Archive for 'Bible Study'

Example: Current Bibles that I use.

Often when people talk about goals they give general information, but never specific examples of how to apply it to my life.

Since, I think daily Bible reading is so very important I wanted to give an example from my own life in the hope that it might be helpful to you.

First I’ll begin with what Bibles I’m currently using:

I typically change Bible versions / editions every year or so.

The current Bible I’m reading the Old Testament in is:

I can’t speak to the content of the Bible notes, because I rarely read them. The main reason I purchased this Bible is practical and shallow. I wanted a NKJV Bible to use with the Word of Promise Audio (practical) and I wanted a blue leather cover (shallow) 🙂 .

———-

The current Bible I’m reading the New Testament in is Divine Health (this is also a NKJV Bible):

I like the tips and the zine version is ‘different’, but I think it’s a good kind of different. I’m very visual, so the color and pictures help present the message in a new way.

———-

I frequently like to listen to the Word of Promise (WOP) audio mp3s while reading the Bible. Reading and listening is a great way to focus your mind on God’s word and allows the passage more depth to speak into your life. The WOP audio Bible is truly one of my favorite audio Bibles.

I loaded all the MP3s onto my ipod and created playlists by Bible book so that finding the correct file to play is very easy.

———————

Now that we have clarified the Bibles I use the next post will give an overview of how I organize my Bible and my current Bible reading goals.

Lesson 2: Read It!

How to Delight in God’s Word — Read It!

Printable Overview of Lesson 02

Printable Leaders Guide to Lesson 02

I know it sounds pretty obvious to say “you can’t delight in God’s word unless you read it”, but this was something I was quick at understanding and slow at applying. I remember when I was a new believer,  there were many weeks that I’d hunt for my Bible Saturday night (so I could be ready for church on Sunday) and fine it left in my car from the previous Sunday. It was no surprise I wasn’t enjoying or delighting in the Bible, because I was not reading it.

After I began to schedule a daily time with God (to pray and read his word) . . .  slowly .  . . over time. . . my quiet time was transformed. It wasn’t a chore, but instead it became a pleasure and privilege.

Joshua 1:8: “8Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.

God tells us to read, meditate and ‘do’, which will be the next three things we’ll be focusing on in order to delight in God’s Word. But, what’s exciting is that this comes with a promise you can claim and that is that “then you will be prosperous and successful.” This prosperity and success could be manipulated by many to mean a guarantee of worldly power or wealth, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Following God’s wisdom can lead to financial blessing, but this is not a promise, instead as we read, meditate and do, God’s fruit will spring forth in or lives and we will have an abundance of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility and self-control (Gal. 5:22).

Another key to success in reading the Bible is finding a translation that is understandable by you. I know many people have gotten overwhelmed by the King James Bible and yet, others enjoy the prose and wording. This is important to find a Bible that you will regularly use, perhaps a study Bible, Devotional Bible, Audio Bible, etc. The key is choose a Bible that you enjoy reading, while being mindful to not choose a ‘paraphrase’ version as your primary Bible.

Acts 17:11 (NLT) “11And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to check up on Paul and Silas, to see if they were really teaching the truth.”

We need to follow the Bereans two part example the first is to approach God’s Word with eagerness and enthusiasm. It’s important to have enthusiasm for God’s Word and look forward to learning more about and hearing from Him. Second is that they tested what they were taught by others to see if it was the truth according to the Scriptures. There is nothing wrong with learning from Bible Teachers or Books, but it’s important to check and double-check what is taught to make sure it lines up with what the Bible says.

Avoid the attitude that Bible study is a burden and something you can never miss or you will not learn to enjoy it. Satan will attack you if you miss a day and tell you you’re a failure, that God doesn’t love you and a bunch of other lies, because that is what he is — a great big liar. Then you’ll be discouraged and want to stop studying the Bible altogether.

1 Peter 5:8-9 “8Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.”

Satan wants to destroy us, and there is nothing he wants more than to keep believers away from the power that is in God’s word. So If you have not been studying the bible be aware that you may face trials and difficulties as you begin this discipline.

James 1:2-3: “2Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

These trials are a necessary part of the maturing process.

So we all need to make reading the Bible a priority, but you also need to give yourself Grace whenever you miss time studying and just pick up wherever your at.

Avoid viewing the Bible as a rule book full of Do’s and Don’ts or you won’t delight in it.

I once heard the statement in regard to parenting that “Rules without Relationship equals Rebellion”. It’s the same with the Bible, if we see the Bible as a book of Rules and we don’t have a relationship with the Author then nobody would want to continue reading it and it’s much easier to rebel against the truths of the Bible.

That’s why Satan wants people to believe the Bible is just a rule book and for us to forget about grace, love, forgiveness and a relationship with God.

Instead we need to view the Bible as a love letter written from a loving heavenly father to his children wanting to give them everything they need to know while in this difficult and trying human existence. He wants to help us avoid undue difficulties caused by sin and He wants us to know that even in the worst of circumstances He’s still with us and we can trust in Him.

Lesson 1: Pray over it . . . and through it.

How to Delight in God’s Word — Prayer

Printable Overview of Lesson 01

Printable Leaders Guide to Lesson 01

This seems simple and obvious, but I always considered prayer and Bible Study separate disciplines and never realized how important they were to be incorporated together.

I begin my quiet time by simply praying and asking God for wisdom and guidance and for him to soften my heart to receive his truths. Just by adding prayer before studying the Bible I found that God was faithful to hear my prayer and give me a deeper understanding of his Word.

1 John 5:14-15 (NLT): 14And we can be confident that he will listen to us whenever we ask him for anything in line with his will. 15And if we know he is listening when we make our requests, we can be sure that he will give us what we ask for.

So we know that if we ask God for something AND it’s according to his will, he will be faithful to give it to us.

James 1:5 (NIV) tells us: 5If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. 6But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.

We can see in this verse that wisdom is something that God tells us to ask for and he promises to give it generously, but we must believe and not doubt that God will provide it to us. This gives us confirmation that praying for wisdom and guidance before we study the Bible is indeed a prayer according to God’s will that He will answer.

The second thing I learned was to pray as I read the Bible. As I read God might reveal an area I need to change or I might learn something new from God and I pray immediately to respond to the message I have received. It may be that I need to ask for forgiveness; I’ll want to stop and praise him, to thank him, or whatever I feel I want to tell him, I do it right then and there.

Have any of you ever had a pen pal or other long distance relationship through the mail?

Did you find it more difficult to sustain a deep and meaningful relationship compared to in- person communication?

This is what my relationship to God was like a loving, but long-distance relationship through letters. I would tell him everything I wanted to say in prayer and then at a later time I would read what He had to say. It was never immediate or back and forth like a real in-person relationship is and therefore I could not reach a deeper and more meaningful relationship with Him.

Have you ever felt like God was distant?

New Series: How to Delight in God’s Word

Introduction:

When I became a Christian at 21 (in 1998), I was the only Christian in my immediate family, so I didn’t have anyone to teach me the basics about studying the Bible or the Christian Life. As many people have experienced I went to Church but was still confused on how to go from accepting Christ to knowing how to live for Christ day-to-day in my ‘real’ life.

I went on a journey at the School of Hard Knocks and I tried a wide-variety of things hoping to grow closer to God and some worked way better than others. Through this trial and error process I found 7 things that helped to take my study of the Bible and my relationship to God to a deeper and more intimate level.  This is what this Bible Study Series is upon — Learning to Delight in God’s Word.

These are not rules or anything everyone should do, but simply tips and tools that I found helpful that may or may not be helpful to you, but are worth contemplating and trying to see if it helps to increase the joy in your own walk with the Lord.

Question – “Have any of you  had a period of time where you didn’t feel like you were enjoying studying the Bible or had hit a dry period?”

If you said yes, then you are human and in the right place. Hopefully these tools will be helpful to you during these periods.

The Following is a list of the topics that will be covered in the series:

How to Delight in God’s Word!

1. ) Pray over it and through it. Begin with prayer and continue to communicate with God as he speaks to you through His Word.

2.) Read it. Devote time to reading the Bible.

3.) Study it. Find a passage to study: observe, interpret and apply it to your life.

4.) Obey it. Obey the Bible to grow in your love for and understanding of God.

5.) Memorize it. Store it in your heart, so that it will always be with you to guide your way.

6.) Write about it. Record your journey to ‘remember’ where you’ve come from and how God continues to work in your life.

7.) Share it. Share what you’ve learned with others and recieve a double-blessing by learning from one another.

Here’s a bookmark that includes all the topics for the series:


PDF version of Bookmark

Note: I will also be including some Bible Study Printable Sheets with each lesson, so if any of you want to share them with friends or want to teach the topics you will be able to easily do so.

This Bible Study was the first study I ever wrote and taught. It was over five years ago and I remember how God seemed to really direct me in the writing. Even as I’m re-organizing it to post here I’ve been nourished and refreshed through this teaching. My prayer is that God will use it to help encourage and grow you as He has used it in my life.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...