, readable versions of the Bible. The New Inductive Study Bible can be used by anyone from any denomination because Precept Minsistries “does not seek to impose its doctrines on others, but rather to direct people to the Master Himself, who leads and guides by His Spirit into all truth through a systematic study of His Word.” Some of the great features of this Bible include:
- a section on how to use The New Inductive Study Bible
- Bible study helps
- color maps, key charts, and illustrations
- a place to record your observations
- one year and three year reading plans
- cross references
This Bible also has a section on The Major Events in Israel’s History and a section with Historical and Grammatical Helps. The addition of these sections really helps readers understand the religious, cultural, and political settings they will encounter in the Bible, which in turn helps them gain a better understanding of the passages they are reading and studying. At the beginning of every book in The New Inductive Study Bible, there are “Things To Do”, “General Instructions”, and “Things To Think About”. These guide readers through the Bible as if they were in an actual classroom setting. The prompts give the reader a sense of focus and direction in their studies but do not interpret the texts for them. I have heard some say that they do not like The Inductive Marking Approach and System For Marking Key Words because it involves color coding and switching between colored pencils can be too cumbersome. However, I would not let that deter you from trying this method. I have not always been consistent in sticking with the colored marking system, but I have still gotten a lot out of my studies.
Overall, Precept Ministries International has done an exceptional job in putting a study Bible into the hands of God’s people that will help them get more out of His Word than they probably ever could have imagined. In addition, Precept Ministries is also helping to disciple women through their online Bible study classes and classroom Bible studies around the globe. They have tools on their website to help you find a class if you are interested in taking one. They are also committed in their encouragement of their Bible students to become Bible study leaders who go on to teach others what they themselves have learned. They have some great resources on their website, and I would encourage you to take a look at all they have to offer.
Precept Ministries was founded by Jack Arthur and his wife Kay in 1970. Their unique inductive studies were developed based on their study and teaching experiences because of their love for God’s Word, and their desire to share their love of the scriptures with others. Their studies are available in several different languages, are being used in many different countries, and are helping God’s people abide in His Word.
 See http://www.christianitytoday.com/edstetzer/2014/october/biblical-illiteracy-by-numbers.html
 See http://precept.org/
Stephanie Schaible is a disciple of Jesus Christ who worships the Lord at Trinity Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Corinth, MS. She is also a wife of 24 years, a mother of 3 boys, and a blogger for Christ. Her understanding of the Bible has been greatly helped through Precept Ministries, and she is excited to share this with others.