(NOTE: This sermon series and devotional series is based on a book by Randy Frazee entitled, “BELIEVE.”
You may choose to download or purchase the book as a supplement to your worship and devotional emails.)
Give a man a fish…he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish…he eats for a lifetime.
Perhaps this can be said of Bible Study in the church. Tell a man what the Bible says…they are spiritually fed for a day. Teach a man to study the Bible and they are spiritually fed for a life time.
So following my own advice, I’d like to invite you to learn and practice studying the Bible. I’d love for you to share what you are observing, applying and learning this week…share if you’d like with email@example.com.
Let me give some tips on studying the Bible. I teach these in our Foundations class to give new people in our church some tools for studying the Bible on their own. Many read the Bible, but fewer put into practice ways to get more out of the time they spend in the Word of God.
So this week, I hope to give you a tip or two to enhance your time with Jesus and his Word!
Today, three tips as you begin a habit of Bible Study:
- Begin every Bible study with prayer.
The writer of Psalm 119 prayed this, “Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law” (vs. 18). God’s Word is clear. It contains everything we need to know about how we are saved. The main message of Jesus’ payment for our sins is simple to see. But parts of God’s Word are challenging to our simple, sinful minds. (Even the Apostle Peter was challenged at times. He said this about the Apostle Paul’s writings, “2 Peter 3:16 [Paul’s] letters contain some things that are hard to understand…”) Make the psalmist’s prayer listed above your prayer as well. Begin your time in the Word by asking the Holy Spirit to “open our eyes” so that you might understand and love everything you read. You might be surprised how the Holy Spirit answers the prayer!
- Use one, appropriate translation.
If you have been a follower of Christ for a while, you probably have “your Bible.” You become familiar with the text, memorize the verses, and can remember where somethings are “on the page.” If you don’t have a Bible, find a translation that is easy to read and understand. If you are confused just reading the English, it will be harder to learn what God is saying. Bible apps make engaging in many different translations possible. A Bible that is readable and accurate to the original languages of Greek and Hebrew are important. Some that we use in our circles are: New International Version (1984 or 2011 edition); the English Standard Version (ESV); or the Evangelical Heritage Version.
Having a clear translation ensures you understand what you are reading, just like the Levites did for God’s people:
Nehemiah 8:7,8 The Levites… instructed the people in the Law while the people were standing there. They read from the Book of the Law of God, making it clear and giving the meaning so that the people could understand what was being read.
- Set a specific time each day for study.
Don’t leave Bible study to chance. We know how well we accomplish tasks when we say, “I’ll get to it when I have time.” To ensure you receive blessing from the Word of God each day, set aside a specific time slot in your day for Bible study. This helps insure that you will have time for God to speak into your life every day. A great example of this is Daniel:
Daniel 6:10 Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.
Apply: Which one of these would you like to try this week? Take note of how God blesses you through it!
Prayer: Lord open our eyes to see the wonders of your word. Open our schedules to give us time in your word. Open our hearts to receive the blessings of your Word. AMEN!