Category Archives: Studying the Bible for yourself

6 Ways To Make Reading The Bible In A Year Work For You


Our church has decided to read the Bible in a year. 

I’ll be honest, even as a pastors wife, this seems daunting to me. I would probably not do it on my own. But the prospect of reading it as a church family—in communion with God and His people for one full year—definitely motivates me. 

  • What revival within my own heart could this journey provide? 
  • What power could God display through a people pressed in, searching Scripture together? 
  • What spark could ignite through the conversations, the accountability, the vulnerability we present when we are all, literally, on the same page? 

I can’t wait to find out!

If I am going to say YES to this intensive time in God’s Word, and reap the benefits of it alongside my church family, then I need to have a game plan. 

Perhaps these ideas will help you too!

1. Wake up 30 minutes earlier: Studies show its amazing what you can get done if you wake up a half-hour earlier each morning, particularly to accomplish a specific goal. 

2. Skip a day, and let it go: Life happens, and most of us will fail to stay on track. Instead of racking up the missed chapters and lagging behind, stay on track with the group. Its unconventional, but it has power. Briefly scan the missed chapters to catch up, the read the Scripture of the day as planned, along with the rest of your group.

3. Listen to it: Put an audio Bible on in your headphones at the gym, or your car stereo on the drive to work. Hearing names or foreign locations pronounced can simplify how your brain digests certain passages (the book of Numbers, for instance).

4. Bring it up in conversation: Use the readings to spark conversation and pursue great vulnerability with others on the Bible in a Year journey. Share what you are learning, ask tough questions, brainstorm application, and celebrate the wonder together!

5. Replace screen time with Scripture: Download the Bible app on your phone or iPad and click it first before other apps steal your attention (Candy Crush, Facebook, Pinterest, etc.) Think of the go-to screen time moments: lying in bed trying to wake up/fall asleep, waiting in the grocery store line, killing time between classes, on the porcelain throne (oh come, on let’s all admit it!) are great opportunities to read a quick chapter from the Bible. 

6. Make it a habit: Sometimes, we don’t feel like reading Scripture. So we don’t, claiming it has no meaning if our hearts aren’t in it. But, we still brush our teeth, eat vegetables, work out, go to jobs, and clean our homes every day, even when we don’t feel like it. These are non-negotiable for our health and citizenship and well being. Why should our spiritual health and heavenly citizenship be any less? 

I am finding so much energy as the New Year approaches! With heart wide open, I pray for the presence of Jesus to flood our awareness as we pursue Him together. 

Download the YouVersion plan ‘CCV: The Bible in ONE Year’. Check it out here: http://bible.com/r/m 

For more tips on conquering the most convincing reasons for not reading your Bible, check out my post, “10 Go-To Excuses to Avoid Studying The Bible.” 

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Pumpkin-Spice Quiet Time 

Pumpkin Spice Quiet Time: Delighting in Jesus in Response to His GoodnessThere is nothing like spending time with God in autumn.
O taste and see that the Lord is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him! Psalm 34:8
All around us, the world is preparing for cooler weather. However, as followers of Jesus, we must not let the migration indoors catalyze a hibernation of our hearts.
My suggestion: “Pumpkin-Spiced Quiet Times.”
In the wake of autumn, pumpkin-spice is returning to our favorite coffee shops and packaged food lines (pumpkin-spice Cheerios anyone?), and the fans are going crazy! The social media world has documented our delight over this fall-flavor for years. There is no doubt it–Pumpkin-Spice delights the masses.
I am reading Not A Fan by Kyle Idleman, which I highly recommend. This book challenges readers to have an intimate relationship with Christ–one which requires sacrifice, commitment, and a re-arrangement of the heart. Not just an excitement about Jesus kindred to our excitement about s’mores of pumpkin-spiced chai lattes. To be a Christian, Christ requires the Lordship of our lives, which means HE is in charge, not us.
Idleman repeatedly challenges the “Christian-culture” way of claiming Christianity. I agree, we need to stop being fans of Jesus and truly submit to Jesus as Lord.
However, I do think there is a place for the pumpkin-spice kind of delight we can receive from spending time in God’s Word.
Full disclosure here: I am DELIGHTED by Jesus! I am excited about Him, and IN LOVE with Him. Spending time with the letters of love and truth He wrote for us (Scripture), floods me with bliss. I cannot help but get giddy sometimes.
And you know what!? I actually really appreciate Instagram posts about someone else’s time with God too. Those pictures with the steaming cup of tea and the vase of flowers next to an open Bible… some may label them cliché or staged, but when I see them while scrolling, it’s like the mouth of my soul starts watering. Those posts stir my appetite for some intimate time with my Savior, much like a post about sweaters and s’mores makes me long for sometime cozied-up by the fire with a roasting stick in hand.
Maybe I am shallow (or perhaps I am just incredibly susceptible to advertising). However, I think there is value in the childlike delight over Gods Word that makes us want to document our time with Jesus and share it with others.
I think if king David could have downloaded a social media app, he would have occasionally posted something similar:

I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies,
As much as in all riches.
I will meditate on Your precepts
And regard Your ways.

 Your testimonies also are my delight;
They are my counselors.
I am NOT advocating for a self-centered, attention-seeking, find-what-feels-good kind of faith in Jesus. I am not suggesting our quiet times should revolve around how “Instagram-able” the setting is. Delight in our Savior should never replace submission to Him. Rather, delight is a beautiful response to humbly surrendering our wills to our KING!  (Need an example of this? The 2016 film Risen inspired and humbled me with its portrayal of the disciples’ giddy delight in knowing the risen Savior. View it and tell me what you think!)
There is no shame in wrapping up a comforter and sipping a steaming cuppa pumpkin-spice-something-or-another while reading your Bible. You have permission to ENJOY those cozy moments with Jesus this season, filling your soul with good old-fashioned comfort food for the spirit.
And if you feel like sharing, don’t hesitate to document it all on Instagram! Use #campfiregrace to stay connected.
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6 Reasons to Prioritize Time with God in Hard Times: Why Bible study should be the last to go when you are tired, exhausted, sick, grieving, etc.

I recently took about a week of from my study in Leviticus. After spending a weekend at a retreat (which when you are caring for 7 month old twins translates from retreat to “high demand situation”), I found I was losing the battle with a lingering cold. Exhausted, I felt all I could do was care for babies, then crash on the couch or bed while they napped, getting in some R&R myself. I tried to journal and read a little of the Bible during this time, but after a few days of half-hearted devo time, I gave up. After a week of this, I noticed a dramatic change in my attitude, my thoughts, and my actions.

I am convinced my lack of spending time in prayer and reading God’s word had a profound effect on my life, and the lives of those around me. So why is it the first thing to go when my circumstances aren’t normal?

So here are 6 good reasons I found to prioritize my time with God, regardless of my circumstances:

  1. It sets the Symota for the day.
  2. When I put God’s priorities first, He provides time for everything else that is truly important.
  3. It gives me proper perspective of my circumstances.
  4. It reminds me that victory is on its way… I do not have to live as though I am defeated.
  5. “If you skip one day of spending time with God, nobody notices. If you skip 2 days, your family notices, if you skip 3 days, everybody notices.” Unknown.
  6. When I fail to spend time with God, I inevitably replace it with time feeding my flesh. I then begin to display the fruit of the flesh (rudeness, anger, cynicism) instead of the fruit of the Spirit.

How do you notice your life changes when you skip spending time with God?

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Leviticus 1: Burnt Offering of Worship

 A Study in Leviticus: Chapter 1

I woke up late today, but as I mentioned earlier, I am determined to study Leviticus. I am confident there is truth in this book that will lead me to a greater understanding of God and therefore, more abundant worship of him.

So I sat my babies down with toys and rattles and a large mirror. My plan to have “Breakfast with Jesus” failed when I downed my egg sandwich faster than I could open my Bible and find Leviticus chapter 1. However, I found the chapter and began reading aloud.

With my handy questions written in my journal, I filled in the blanks as follows:

  • What does this say about God?
    • His interaction with Moses in Verse 1 shows me God is personal and intimate, not aloof and uninvolved. He is in pursuit of a direct relationship with man.
    • He is also direct and detailed in His expectations (whole chapter). I know my husband appreciates it when I am direct and detailed in what I would like for a Christmas gift. (The Bible he gave me wasn’t a spontaneous idea of his 🙂 )Similarly, we can be grateful that God gives us specifics in how to worship Him.
  • How can I live in light of this?
    • The specific details about the burnt offerings remind me that God is worthy of my best. I don’t want to give God secondhand worship. I don’t want to be distracted in my praise of him.
    • When I offer God my heart, time, money, talents, etc… I should be giving him the best I have, as He required the Israelites to do so in Leviticus.
    • Today, I will do that by serving my family as if I was serving Christ, eagerly and cheerfully, humbly and honorably.
  • Does anything else stand out/do I have questions?
    • What is the difference between a burnt offering and a sin offering (which we will read about in chapter 4)?

How did your study time go? Did you pull out some resources or handbooks and go deeper than I did today? What did God teach you? Join the conversation below!

 

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Leviticus: The Outline

A Study in Leviticus: Outline and Overview

Here the whooshing sound? That is the air flying past your ears as you jump, cannonball-style into the unknown territory of Leviticus.

Thanks for joining me, for challenging me, to study Leviticus.

There is encouraging, relevant and applicable truth in this book. And I am determined to discipline myself to discover it. Here’s how I’m getting ready:

Tools:

  • Study Bible: I am using my new Study Bible for Women, HCSB that Shane got me for Christmas. I appreciate that someone way smarter than me has done the homework and research about Leviticus, and included notes, definitions, timelines, and overviews to help me understand the book better. If your Bible does not include study notes, I suggest having your research tools handy for tough questions.
  • Research Tools: If you would like to dig deeper, I highly recommend grabbing one or both of these helpful study books. Personally, I might consult these books once or twice in my study, but not necessarily every day.
    • The Bible Knowledge Commentary
    • Zondervan Handbook to the Bible
  • Journal: I plan to address 3 simple thoughts on each chapter.
    • What does this say about God?
    • How can I live in light of this chapter?
    • Did anything else stand out/ do I have any questions?
  • 20 minutes of time: I take this time in the morning while I eat breakfast, while my 5-month-old twins are at their happiest. They play on the floor as I read the chapter for the day out loud to them.
  • Prayer: I know I need help. This book contains a lot of ancient concepts with monumental significance. “Lord, please open my mind to understand you more clearly, and prepare my heart to follow you more closely through my time studying this book.”

I plan to read one chapter a day. I realize that it is crucial to also take a holistic approach when reading a book like Leviticus. The books of the Bible weren’t segmented into chapters when first written. I’d like to read through the whole book in one sitting, but for now, I don’t have the time or mental focus to do so. Thankfully, I have a few resources to help me grasp the overall content of Leviticus.*:

Outline:

The Study Bible for Women gives the following overview:

3 Major Themes: Holiness, Sacrifice, and Atonement

Overview:

  1. Love the Lord your God with all your heart (1:1-16:34)
  2. Love your neighbor as yourself (17:1-34)

The Bible Knowledge Commentary splits into these 2 sections: 

  1. The Way of Approach to God by Sacrifice (Chapters 1-16)
  2. The Walk of Holiness before God by Separation (Chapters 17-27)

Having different perspectives can be helpful in our study of Leviticus.

 Theme Verse:

You are to be holy to Me because I, Yahweh, am holy.” Leviticus 20:26a

Already, I am getting the chills. I began reading a book for pastors wives about understanding my current role in life. Ultimately, I kept returning to the fact that God calls me to “be Holy as I [God] am holy.” Wow, Leviticus is incredibly relevant to this stage in my journey right now!

I’ll begin blogging tomorrow about my study through Leviticus, chapter 1. It takes a certain amount of spiritual maturity to walk through the books most Christians avoid. I’ve got my big girl shoes on and am ready for the journey. Will you join me?

What resources have you found most helpful as you start to study this Old Testament book?

Feeling less than motivated to join in the study of Leviticus?

Maybe you have just need a few tips. Visit my Pinterest page “Bible Study Tips” for helpful hints and resources for almost every type of non-studier. Or click on the link below:

Bible Study Tips Series

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Why Should I Study Leviticus?

While writing the “Bible Study Tips” series, I asked several people what keeps them from studying the Bible. One of the most intriguing answers was the following:

How does reading Leviticus going to help me manage my time better so that I can maintain my 3.8 GPA while taking 21 credits?

This question definitely has a “me-focus” attitude behind it, which was addressed in the following post:  Bible Study Tips for the #Selfie.

Still, I think the root of the question is, “how does Leviticus make a difference in my life?” Self-focus aside, this is actually a great question!

My first reaction is: “hey sister, I know where you are coming from. Leviticus is b-o-r-i-n-g.”

Most of us think about it as a black hole in the Bible… the book we skirt around quickly to avoid confusion and boredom. Leviticus is like the road sign announcing “Now entering Kansas”…. Ok, wake me up when we get through it. For many, Leviticus functions solely as a launch pad into the New Testament; we hear the words “grain offering” and immediately feel “led by the Spirit” to read the book of John again.

Ah the book of John, so straight-forward, so helpful…

Then I thought about it. What is Leviticus actually about? My curiosity got the best of me and I read a little. Maybe there is something in this book that could teach a truth about God, or remind us of His love… not to mention maybe help with time management.

So, back to the question:

“How does reading Leviticus going to help me manage my time better so that I can maintain my 3.8 GPA while taking 21 credits?”

Answer: Why don’t we read it and find out?

It has taken me a year to start my journey through Leviticus (the twins were a bit of a distraction). However, I am finally going to take the next month or so to study and unpack the book of Leviticus, using all of the tools mentioned in the recent “Bible Study Tips” series. I encourage you to join me. I’ll start posting about my journey next week, a chapter a day. Why not take this time to discover this book for yourself before I share?

There are only 27 chapters, each fairly short (which we can’t say about Psalms, ahem); hopefully we can tackle this book in less than a month. I’ve got my Study Bible ready, along with a journal, and a list of questions to ask along the way, like these:

  1. What does this passage say about God?
  2. How can I live in light of this passage?
  3. What else stands out to me/what questions do I have?

 

So dear friends, what do you say, WHO WANTS TO STUDY LEVITICUS?!

(comment below if you are in.)

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Getting back into God’s Word

Today, I couldn’t find my Bible.

How embarrassing.

It has been a busy season. What was the first thing to go? My Breakfast with Jesus….. and while we are on the subject, I let go of most of my fantastic habits ;( 

Anyway, since we host many-a-Bible study, we have a LOT of Bibles floating around the house. Another privilege I’ve been taking for granted.

Last  night, I asked my impressively encouraging small group to hold me accountable to reading the Word of God again. And I know they will, because they are just that reliable and awesome.

So I am posting this helpful questions chart again as a reminder and tool and I dive back into God’s precious Word.

chalk bible questions

If you, like me, have been avoiding it, or just forgetting it… Join me to a fresh devotion to truth. We all falter, but Gods grace meets us there. He picks us up, sets our feet sturdy on the path… but it’s up to us to take that first step with Him again.

Oh and for the record, I found my Bible. It was on a shelf beneath my computer screen. I put it there to remind myself to study it. Fail. 🙂

A tool/reminder for study: Use the above picture as a background for your smart phone or desktop. Or copy the questions below and paste to a Word Doc. Feel free to print and make a study binder for whatever book you are studying from the Bible.

  1. What does this teach me about God? 

  2. How can I use this information to worship God in a deeper way?

  3. How does this change the way I think about Jesus?

  4. What am I grateful for regarding this passage?

  5. What don’t I like about this passage? Why?  

  6. Can I trust the God of this chapter as much as I trust the (same) God of the other books of the Bible? Why or why not? 

  7. How does this chapter challenge me?

Happy Studying!!!
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God’s Word: Piercing to the Heart

isaiah 55

Do you ever experience a divine intervention? You know, when you hear a sermon or a Bible study explained, and the Holy Spirit just hits you straight in the heart with the truth He has for you?

Sometimes, the message wasn’t even heading in the direction for which it pierces our soul. The passage could be on tithing, to which we become overwhelmed by the love of God to walk with us so intimately. (This is actually how a friend of mine accepted Christ as Savior!)

A similar thing happened to me just the other day (read about it here).

Friends, let’s meditate on this today: How incredible is God’s Word! To speak so directly and personally and intimately to our hearts; to transform and shape our minds; to encourage and discipline our motives… this is the Word of God!

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not My ways.” This is the  Lord ’s declaration. “For as heaven is higher than earth,  so My ways are higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts. For just as rain and snow fall from heaven and do not return there without saturating the earth and making it germinate and sprout, and providing seed to sow and food to eat,  so My word that comes from My mouth will not return to Me empty, but it will accomplish what I please and will prosper in what I send it to do.”  You will indeed go out with joy and be peacefully guided; the mountains and the hills will break into singing before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. (Isaiah 55:8-12 HCSB)

How has God spoken to you this week? Feel free to share your story by commenting below!

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10 Go-To Excuses to Avoid Studying the Bible (and practical ways to overcome them!)

A few months ago, I asked a question via Facebook: “Why do you typically avoid studying the Bible?”

I received some insightful responses, and joyfully ventured into dangerous territory: debunking the excuses.

While I enjoyed the idea of helping others overcome their Bible study blockades, I was not so happy when God brought up some of my own common excuses, like boredom and lack of motivation.

I still do not have a consistent time studying the Bible. I still struggle to apply and obey what I read. But, thank the Lord, God’s not done with me yet.

I can say with confidence that He’s not done with you either. Can you find your go-to excuse in the following list? Most of these are the direct answers from my little FB survey. 

1. I’m a Beginner

Bible Study Tips and Resources for Beginners: 10 Helpful Tips and Resources to Study the Bible for YourselfYou might say: “I’ve never studied the Bible before. I don’t know where to start.”

Click HERE for tools and tips to start your own adventure in God’s Word! (It will change your life!)

2. I Feel Stuck

Bible Study Tips for the StuckYou might say: “I feel like I don’t know what I’m looking for. I have trouble understanding the relevance of what I’m reading to my life without some sort of sermon, bible notes, etc.”*

Click HERE for 3 simple ways to get going, or KEEP going, when you feel overwhelmed by Scripture.

3. I’m a Devotional Book Junkie (ie: I can’t “feed” myself):

Bible Study Tips: For The Devotional Book Junkie

You might say: “I feel like I don’t get much from just reading the Bible. I feel like devotional books apply to me more.”*

Click here to discover where the devotional book fits in a Christ-centered Bible study.

 

4. I’m Easily-Distracted:

Bible Study Tips For The Easily DistractedYou might say: “My weakness is doing *anything* consistently. Daily habits work for 2……maybe 3 weeks (including Bible) and then I forget about it for months, and then I read it again.”*

Click HERE to understand 6 distractions that keep us from being filled with the Spirit, and how to overcome them.

 

5. I Don’t like to Read:

Bible Study Tips for People who Don't like to ReadYou might say: “I’ve never liked studying or reading.”*

Click HERE to see how the non-reader types study the Bible for themselves (It’s possible!).

 

6. I’m Unmotivated:

Bible Study Tips for the UnmotivatedYou might admit you don’t read the Bible because of: “Laziness.”*

or: “I hate to admit it but I don’t feel like it.“*

Click HERE for 5 reasons to “labor and strive because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men…” 1 Timothy 4:10

 

7. I’m Too Busy: 

Bible Study Tips for Busy PeopleYou might say: “My life is a rush without a minute to spare!”

Click HERE for help in making time for God in the rush of 21 Century living.

 

8. It’s So Boring:

Bible Study Tips for those of us who get bored reading scriptureYou might say: “I find it really uninteresting and hard to get into.” *

or “When I do try, I end up falling asleep.” *

Click HERE to get out of a “Bible Study boredom” rut, and on the path to finally interested!

 

9. Don’t Care:

Bible Study Tips For those who don't really care what the Bible saysYou might say: “I’m not ready for the conviction.”* “[When I am] avoiding sins I have not confessed that God is working on in me, it hurts less sometimes to avoid reading His Word.”*

or: “[When I am] avoiding sins I have not confessed that God is working on in me, it hurts less sometimes to avoid reading His Word.”*

Click HERE for Bible study tips for when you, honest to goodness, just don’t care what the Bible says.

 

10. Not Relevant:

Bible Study Tips for the #SelfieYou might say: “other than encouragement and prayer, how is reading Leviticus going to help me manage my time better so that I can maintain my 3.8 GPA while taking 21 credits?”*

Click HERE for how to study God’s Word in a #selfie world.

I greatly appreciate everyone’s honesty regarding these reasons we don’t study God’s Word. It takes courage to ‘fess up to our excuses. That’s the first step: to recognize what justifications we mentally conjure up, then knock them down to pursue deeper knowledge of God.

I think these quotes, also from the Facebook questionnaire, sum it up nicely:

“At some level, disbelief is a part of the problem. I.e. “If I really believed that this was the inspired Word of the Almighty Holy God, how could I NOT read it.” All the other answers also apply in some measure. However if you TRULY believe the Word of God is what you SAY you believe it is… then all the other explanations look pretty shallow and/or unbelievable. And yes I am preaching to myself a bit here too!”* -S

“I know that if God didn’t want us to follow or gain knowledge from a book he wouldn’t have had it written. So I really should stop being a greedy, selfish, sinful human & just do something as simple as read a book. A little a day if that’s what it takes.” * -A

I find it very difficult to overcome many of these excuses. But I know God’s Word is good. Living and Active. Trustworthy. Filled with promises. Loaded with truth. Crucial to my understanding, and therefore worship, of the God I claim to believe. Join me in ditching the excuses. Click on any of the above links for tools and encouragement in your particular struggle.

What is your go-to excuse? Is there an excuse you typically use that wasn’t mentioned here? Share your thoughts by commenting below.

*These are actual comments I received from my question forum on facebook.

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Bible Study Tips for the #Selfie

photo-1450835118805-29790bcd9125

#newOutfit #Selfie

#HairCut #Selfie

#concert #alldolledup #selfie

#bored #selfie

#LookatME #selfie

Breaking news, people, the selfie culture has arrived!

(Definition: “#selfie” [pronounced: hash-tag-self-ie)… the term used in social network to identify a picture taken as a self-portait, often using a bathroom mirror or awkward stretching/smartphone balancing skills.)*

Ok, lets face it, humanity has always lived in a #selfie habitat. We are EXTREMELY interested in ourselves. From basic instincts to current media activity, the “I’s” of our world are always looking out for #1 (pronounced “Number-one”, not “hash-tag-one,” confused yet?)*

But now, humans are apt to be more self-attentive than ever before. Paul’s letter to Timothy explains it well:

“But know this: Difficult times will come in the last days. For people will be lovers of self….” (2 Timothy 3:1, 2 HCSB)

#SelfieExample #fakeSelfie #notProudOfit #soManyHashtags
#SelfieExample #fakeSelfies #notProudOfit #soManyHashtags

Now, there is soooooo much more in this chapter that I believe addresses a “last days” obsession with social media, but I’ll save that for another post. (Believe me, I was convicted).

The crucial point we need to realize is this: self-focused people also tend to reduce the study God’s own Word into a self-promoting activity.

Like Instagram, we use the Bible like a self-portrait camera:

  • We open our Bibles when it makes us feel good; we discard what we learned in Bible study when it displays our faults, just like de-tagging ourselves in ugly pics posted on Facebook.
  • Or we “crop” scripture to hide embarrassing traits.
  • We only apply certain scriptures to our lives, as if they were our favorite filters.
  • If the scriptures don’t display our highlight-real, it’s not worth telling others about it.

This makes objective Bible study very difficult; probably because the Bible is not about us!!! 

It is not the story of humanity climbing out of the deep dark pit of despair. It is not a highlight-reel of epic Biblical heroes who progressively got closer to God till Jesus came and made everything perfect. It is CERTAINLY not the narration of Becky Rosty: saving the animals on the ark, slaying Goliath with a sling-shot and stones, resisting temptation in pharaoh’s palace, finding true love in the Song of Solomon, and walking on water with the faith of a mustard seed.

Also, the Bible is not a subjective list of suggestions or ideas, displayed in a store front for us to pick and choose during a Sunday morning window-shopping spree. God Almighty dictated each concept for a reason.

Still, how often do we insert “me” into the truths of Scripture. The Bible becomes a reflection of me: how I think, what I would do, who I would be in the story. God’s Word becomes just another app with the same purpose: to reflect my awesome ideas and highlight my epic life.

#Selfie

Subjective study, reading out of context, and implying our fixed ideas onto scripture is called eisegesis. Objective studying the Bible, allowing it’s fixed truth shape our ideas, is called exegesis.

If we choose to study Scripture using eisegesis, we are doing ourselves a great disservice. More importantly, we are not honoring God or becoming more like Him. Philippians 2 explains how we can be more like Jesus, but it involves putting away the self-promotion:

Do nothing out of rivalry or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus, who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God  as something to be used for His own advantage.  Instead He emptied Himself  by assuming the form of a slave,  taking on the likeness of men.  And when He had come as a man in His external form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death — even to death on a cross.  For this reason God highly exalted Him  and gave Him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow   — of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth  — and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. So then, my dear friends, just as you have always obeyed, not only in my presence, but now even more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.  For it is God who is working in you, enabling you both to desire and to work out His good purpose. (Philippians 2:3, 5-13 HCSB)

Let us choose to clear our minds of “me” before studying God’s Word. Let’s make ourselves available to the work of the Holy Spirit, to bend and to shape us to be more like Jesus. Using exegesis, we will learn more about God, the real hero of the story. In the end, studying the Bible with an objective perspective will better equip us to worship HIM!

Still not “getting there?” If you are still frustrated as a student of God’s Word, perhaps you are struggling with a different issue. Press the “Follow” button to get updates on more topics for the Bible Study Struggle.

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