When we open the bible in our quiet times how much do we really take in?
It’s so tempting, isn’t it, just to quickly skim read a passage, tick it off in our bible reading plan and get on with the day, forgetting what we have read!! But the bible tells us that the word of God is the food we need to grow in our walk with God and the light that we need to navigate our way through life.… so here are two easy ways i've found helpful as i've sought to study the bible myself or with others.
- Four Simple Questions
What does the passage teach about GOD?
What does the passage teach about OTHERS?
What does the passage teach about MYSELF?
What new insights have I found?
- The COMA method… (Context, Observation, Meaning and Application)
- Where does this passage come in the whole bible story? eg. before or after Christ has come?
- Where does the passage fit into the book? eg. in Ephesians there are two halves to the book; who we are in Christ (ch1-3), how we live as Christians (ch4-6).
- Where does the passage fit into the section? what comes before or after?
- what is the main point of the passage (what would we be missing if this section wasn’t in the bible?)
- are there any key words
- anything surprising?
- are there any repetitions of words or ideas
- Where?, When? Who?, What?, Why?
- What did this mean to them then?
- What does it mean to me now?
- Does this passage challenge my understanding?
- Does this passage cause me to praise God in a new way?
- Does this passage challenge how I should live?
Can I encourage you then, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to take time to really study a passage of God's word this week... maybe when you meet with someone. By asking what God is saying and how we can apply that to our lives we will be well fed and more able to walk in his ways. “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Tim 3:16 – 17.