Understanding the Bible

I haven’t had as much time to write blogs because I have been writing lesson ideas for the classes in Ethiopia and making charts for my friends who are studying Isaiah with me. I forget that for some people trying to understand the Bible seems very challenging – like a whole new language. I wrote down the steps for what I do (almost unconsciously) each time I open God’s word.

Always Pray first. God opens our minds to all spiritual understanding.

Choose a book to begin (perhaps start with a gospel or a short letter). Read small sections over and over.

After you read the section 2-3 times, list the main events and/or people and words/phrases that are repeated. These are key words.

Try to answer questions about what you read: Who, What, Where, When, Why?

In any section ask yourself – What do I learn about God the Father, Jesus, the Son, or the Holy Spirit?

Is there an instruction for you to follow – either a positive (Do this) or negative (Don’t do this)?

Look for lessons you can apply to your life. Some may be good example and some bad examples to avoid.

Finally summarize your reading/studying for the day by using SOAP. You can make this as short or as long as you like.

Scripture

Observation

Application

Prayer

Some things are confusing so if you get stuck, focus on what is clear and you can understand. The more we read and study, the more our understanding will grow.

The next day begin where you left off. It is best to study an entire book (it may take weeks or months) so you can gain the context.

Example: 2 Corinthians 9:8-9 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in every thing, you may have an abundance for every good deed. As it is written “He who scattered abroad, he gave to the poor, his righteousness endures forever.”

Repeated words – all, every

Who? God

What? is able to make all grace abound

When? (not answered in this section)

Where? (not answered in this section)

Why? That you will have sufficiency in every thing and abundance for every good deed

Instruction – give to the poor

Scripture – 2 Corinthians 9:8-9

Observation – God promises to abundantly supply what I need for every good deed

Application – Who has a need that I can help with?

Prayer – Lord, thank you for your grace. Remind me that your generosity will supply everything I need.

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