knowing Jesus

We want to provide resources to help you know Jesus.

Jesus as the written word: Resources on how to read the bible, understand it, and see how it all REVEALS who he is and what he has done.

Jesus as the living word: Resources to help you go beyond knowing information about Jesus, and develop a RELATIONSHIP with him personally.

knowing jesus: revealed in the written word


New Living Translation- On Sunday mornings we typically use the NLT when we put scriptures on the screen. There are a number of good translations but we have found it easier for people growing in their faith to understand and use this particular version. You can get more information about this translation from their website. 

We have two recommendations.

  • NLT Life Application Study Bible has explanatory notes, references where scriptures in the new testament point back to the old testament, and ways to apply it to your life practically. It's full of great resources.
  • NLT journaling bible with places to take notes from sermons, commentaries, or your own devotions. Another option would be the version that points to Jesus in different parts of the Old Testament and how Jesus fulfills them in the New Testament. It includes a bible reading plan, and more.
  • The Bible App- The Bible for your phone. Lots of reading plans and versions of the Bible available.
  • The Blue Letter Bible App- Great section for finding out what the original word and language was in particular sections of Scripture.


  • Exalting Jesus Commentaries- Looking to go deeper in your study? Don't be afraid of the word "commentary". These are incredibly easy to read and very insightful. Written to help you better understand the meaning of each book of the bible.
  • NIV Life Application Commentaries- If you want even more depth, these commentaries excel in helping you understand the what people who first heard each passage would have probably thought about. Then there is a section that explains how our world may be different. Then there is a direct application to how it applies to us today.


  • Christian Beliefs: Twenty Basics Every Christian Should Know- is a shortened more accessible version of Wayne Grudems Systematic Theology. It addresses questions like: what is the Bible, What is God like, What is the Trinity, What is Creation, What is Prayer and others.
  • The Bible Project- Incredible resource with Videos explaining each book of the bible, overviews of themes, and understanding theology! Do yourself a favor and check it out.


  • Jesus Storybook Bible- This is one of the most loved children's bible of today. It tells the major stories of the bible in a simple but profound way and how they all point back to Jesus. 
  • The Story for Children- If you are looking for a beautifully illustrated children's bible that has more stories than what are in Jesus Storybook bible, this one is a great addition. Some families have both and swap between the two.
  • International Children's Bible (ICB)- Great Bible for kids that are ready to be hearing from the bible and don't need the pictures to keep them engaged. Written for ages 6-12, it is easy to understand. This is a great version to start using to teach memorization of scripture to children.
  • The Biggest Story-  10 short chapters that wonderfully explain to kids how the whole bible fits together from the Garden of Eden to New Creation in Revelation.
  • The Action Bible- For older kids, this bible is illustrated like a comic book. It includes far more stories in it that are are typically in children's bibles. You might consider this if your kid knows all the stories from the Jesus Storybook Bible or the Story for Children. 
  • What's in the Bible With Buck Denver- From the Creator of Veggie Tales, this is a video based show that walks kids through each book of the bible in a fun, intelligent way. Parents will learn from this too!


  • The "Ology"- Wonderful book that takes big truths about God, Jesus, The Holy Spirit, the Church, Salvation, and others and puts them into simple yet powerful terms for little minds. Helpful for parents too! Great illustrations! 
  • The Radical Book for Kids- Help your kids learn more about the Christian faith. Things like Christians in history every Christian should know, Women of Faith, Church History. Great illustrations again.


  • The Three Story Bible- Our student ministry recommends this bible for Jr and Sr High students. It is the NLT translation so it is easily understood, has sections of stories of how particular scriptures applied to the original reader, and to other students as well.
  • Students Life Application Study Bible- Help your student find out what the difficult passages in the bible mean. Help them learn to study the bible on their own.

Knowing Jesus: relationship through worship

Start with the Bible: 

We know we already said that, but the Bible is the most common way that Jesus speaks to us. However, when you're first starting out we know it sounds a little weird to pick up a book to hear from Jesus and to develop a relationship with with him. Don't worry, that's what the following resources are designed to help you with. How to listen (meditation), and then how to respond (worship in prayer, singing, and other ways)

Books to Help you Start Listening to Jesus:

Books to Help you Start Talking to Jesus:

  • Praying Scripture- Ever felt like you prayed the same old things the same old way over and over again? God has given us a gift in learning how to talk to him by using the words in the Bible and making them our own. Learn to have a conversation, where God speaks through his word, and you respond using the word to help you. (Additional Resources- 30 day Praying the Psalms printout to go in your bible)
  • PRAYING_THE_LORDS_PRAYER.pdf Jesus taught his disciples to talk to God using a prayer that covers the bases of what we need to talk to God about.
  • The Prayer Hand- Another way to help you pray using the fingers on your hand to remember certain things to include in your prayer.

Ways to Develop Your Relationship with Jesus in addition to the Bible:

  • Sacred Pathways- God wired us up to encounter him in unique ways that fit us. There is no one right way to grow. Gary Thomas's book Sacred Pathways helps you identify some ways that best fit you. Here are some tips and suggestions for those who are wired in these ways (as well as warnings).
  • Naturalists- Loving God Out of Doors
  • Sensates- Loving God with the Senses
  • Traditionalists- Loving God through Ritual and Symbol
  • Ascetics- Loving God in Solitude and Simplicity
  • Activists- Loving God through Confrontation
  • Caregivers- Loving God by Loving Others
  • Contemplatives- Loving God through Adoration
  • Intellectuals- Loving God with the Mind



  • More resources to come


231 W. Van Buren

Auburn, IL 62615

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