Pursuing the Study of God’s Word

Week 2: Study

“I have never known someone leading a spiritually transformed life who has not been deeply saturated in scripture” -John Ortberg

Reading Scripture is a discipline that is so vitally important but yet is often pushed to the side.  However, studying God’s words is what will transform our minds.  Paul urges us in Philippians 4:8 to think about whatever is noble, true, pure, praiseworthy, or excellent.  The analyzing of scripture is one of the first ways that we can begin to condition our mind to really think these thoughts.

As we truly concentrate on scripture and then comprehend a verse or verses in a new way, we begin to understand God’s desire for us and can discern His will for our life more.  Study leads to a freedom that only comes from a deeper knowledge of who God is. So before you start the activities this week, take some time to pray and ask the Lord to open your mind to comprehend what He wants to say to you this week.

Why Do We Study the Bible:

  • We desperately need to know how the Bible intersects with our life

  • We don’t want just head knowledge ABOUT God, we want to truly come to know the God of the scriptures which will lead us to fall more in love with Him which in turn makes us live with a deeper commitment to God.

  • We engage our minds and focus our attention on the scriptures in order to understand and apply the truth of the scriptures to our lives

  • We desire to live in freedom.  The “truth” of the scriptures permeating our souls is what will set us free.   “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free”  John 8:32

  • Study produces joy.  It may be difficult at first, but given practice you will find great joy in a deliberate, intentional, focused study of God’s Word.

 

This Week’s Activities:

 

Activity #1: Set Aside Study Time

  • Think through your week and pick a time during the day when you will put aside everything else that vies for your attention and will spend time in the Word.  Make it the same time every day so you will remember,  and it will become part of your daily schedule.  Be very careful to not just check it off your daily list though!  Really enter into your study time with a humble heart seeking after God.

  • After you have picked a time, text your group members and tell them when you will be intentionally studying the scriptures this week so they can be praying for you.  Make sure you pray for your group members during their designated time as well!!

Activity #2: Pick a New Method to Study Scripture

  • Experiment with new ways to read the scriptures this week. Pick one of the methods below or try them all!

    • Artist Method:  Pick a short passage of scripture and slowly read it three or more times.  Try reading it aloud, rewriting it in your own words, or simply visualizing the scene as you read the passage. Then, read your passage a final time and draw a heart around the word that speaks to your heart.  Draw a light bulb next to the new thought or idea that occurs as a result of your reading.  Draw a hand beside the words that push you to action.

    • Detective Method:  Read a short narrative passage from the gospels. Imagine the scene.  Observe the facts.  Ask the questions who, when, where, and what.  Once you have the facts, interpret the facts and ask the why and how questions.  Decide what the characters’ actions means.  Then apply all that knowledge to you….how does this change your life today?

    • Lectio Divina:  (You can do this on www.examen.me on any of their scripture examens or you may write in your journal)

  1. Start with silence before the Lord.  Simply sit in His presence and focus on Him.

  2. Read a short passage of scripture slowly out loud.  Stop on any word or phrase that resonates with you.  Think about that word or phrase knowing those are God’s words for you today.

  3. Read the passage again and listen for how this passage can apply to your life today.  Use your imagination and all your senses to put yourself in the scene as you think through what it would have been like to experience this passage first hand.

  4. Read the passage a third time and listen closely to see if God is calling you to respond in a particular way.  Allow the Word of God to lead you in an honest and open time of prayer.

Activity #3: Concentrating on One Book

  • Pick one book of the Bible and read through the entire book every day this week.  If this is a new practice for you, start in a smaller book such as Philemon or I, II, or III John.

  • Every day as you read, make a note in your journal of anything you noticed or things that stood out.

  • Read expecting to find new thoughts or ideas every day.

  • Really concentrate on the words and take your time as you read.  Read the entire book in one sitting as well.  Don’t just read a few verses throughout the day.

  • At the end of the week, go back through your observations from each day and note anything you learned or experienced.

Activity #4: Word Study

  • Look at a passage of scripture.  Preferably one that is a bit familiar to you.   Read through the passage slowly and pick one word in that passage that seems to stand out to you.

  • Use either the concordance in the back of your Bible or an online concordance and find where that word is used in other places in scripture.

  • Notice how the word is used in different verses.  After reading many verses containing the same word, do you notice any patterns?  themes? Did you get a deeper understanding of what that word really means?

  • Journal what you discovered about your word

Activity #5: Character Study

  • Pick a character from the Bible

  • Using a concordance, read every verse that mentions this person in the Bible.

  • Write out verses that stand out

  • Note in your journal what you noticed, discovered, and came to understand about this particular person.

 

Some websites you may want to use to study:   www.biblestudytools.com,   www.biblegateway.com,   www.biblesuite.com,  www.blueletterbible.org

 

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