The Bible can be a pretty intimidating book. This week I spoke with a young woman who told how she experiences peace when she reads the Bible, but isn’t sure how to gain a personal understanding of Scripture. Have you been there?
A few years after my conversion, I found I was neglecting the word of God. I couldn’t get past the thee, thou, and begats . . . I wanted to, but didn’t know how. I bought a child’s version with the passages in pictures and speech balloons to help me have better understanding. Really.
I was confused that it was an irrelevant book for this time, tearing through Gospels and the Genesis drama, I soon became bored with chronology, genealogy, and cubits.
All Scripture (all 66 books) is inspired by God (2 Timothy 3:16). The word inspired means God-breathed (theopneustos).
His breath is all over the stories about real people in real time, who made real mistakes, and met a real God. I’m grateful for human scribes like Moses, David, Paul, and John who were inspired by a holy Author to write it down.
So, I wanted to know what it meant for me.
I joined a small women’s Bible study that helped develop my love for God’s Word, and twenty-five years ago found a Precept Bible study (Kay Arthur) that taught me how to study and understand the sacred depth of God’s word.
I learned three steps to revelation:
- Observe (what does the text say?)
- Interpret (what does the text mean?)
- Apply (how does it apply to me . . . today?)
I can’t tell you how meaningful it was to know that I know when facing difficult and challenging times. I don’t understand it all, but cling to what I do.
There’s not only peace on the holy-breath pages, but there is life-altering power.
So, if you’re like I once was and don’t know where to begin, may I challenge you to just open your Bible and try these four steps:
- Set aside a time (make a daily appointment with God, don’t stand Him up)
- Choose a place with no distractions (nothing special, a sanctuary in a corner)
- Have a Bible, concordance or dictionary, pen and journal. Listen hard.
- Prepare your heart in prayer. Meditate.
Use a Psalm to praise Him, Psalm 32 to confess, Matthew 6:9-12 to present needs, and Philippians 4:6 to express gratitude.
As you dig deep you will undoubtedly fall deeper in love with Jesus.
What can you add that has helped you as you study the Bible?