Transform Your Bible Study: 3 Tips for Engaging with the Book of Acts

Transform Your Bible Study:
3 Tips for Engaging with the Book of Acts

The Bible is a powerful and transformative book, but certain parts can be difficult to read. A particularly challenging section for me has often been the book of Acts. The unfamiliar places, regions, and languages referred to in the story can make the narrative difficult to follow. Through years of studying Acts, I have gained a better understanding and engagement with this remarkable book, and I’d like to share three tips to help you engage with it, too:
  1. Use a map to follow the journey, especially as you read the second half of the book. Maps offer visual guidance and can aid in following Paul’s travels through various cities. You might find a map in the back of your Bible or locate one online. Here’s a map from my book, The Barbour Bible Atlas. Maps can be incredibly helpful when reading a book like Acts.
  2. Paul's 3rd Missionary Journey
    Image taken from The Barbour Bible Atlas (c) 2024 Barbour Publishing. Used by Permission.

    Remember Acts is a history book. Acts records the divine adventures of Peter, Paul, Luke, and others. It vital to recognize that their experiences differ from ours. God’s actions in their lives may not mirror ours, but their stories offer valuable lessons about God and the way God engages us. Although we may not face imprisonment or stoning like Paul, each story reveals lessons about God and His workings. When reading each section, ask yourself: “What does this story teach me about God?” and “What insights does it offer about God’s heart for the church?”

  3. Engage the drama and the feelings behind the text. Immerse yourself in the drama and emotions within the text. While reading about Peter’s call to visit a Gentile, try to imagine his feelings. Though he desired to obey God, consider the challenge of setting aside a lifetime of personal biases. How might Paul have felt when he really wanted to go to one region but God kept saying “no”? Imagine Paul and Silas reamained so calm that they sing through the night while in prison. Every individual in the story shares our humanity. Consider their feelings during each event. Where did they find God? How do their choices model faith for us?

Although it has been challenging, I have grown to love the book of Acts over the years. I urge you to approach this book with an appreciation of God’s work in His people’s lives, recognizing that the story extends beyond Acts into our lives and churches today.

I pray that your engagement with Acts deepens your understanding of God and His adventures for us.

Acts 1:8

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