A simple approach to Bible Study

 ENCOUNTER: Read Matthew 24:3

What are you curious about?

There are so many things that capture my thoughts, so many rabbit trails that I find myself on.  I got a new running watch and couldn't figure out how to program it, so I googled it, which got me thinking about my new training schedule, which sent me to look for a race to run, which got me to a clothing site, to swim suites, to the ocean, to surfing, to wipeouts, to epic fails!  And like that 45 minutes were wasted and my original issue didn't even get resolved.  

Bible Study is the spiritual practice that helps keep our thoughts and curiosities within the rails. We all head off on in different directions and there are many shinny objects that catch our eye.  I think God might have actually made us this way.  In this passage in Matthew, the disciples who were with Jesus were not simply satisfied to be in the dark, the wanted to know more, they asked questions.   

The gentile nudge is that we dive more and more into scripture, that we be curious about the things of God, about the people of God.  There are lots of strange and unique things in scripture.  There are difficult teachings and challenging rebukes.  Bible Study keeps our eyes on the road and allows us to dive deeper into our own mental and spiritual formation.  

In the same way we have become experts on our own personal mental hobbies, may we as a church, encourage each other more and more to wrestle with scripture, to dive deeply into this foreign culture that scripture was written in, lean into the deep spiritual truths, so that we can have our views of God and ourselves sharpened by His very Word.  

LET'S TRY SOME BIBLE STUDY:  (PROAPT)  Grab your Bible, a piece of paper, pen, and a cup of coffee, and lets get after it!

PRAY:  Ask God to illuminate your study, to meet you, to speak to you, and for you to be open to whatever God has for you.

READ:  Pick a passage.  Why not Colossians 1:15-23 (One of my favorites).  Read it through three times, slowly, being aware of what catches your eye.  

OBSERVE:  What stands out?  What questions do you have?  Who wrote this?  What were they trying to say?  Why do you think it has been seen valuable over centuries? If you let your curiosity go, what would you google? What questions does this raise?  Where do you need to go to learn more?

APPLY:  This is where our weekly devotional rhythm comes in.  Be Reflective, Be a Blessing, Be Together.  Based on what you have just read, now what?

PRAY:  Pray again and thank God for this time, ask for the courage to get after whatever He has put on  your heart.

TELL:  Go and tell someone about what you have learned or how you have been shaped by this passage of scripture.  (Or in general)  Tell me, I would love to be encouraged by what God is doing in your life!

May God meet you, encourage you, sharpen you, and equip you for every good work!

(PS: This devotional came as a response to the sermon I preached last week. )