03 November

Top 4 Bible Studies for Christmas

If you’re not careful, Thanksgiving comes, and the Christmas crush is on. And it does just that. It crushes us with the busyness and the stress and all that we’ve got to get done and check off our list. Then, all of a sudden, the whole thing is over, and we’ve missed the miracle that is Christmas. 

And that’s why it’s important to slow down and consider the rhythm of the Advent and Christmas season. Advent, at its core is about waiting. Specifically, it’s about waiting in expectation, and remembering that God comes through on his promises.  

You might be in a part of the story right now where you can’t see how all the pieces are coming together, God’s working right now amid the waiting. While you’re waiting on God, God is working his plan in your life.

Here are the Top 4 studies from trusted teachers on the waiting season of Advent.

1. Waiting Here for You: An Advent Journey of Hope – Louie Giglio

Waiting Here for You Bible Study Guide plus Streaming Video: An Advent Journey of Hope

A season overflowing with anticipation, Christmas comes the same time each year with great hope and promise of a baby born long ago. But this season meant for joy is often consumed by busyness, pressure, mixed emotions, and is gone as quickly as it came.

What is it all for?

In this four session study, pastor Louie Giglio reminds us that it’s in the richness of Advent – a season of expectant waiting and preparation – that we find our answer. And it is throughout this waiting season that we prepare our hearts to greet December 25th with joy, peace, hope, and refreshed promise in our newborn King.

Here’s Louie talking about the series:

For more on Waiting Here for You and Louie Giglio, click here.

2. Because of Bethlehem: Love is Born, Hope is Here – Max Lucado

Because of Bethlehem Bible Study Guide: Love is Born, Hope is Here

No one expected the Messiah to come the way he did. Yet the way he came was every bit as important as the coming itself. The manger is the message.

Because of Bethlehem, God knows what it’s like to be human. Because of Bethlehem, when we talk to him about tough times, he understands. He’s been there. He’s been here. Because of Bethlehem, we no longer have marks on our record…just grace.

For some, Christmas is a time of excitement, celebration, and family, while for others it is a time of loneliness, grief, and loss. No matter what this season holds for you, the promise of Christmas will bring you a lifetime of hope.

Max Lucado guides you through the Advent season:

For more on Because of Bethlehem from Max Lucado, click here

3. The Case for Christmas: Evidence for the Identity of Jesus – Lee Strobel

The Case for Christmas Bible Study Guide: Evidence for the Identity of Jesus

During his faith journey, Lee Strobel investigated the real meaning behind all those nativity scenes he saw outside of churches. In this four-week study, Lee reveals what he discovered from consulting experts on the Bible, archaeology, and messianic prophecy as he sought to separate the truth from the tradition.

Regardless of whether the center of your Christmas decorations is the nativity set on your mantle or the presents under the tree, The Case for Christmas study invites you to look beyond the familiar traditions of the season, challenge you to examine the evidence for yourself, and consider why Christmas really matters and why it’s still so relevant today.

Watch a clip from the first session:

For more on The Case Christmas by Lee Strobel, click here

4. Who Needs Christmas – Andy Stanley

Who Needs Christmas Bible Study Guide

Rediscover the improbable story of Christmas.

Four thousand years ago, God promised he would do something through the bloodline of Abraham. Two thousand years later, Jesus was born. And two thousand years after that, we’re still talking about it.


The story of Jesus’ birth was not what anyone expected: a baby . . . born in the armpit of the Mediterranean . . . to save us from sins that no one thought we needed saving from.

This Christmas season, join Andy Stanley as he unpacks why the improbability of the Christmas story is what makes it so believable. No one could have or would have made it up.

Watch the trailer for Who Needs Christmas:

For more on Who Needs Christmas by Andy Stanley, click here

14 June

How to Study the Bible by Max Lucado

The Bible is a peculiar book. Words crafted in another language. Deeds done in a distant era. Events recorded in a far- off land. Counsel offered to a foreign people. It is a peculiar book.

It’s surprising that anyone reads it. It’s too old. Some of its writings date back 5,000 years. It’s too bizarre. The book speaks of incredible floods, fires, earthquakes, and people with supernatural abilities. It’s too radical. The Bible calls for undying devotion to a carpenter who called himself God’s Son.

Logic says this book shouldn’t survive. Too old, too bizarre, too radical.

The Bible has been banned, burned, scoffed, and ridiculed. Scholars have mocked it as foolish. Kings have branded it as illegal. A thousand times over the grave has been dug and the dirge has begun, but somehow the Bible never stays in the grave. Not only has it survived, but it has also thrived. It is the single most popular book in all of history. It has been the bestselling book in the world for years!

There is no way on earth to explain it. Which perhaps is the only explanation. For the Bible’s durability is not found on earth but in heaven. The millions who have tested its claims and claimed its promises know there is but one answer: the Bible is God’s book and God’s voice.

As you read it, you would be wise to give some thought to two questions: What is the purpose of the Bible? and How do I study the Bible? Time spent reflecting on these two issues will greatly enhance your Bible study.

What is the purpose of the Bible?

Let the Bible itself answer that question: “From infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:15).

The purpose of the Bible? Salvation. God’s highest passion is to get his children home. His book, the Bible, describes his plan of salvation. The purpose of the Bible is to proclaim God’s plan and passion to save his children.

This is the reason why this book has endured through the centuries. It dares to tackle the toughest questions about life: Where do I go after I die? Is there a God? What do I do with my fears? The Bible is the treasure map that leads to God’s highest treasure— eternal life.

But how do you study the Bible? Countless copies of Scripture sit unread on bookshelves and nightstands simply because people don’t know how to read it. What can you do to make the Bible real in your life?

The clearest answer is found in the words of Jesus: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7).

The first step in understanding the Bible is asking God to help you. You should read it prayerfully. If anyone understands God’s Word, it is because of God and not the reader.

“The Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”

John 14:26

Before reading the Bible, pray and invite God to speak to you. Don’t go to Scripture looking for your idea but go searching for his. Not only should you read the Bible prayerfully, but you should also read it carefully. “Seek and you will find” is the pledge. The Bible is not a newspaper to be skimmed but rather a mine to be quarried.

If you look for it as for silver and search for it as for hidden treasure, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.”

Proverbs 2:4–5

Any worthy find requires effort. The Bible is no exception. To understand the Bible, you don’t have to be brilliant, but you must be willing to roll up your sleeves and search.

“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth”.

2 Timothy 2:15

Here’s a practical point. Study the Bible a bit at a time. Hunger is not satisfied by eating twenty- one meals in one sitting once a week. The body needs a steady diet to remain strong. So does the soul. When God sent food to his people in the wilderness, he didn’t provide loaves already made. Instead, he sent them manna in the shape of “thin flakes like frost on the ground” (Exodus 16:14).

God gave manna in limited portions.

God sends spiritual food the same way. He opens the heavens with just enough nutrients for today’s hunger. He provides “a rule for this, a rule for that; a little here, a little there” (Isaiah 28:10).

Don’t be discouraged if your reading reaps a small harvest. Some days a lesser portion is all that is needed. What is important is to search every day for that day’s message. A steady diet of God’s Word over a lifetime builds a healthy soul and mind.

It’s much like the little girl who returned from her first day at school feeling a bit dejected. Her mom asked, “Did you learn anything?” “Apparently not enough,” the girl responded. “I have to go back tomorrow, and the next day, and the next . . .”

Such is the case with learning. And such is the case with Bible study. Understanding comes little by little over a lifetime. There is a third step in understanding the Bible. After the asking and seeking comes the knocking. After you ask and search, “knock and the door will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7).

To knock is to stand at God’s door. To make yourself available. To climb the steps, cross the porch, stand at the doorway, and volunteer. Knocking goes beyond the realm of thinking and into the realm of acting.

To knock is to ask, What can I do? How can I obey? Where can I go? It’s one thing to know what to do. It’s another to do it. But for those who do it— those who choose to obey— a special reward awaits them.

“Whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom and continues in it— not forgetting what they have heard but doing it— they will be blessed in what they do.”

James 1:25

What a promise. Blessings come to those who do what they read in God’s Word! It’s the same with medicine. If you only read the label but ignore the pills, it won’t help. It’s the same with food. If you only read the recipe but never cook, you won’t be fed. And it’s the same with the Bible. If you only read the words but never obey, you’ll never know the joy God has promised.

Ask. Search. Knock. Simple, isn’t it? So why don’t you give it a try? If you do, you’ll see why the Bible is the most remarkable book in history.

Max has many different Bible studies and one that would be a great next study is his 40 Days through the Book of Romans study. Throughout the study, you’ll explore the book of Romans with Max to gain a deeper understanding of its context and content, focusing on central truths of the book. The six-session video study includes a reading plan for you to read the whole book of Romans in 40 days and has personal devotions for each day.

Jump into this user-friendly Bible study today!