ep. 36 | Biblical Literacy for Women with Kristin Schmucker
On today’s episode of the Journeywomen podcast, I chatted with Kristin Schmucker about one of my absolute favorite topics (which if you’ve been around for longer than 2 seconds you can probably already guess is…) Biblical literacy. We discussed everything from why we, as women, need the Bible, to what it might look like to gracefully prioritize this spiritual discipline from the gospel. As a wife and a mama to three precious girls and one adorable little boy, Kristin knows the challenges that come with demanding life seasons. Through it all, Kristin’s passion for equipping and encouraging women to know and love God's Word remains the same, because she knows from experience that studying Scripture changes lives. The desire of her heart is to help women see who God is and that the truth of His Word actually changes everything. I hope this episode leaves you all inspired and challenged to pick up your Bible, whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been studying it for years.
After listening to this episode, you will absolutely walk away with some helpful tools for your pursuit of Biblical literacy, but even more than that, I pray you will strive for Biblical literacy from a place of rest, believing that if you are in Christ, nothing can make you more loved than you are already are in Him. Not even the pursuit of something as excellent as Biblical literacy will make any of us more presentable to God. We are saved by works, but it is Christ’s works! Resting in what Christ has done for us brings a deep, soulful kind of rest that enables us to strive towards godliness as we study God’s Word.
Kristin and her team at The Daily Grace Co design tools to help us immerse our lives in the Word of God. They're graciously offering Journeywomen listeners a 20% off discount with the code JOURNEYWOMEN.
Can you tell us a little about who you are, what you do, and what you’re passionate about
What is Biblical literacy?
Why is it important? Why might it be important for women, specifically? What’s the aim/goal?
How can we grow in biblical literacy?
Does this look different based on our season of life? What might it look like in more demanding seasons, like for those of us that have little people or who are working full time
What encouragement do you have for those of us who are prone to feel shame or wallow in guilt when we fail to prioritize studying the Word?
How can we gracefully prioritize this spiritual discipline from the Gospel?
What are some important practical elements of Bible Study?
What should we beware of in ourselves when we approach the Word of God with the goal of growing in Biblical literacy? What cautions might you have for those hoping to
If we haven’t ever studied God’s Word, where should we begin? If we have studied, what would you encourage us to continue?
THREE QUESTIONS I ASK EVERY GUEST
What 3 resources would you recommend for someone who desires to grow in Biblical literacy?
What are 3 of your simple joys?
Who has had the biggest influence on your own journey with Jesus?
“Being in God’s Word is crucial because this is how we know who God is. The aim and the goal is continually to know Scripture more so that we can know God more. As we know God more, and immerse ourselves in His Word we are transformed into His image through the process of sanctification. It’s so important because Scripture is living and active! It is truly life-changing.”
“God’s Word is the comfort and the truth and the peace that will get us through anything. His Word is what gets us through.”
“We have all faced hard days and hard times. And yet when we come to God’s Word, we know that He is faithful. We need to be in Scripture so that we can preach that truth to ourselves because there will be days when it doesn’t feel true and that’s when we need an understanding of God’s Word so that we can preach it to our hearts over and over again.”
“Sometimes as women we buy into the lie that being a wife and a mother is the highest calling that a woman could have. Being a wife and a mother is a wonderful thing, but being a wife and a mother is not my highest calling. My highest calling is to be a disciple. My highest calling and the definition of success is obedience and surrender to God. Being a disciple impacts every area of my life. Being a disciple should impact the kind of wife and mother I am, and the same is true for those in other seasons or calling of life, whether in singleness, being a working mom, or a single mom. Being a disciple impacts all of those things. Biblical literacy is important for women because we are disciples and we need to know who God is. It’s also important because sometimes as women we’re tempted to be guided by our emotions. And instead, we need to be guided by truth because I don’t know about you, but my emotions don’t always tell the truth, but God’s Word is truth and we can always come back to that.”
“There is nothing that’s been more transformational to my knowledge of God’s Word than going through the entire Bible.”
“Reading the whole Bible shows us God’s redemptive plan from before the foundations of the world and really shows us where we fit into the story of Scripture. On a practical level, it will encourage our hearts to see God’s faithfulness to His people for generations and remind us that He will be faithful to us and that compels us to trust Him.”
“Sometimes we look at the different types of Bible study and kind of rank them and think that one is more important than the other. We look at this exposure to Scripture and think that it’s not as important as Inductive Bible study. But both of them are so important. There’s such an important part of being grounded in Biblical Literacy. That overview reading of the entire Bible really transforms our in depth study as well as we’re able to start making connections for ourselves and seeing how the whole story fits together.”
“There is no one-size-fits-all magic recipe when it comes to growing in God’s Word.”
“Remember to give yourself some grace in this season. God has put you in the season you’re in. He isn’t caught off guard if you are exhausted from being up five times at night with a baby. Just do what you can. This may mean that you’re just reading Scripture and then maybe coming back at another time to dig a little deeper. Or maybe this is just the time for you to read through the entire Bible and then jump back into a more in-depth study when you’re able to. Utilize nap times. Don’t think that your quiet time has to be quiet! A lot of times, it’s just not. On the flip side, we also have to be willing to take a long, hard look at ourselves and give grace when we’re in those difficult seasons where it’s just a really trying season, and also be able to recognize when we really need to shift our priorities and prioritize God’s Word.”
“You may feel like you cannot make time for God’s Word, but I think the truth is that you cannot afford not to make time for God’s Word in some capacity. That being said, it will look different in different seasons. However we can spend time in Scripture, it is going to bear fruit in our lives.”
“Eat until you’re full when it comes to Bible study. Sometimes it’s just one verse and that is enough to ground your heart in the Gospel and set you on the right trajectory for your day… sometimes you just go off of that until you have time to come back and get some more.”
“Our weakness points us to the gospel. The whole point of the gospel is that we are weak and that’s why we need Christ. If we could have lived the Christian life on our own, Jesus would not have needed to come. The beauty of the gospel and the beauty of seeing our weakness is that it reminds us how much we need him. We need to keep the gospel always in front of us and realize that our weakness always points us back to Him.”
“When we look to the entire Canon of Scripture we can see that the gospel is God’s plan from the beginning. What an encouragement for us! Our God is not caught off guard. If He is not caught off guard in this beautiful, huge story of Scripture that takes so many twists and turns, He is certainly not caught off guard by our daily lives. Looking for Jesus in every portion of Scripture and seeing how the Gospel is played out--seeing the theme of Creation, Fall, Redemption, and Restoration picture—will ground us in the gospel and help us to realize that the gospel is the big picture and the Word of God is the gospel! Every page is pointing to the message of the gospel!”
“We should pray before Bible study! We often come to Bible study and we totally forget to pray. We can pray for God to open our hearts, to give us understanding, to love His Word, and that He will transform us through the power of His Word.”
“If we think ‘Well, I’m not a pastor so I don’t need to know the Bible like my pastor does,’ but we need to get out of that mentality because as I mentioned earlier, we are disciples. It doesn’t matter what our season of life is or what our vocation is, we need to know God’s Word so that we can have it for ourselves and give it out to others.”
“This is a journey. It’s not something that happens overnight. We can’t expect to have this great, Biblical understanding and Biblical knowledge just a few days into our journey. It’s something that takes years and years. We could view that as a negative that we’re not there yet, or we could look at it and say, ‘Hey, I am now so much further than I used to be, and where will God have me 30 years from now?’ When we have studied God’s Word our entire life, what a joy it will be to look back and see what God has taught us over the years. It’s a journey and we just need to keep pressing in and doing these small little things to get us to our destination.”
“We need to be aware of the checklist mentality. We just want to cross it off our to-do list. But instead of having that mentality, we need to strive for a relationship mentality. We’re in a relationship! It’s not just something to cross off our to-do list. We also need to be careful of an academic mentality! We need to be cautious if we’re viewing our time in God’s Word as simply academic. We aren’t studying God’s Word to win a game of Bible trivia. We are studying God’s Word to know who He is and to be transformed into His likeness.”
“Beware of just taking your favorite Bible study teacher’s take on a passage and adopting it without digging into Scripture for ourselves. We can be discerning with what teachers and pastors we are listening to. Be aware of what we’re soaking ourselves in. By all means, listen to sermons and consult commentaries, but first get into Scripture yourself and begin developing your understanding of God’s Word so that you have the discernment to be able to sift through the huge multitude of resources that are out there today.”
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KRISTIN’S SIMPLE JOY’S
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