4 Tips for Better Bible Study

The Word of God is powerful. It is sharper than any two edged sword. It cuts down to our very being and leaves us exposed to the truth. However Bible, study is not always easy. Studying the Bible and interpreting the Bible well does take some work. Here are four ways you can improve your Bible Study.

1. Pray A lot of times we approach Bible study as a purely intellectual exercise. We rush in self-sufficiency and think the only tool we need for understanding is our minds. This is totally false. Our intellects are sinful and faulty. We need the Holy Spirit to reveal to us the truth of Scripture. "The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned." - 1 Corinthians 2:14

2. Pay attention to Context When most people read the Scriptures they often rip verses kicking and screaming out of context. They ignore the sentences surrounding it. They ignore the context and purpose of the entire book. Do not make this error in your Bible Study. Always ask yourself, “how does this verse fit into the context of the book”

3. Do not Moralize The Bible does teach morality. It teaches us how we ought to live, but it also tells a story. The true story in which God is fixing all that’s gone wrong in this world through His son Jesus Christ. Rather than thinking David and Goliath is just about you standing up to your boss at work, begin to think through a Gospel lens. All of Scripture points us to Christ (Luke 24:27). So David and Goliath is not so much about you and your boss, but about pointing us to Jesus, the greater David who defeats the enemy called sin and death!

4. Always Make Application A danger we make in studying the Bible is that we never get to application. We learn a lot of facts. We learn the historical context. We learn the outline of Paul's argument in Romans, but we never make that step to apply it to our lives. Why? Because studying the Bible is easy, applying the Bible is tough. However the only Bible study transforms us is the study that we apply to ours lives. We must put into practice what the Spirit teaches us through the Scriptures. If we do not, our Bible study is incomplete.

 

Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth, or Something More?

There has been an acronym that demonstrates how most people think about the Bible. You have heard it before it is "Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth". We call the Bible to "road map to life". Most people think of the Bible as nothing but a rule book that Christians follow. It shows in the way many Christians handle their Bibles. When a person wants to know what the Bible says about sex, they open up their concordance in the back of their Bible, look at their teen study Bible notes, or do a quick google search to find the few verses that gives them the rule for them to follow. Many view the Bible as the strict task master of the Christian faith, and that it is nothing more than a rule book. Although the Bible does have rules. It does have instructions for us. It does tell us how we must live. However if that is all you think the Bible is your view of Scripture is incomplete. The Scriptures are not just about rules, but about Jesus! The Bible is a story, the true story of the whole world. The Bible tells the story of God's plan for redemption through Jesus.

In Luke 24, Jesus appears to two guys on the road to Emmaus. Jesus has resurrected and appears to these guys who are bummed out because they thought Jesus died in Jerusalem, not knowing he had risen on the third day, just like he said he would. Jesus joins in on their conversation and corrects them with the truth. Jesus begins to walk through the whole Scriptures with them and tells them how the whole Bible talks about Him! Here is what Luke 24:27 tells us, "And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself".

The Scriptures are all about Jesus! The meta-narrative, the over encompassing story, of scripture revolves around Jesus. The Bible isn't just a rule book but a story book centered around Jesus as the hero. When we read the Bible then we don't need to just understand it as a boring rulebook, but as the amazing true story of the world. We read the Bible and discover how we fit in with God's story and what he is doing in the restoration of this broken world. Once you begin to understand the Bible as more than a rule book, studying the Bible gets much more exciting. The Christian life isn't about just succumbing to a list of rules, but joining God in his mission to redeem this world through the blood of Jesus! When you read the Bible, you are reading about a story you get to join!

Panting for the Word of God

"I open my mouth and pant because I long for your commandments" - Psalm 119:131 I love that verse.  It is convicting every time I read it.  The imagery of that verse is just so powerful.  I imagine a guy who is wondering around in the dessert for hours and hours without a drop to drink.  His mouth is panting, longing, for just one drop of water to quench his dry and dusty throat.  Rather, instead of water the Psalmist is panting for the Word of God.  He desires God's word so much that he is literally longing for it.

In a day and age where Bibles are everywhere, on our shelves, in our cars, behind our pews, on our phones, I feel like we have lost the preciousness of God's word.  It is ironic, that in the day where the Bible is more readily available than ever, our desire for the scriptures seem to be non existent.  Most of us don't pant for the scriptures, we pant for entertainment, food, comfort, and sin.

May this verse convict us in such a way that beg for God to gives us a desire for His word like the image described.

The following is a powerful video of the Kimyal people receiving the Scriptures in their own language for the first time.  If you want to see what it looks like to pant for God's word this is it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w9dpmp_-TY0

Why I Write: Reflecting on One Year of Blogging

Writing is a task I've grown to love.  Each word is like a puzzle piece begging to be put together into a coherent whole. The puzzle pieces, each with their own nuances and meanings, bounce around and reshuffle at the command of my thoughts. The possibilities of a blank page are legion.  As ink spills on the page, a writer tosses the dice of influence, never knowing the impact the words dripping from his pen will make. The written word is hidden with power greater than any atom.  The power encapsulated word can transform a very man's thoughts. It's persuasion greater than the barrel of any gun.  The power of the written word is only limited by the mind of him who writes. The assembled word grows in power depending on the wisdom of the writer.  The wiser the writer, the more powerful the words. Imagine the possibilities if God himself wrote.  What if God, through the inspiration of human authors, assembled words together to communicate his wisdom? What if God used the power of writing to proclaim His truth?

This work of God would be sharper than any two edged sword.  His writings would have the power to cut a man in the deepest part of his soul.  His word could bring dead men to life.  The Bible, God's Word, encapsulates His power.

Is there any wonder why I've grown so dedicated to the task of writing? I long to imitate God through writing. Seeking to match the power of God's word is as impossible as an infant beating a body builder in a wrestling match.  Although I aim to write powerfully and cut to the depths of men's hearts, my best efforts in writing will be nothing but filthy rags.  This is why I have decided that the content of my writing will be based on this precious, powerful Word of God.  Unpacking the truth of His word is the only hope that there will be any power in my words.  Only through the exposition of the Scriptures will my writing cut to the very souls of men, and that only through the working of the Holy Spirit.

I am amazed at God’s grace towards me.  A little over a year ago, I made a commitment to myself and to God to use social media to spread the Gospel.  Because of that passion, I decided to make the habit of regularly blogging for the sake of the Gospel.  To be honest, I was never really sure if I would follow through with the discipline of blogging.  I see the task of writing as one given to me by God. I view my call to teach and proclaim His word as a divine responsibility.  By His grace, I will proclaim the glorious truth of the Gospel through the written word, and I will continue to expose the truth of the Scriptures through writing, so that all may hear that Jesus is Lord!