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Posts Tagged ‘Bible study’

I am hesitant to share what I do in my daily quiet time with my God because I do not want to appear to be tooting my own horn or fishing for kudos.   If I know my heart, this is not my motivation for I am well aware that in my life the only ground for boasting is how God is involved in it.  My motivation for these three posts is the desire to help people who may be searching for a closer walk with God.  Perhaps my story will benefit other God-seekers.

Now, let me pick up where I left off in my last post.  After I finish my three-column Bible study and read my selected commentary, I talk to God.  My usual practice is to begin my prayer with the Scripture for the day.  I find plenty of prayer-fodder there.  For example, this morning’s passage was John 1:8-9.  In my prayer I thanked God for sending Jesus (and John) into the world and for his enlightenment.  I asked God to make me like John and grant me opportunities and courage to witness to the light.  After I pray through the text, I pray through my daily planner.  Today is an Annual Day at Shults-Lewis Children’s Home.  I cannot attend, but I prayed for the children’s home and thanked God for Bob Kallus.  Becky returns home from a national conference today so I prayed for her safe arrival and that the speeches she hears today and the conversations she has will be enriching for her.  I plan to call Mom and Dad and my brother, Kenny, so in my prayer, I thanked God for them and asked him to care for them in specific ways.  I plan to do some dissertation reading today so I asked God to help me stay on task for that and for help to cover a lot of ground.  (The Lord knows I need his help with that one!)  On the docket today is planning for worship in our home tomorrow evening with some friends.  So I prayed that God would give me direction for that period of worship and discussion and that he would bless that gathering.  Well, you get the idea.  My daily activities and the people I encounter through the day become my prayer concerns.

That’s it, the last of the trilogy.  Again, thanks for reading, and I hope these posts have been somewhat helpful.  Please feel free to share your life with me.  Perhaps we can help each other!

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The Bible study method I presently use in my daily quiet time I learned from David L. Watson.

I use a college-ruled composition book — it must be college-ruled; wide-ruled won’t work 🙂 — which I divide into three columns.  I use the entire width of the back side of a page for my first column which is entitled “Scripture.”  Then, I fold the facing page in half to make two more columns, entitled “My Words” and “I Will.”

In column one I write out word-for-word the Scripture text I want to cover.  This forces me to read the text through many times.  It’s a kind of forced meditation.  In column two I write my paraphrase of the text.  I try to imagine that I am speaking this text to a friend and using my own words.  Column three is a biggie.  This column is entitled “I Will” and is all about application.  Here is where I try to write down my personal response to the passage.  I try to think about what this particular passage means in my life and how I will “obey” God in this passage.  I try to answer the question, “How will I practice this passage today?”

Here is an example.  Today, the text I read and meditated upon was John 1:6-7.  So, I wrote in my first column: “There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.  He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him.”  What a great little passage!  Here is my column two paraphrase: “God sent a man named John to say what he saw and heard about this ‘light.’  Why did John do this?  He wanted everyone to believe through him!”  (I should clarify the phrase “believe through him” but I didn’t because I’m not sure “him” refers to the Word or John.)  After thinking about this text for several minutes, I wrote down these words in my “I Will” column: “I believe God has sent me to Chicago to tell others what the Lord has done in my life.  I want God to use me to create and nurture faith in others.  Today, I will be a witness when I go to the Post Office later this afternoon.”  Now, I just need to “obey” this text and do God’s will for me as it appears in this text.  (Watson is helping me to see again that Scripture is not merely something to know but something to do.)  God, help me put your word into practice today!  For more on this Bible study method, go here.

I consult my commentary only after I have done my own three-column Bible study.  I’m always eager to see what additional light might be thrown upon the text by someone else who has thought through and meditated upon it.  (Unfortunately, who the “him” in verse 7 refers to was not a question Ben Witherington thought important to answer in his commentary!)

More later, and thanks for reading.  Perhaps these words may benefit someone.  Again, please let me know what your own daily appointments with God look like.  Thanks!

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I try to spend a little time in Bible study and prayer every morning.  There are certainly days when I fail to keep this appointment, but more often than not, this time with God in Bible study and prayer is a daily activity.  I need to spend this time with God.   I have noticed that my day suffers when I miss this appointment.  A few have expressed an interest in what I am presently doing for my DQT, so let me give a brief description.

I like to study the Bible book by book and feel I get more out of my Bible study when I do so.  I just finished Deuteronomy on August 25, a study I began March 24, 2008.  Obviously, I’m not concerned about how long it takes me to wend my way from the first verse through the last verse of a book!

Now, I have begun a new study, and I am very excited about the journey just begun September 1 in the Gospel of John!  (I like to toggle between Old and New Testament books.  For example, in recent years I studied the Gospel of Mark then Genesis then Hebrews then Deuteronomy.)  Before I explain the Bible study method I use, one I learned from David Watson, I should add that I like to read and “discuss” Scripture in conversation with others.  So, in my personal study of John’s Gospel I’m also reading a commentary on that book.  Usually, I consult Gordon Fee for the selection of a worthy commentary.  Fee wrote a fine little book entitled How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth. In the Appendix of his book is a section entitled “The Evaluation and Use of Commentaries” where he lists his commentary recommendations on the individual books of the Bible.  (I remember Raymond Kelcy saying one time that as one puts together a personal library, it would be better to buy the best commentaries on individual books of the Bible than to buy commentary sets.)  I didn’t own one of Fee’s recommended commentaries on John’s Gospel, and this time, I didn’t purchase one.  I decided to save some monies and read a book given to me by our daughter, Susanna.  (It is John’s Wisdom, a commentary on the fourth Gospel by Ben Witherington.  It was one of Susanna’s textbooks when she took a course on the Gospel of John at Oklahoma Christian University.)  My practice is to read the Scriptures and then read the commentary on that passage.  I plan to elaborate on my Bible study method in the next post.

Please let me know what you are doing in your daily quiet time!

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