July 10, 2014 8 Comments
Our study should always be about getting to know God and what He says. Too many times we make it about knowing ourselves more, changing our circumstances or to make us feel better. I keep thinking about Paul’s words- “that I may know Him…”!
We only get to know Him by studying His Word! When our Bible study focuses on God it will transform our heart by training our mind because it places Him at the center of the story- not us.
I just read a great book by Jen Wilkin- Women of the Word- How to Study the Bible with Both Our Hearts and Our Minds.
In her book she lists 6 reasons why so many women feel that their Bible study or time with the Lord is unproductive. She says they approach their study and time with the Lord in the following ways:
1. The Xanax Approach
This approach treats the Bible as if it exists to make us feel better. The danger in this is it makes the Bible a book about me. I ask how the Bible can serve me, rather than how I can serve the God it proclaims.
2. The Pinball Approach
This approach just flips to a passage and read whatever I turn to, asking the Holy Spirit to speak to me. The problem is the Bible was not meant to be read that way. It gives no thought to cultural, historical, or textual context, authorship or original intent of the passage in question.
3. The Magic 8 Ball Approach
I have a question- should I marry this person, go here, apply for that job, etc…I open the Bible, put my finger to a passage and see if the signs point to yes. The problem is the Bible is not a magical book and it does not serve our whims, or is its primary function to answer our questions. This misconstrues the ministry of the Holy Spirit through the Word, demanding that the Bible tells us what to do rather than who to be.
4. The Personal Shopper Approach
If I want to be godly women or how to deal with self-esteem issues but I don’t know where to find the verses about that so I let ____________ (a famous Bible teacher) do the legwork for me. The problem in this approach is that it doesn’t help us build ownership of Scripture. Much like the pinball approach we ricochet from passage to passage getting only the fragments. Topical studies do help us to grow but it should not be all we do. They are a great supplement to Bible study, not a substitute. If that is all we do we will miss out on the richness of learning a book of the Bible from start to finish.
5. The Telephone Game Approach
This is when all we read are books about the Bible and not the Bible itself. The problem is we can quote the writer and not the Scripture. It should not substitute our own study. Just as topical studies, we need to use these books as supplements to our study.
6. The Jack Sprat Approach
This is picky-eating. Only reading and studying the New Testament and maybe Psalms and Proverbs. Avoiding the Old Testament or only reading about the characters I like or can identify with such as Esther or Ruth.
The problem is All Scripture is God-breathed and profitable- all of it. We need a balanced diet of the word. A well rounded approach to Bible study challenges us to learn the full counsel of God’s Word.
Do you see anything familiar in these approaches?
I know I have been guilty of all of them in the past. My study, growth and knowledge have grown and continues to grow since I started inductive Bible study many years ago through Precepts. There is so much to learn and study- the more you learn the more you want to know.
Jen shows you how to study inductively taking you through 5 P’s of sound study:
Purpose, Perspective, Patience, Process and Prayer.
Reading this book and applying what she shares about studying scripture will help you to dig into the rich truths of who God is from all of Scripture , to follow and serve Him.
I am giving away a free copy of this book in the link below.
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