Before You Open Your Bible: Nine Heart Postures For Approaching God's Word
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We know the Bible is important, but many of us struggle with it. We’re not biblical experts—though we may have started enough reading plans to be really familiar with Genesis. If we’re honest, the Bible often intimidates us, confuses us, and reading it doesn’t always thrill us.
And yet, the Bible is where God reveals his loving character and incredible plan of redemption. In a practical and engaging manner, Matt Smethurst—managing editor of The Gospel Coalition—presents nine heart postures that will prepare you to unpack all that’s awaiting you in God’s Word.
Although there are many great resources on how to read and study Scripture, hardly any focus exclusively on how to approach it in the first place. That’s what Smethurst provides in this unique “prelude” to opening your Bible. For without the right heart postures, we’re not yet ready to start reading.
What others are saying about Before You Open Your Bible:
“Today there has been a movement toward a ‘spiritual reading’ of the Bible that puts the greatest emphasis on one’s own experience of the text rather than on a careful, close reading and study of it. Yet Bible study must never be a merely academic exercise either. Matt Smethurst’s little book is a needed re-orientation so that Christians can genuinely hear God’s voice through his written Word.” — Tim Keller, Chairman and Co-founder, Redeemer City to City and author of The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness
"If you tend to grab your Bible, flip it open, and mumble a quick request for Holy Spirit-help, you are setting yourself up for something less than spectacular. But if you wish to hear the Spirit of Jesus speak life-altering words to you, it will mean laying aside your agenda, rallying your sensibilities, and remembering the majesty of the One who has words for you. Matt Smethurst has written a stellar little book on this rare but important subject. If you desire to approach your Bible as God wants you to, read this and be renewed!" — Joni Eareckson Tada, Joni and Friends International Disability Center
“As evidenced by his social media presence, my friend Matt Smethurst is one of the more thoughtful Christian commentators out there today. I’m thankful he’s written a book on how to rightly interact with God’s Word. This is something that no Christian can afford to neglect.” — Shai Linne, Christian hip-hop artist and author of God Made Me and You
“No one ever comes to God’s Word empty-handed. What you bring with you will shape how you receive it, understand it and live it. As I read Matt’s book, I was reminded once again that the battle of Bible study is really a war for the reader’s heart. I love this book! I need this book and so do you. Read it and keep it near, because you’ll need to read it again and again.” — Paul David Tripp, President, Paul Tripp Ministries and author of Suffering: Gospel Hope When Life Doesn’t Make Sense
“This book is a treasure. It is precisely what the church needs. I know of nothing else quite like it. I want to get this book into the hands of Christians of all ages.” — Burk Parsons, Pastor, St. Andrew’s Chapel, Sanford, Florida and chief publishing officer of Ligonier Ministries
“Of all the treasures on earth, none is quite so precious as the Bible, for it gives us unique access to the mind, heart, and will of God. Yet those who wish to benefit from God’s Word must learn to approach it with an appropriate posture of the heart. Matt Smethurst’s little book helpfully teaches how to approach the Bible not just as a book, but as the best and most important of all books.” — Tim Challies, blogger, Challies.com
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