“I deeply love your Law! I think about it all day.” Psalm 119:97 (CEV)
What were you taught about the Bible as you were growing up? What version did you read? Where do most people today turn to look for authoritative answers?
Don’t rely on your own human reason and don’t rely on the church or the pastors. Please turn to the pages of Scripture!!
“All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It straightens us out and teaches us to do what is right. It is God’s way of preparing us in every way, fully equipped for every good thing God wants us to do.” 2 Tim. 3:16-17 (NLT)
“God means what he says. What he says goes. His powerful Word is sharp as a surgeon's scalpel, cutting through everything, whether doubt or defense, laying us open to listen and obey.Nothing and no one is impervious to God's Word. We can't get away from it—no matter what.” Hebrews 4:12-13 (MSG)
The Bible was verballyinspired … that the supernatural influence of the Holy Spirit came upon the Scripture writers which resulted in what they wrote actually being the Word of God. The Bible is inerrant – that it is without error as far as historical and factual content. The Bible is infallible – that it cannot fail with regard to moral, ethical, and spiritual teaching.
The pattern of Jesus …
“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” Mark 1:35 (NIV)
“Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses.But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” Luke 5:15-16 (NIV)
“Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4 (NIV)
In the midst of a demanding lifestyle, Jesus maintained His lifestyle of being alone with His Father.
What role does Scripture play in your personal walk with Jesus? When do you read God’s Word? Why do you read it?
“I have not departed from the commands of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread.” Job 23:12 (NIV)
“Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” Joshua 1:8 (NIV)
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23-24 (NIV)
What keeps you from maintaining a daily habit of reading the Bible? What is one step you could take to move in that direction?
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.” Psalm 32:8 (NIV)
“The Lord GOD has given Me the tongue of disciples, That I may know how to sustain the weary one with a word. He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear to listen as a disciple.” Isaiah 50:4 (NASB)
“In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.” Psalm 5:3 (NIV)
How central is the Bible to your family life or workplace environment? In what ways do you see those you influence needing to be fed in their walk with Christ?
“How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word.I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands.I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” Psalm 119:9-11 (NIV)
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.” Psalm 119:105 (NIV)
“I think about you before I go to sleep, and my thoughts turn to you during the night.” Psalm 63:6 (CEV)
Personal time with God; there are two ways of looking when it comes to a WINDOW.
“I can look at a window. I can notice the glass, see if there are any streaks or dust particles or bubbles in it. Or, I can look through a window. I can view the world beyond it by using it as an opening to the world. Sometimes I look at the Scriptures. I study its story. I ask questions. Thoughts of God’s goodness, love and peace lodge in my mind. The idea is that I begin also to look at my world through the Scriptures – through the perspective of God’s constant care and presence.”(John Ortberg, The Me I Want To Be, pg. 98)
Discipleship – Who is coaching you? Who are you coaching? (Follow; Pages 254-255)
Resource: “Learning To Follow Jesus” (Daniel McNaughton & Bryan Koch)
Application: Deeper Into Scripture – A 7-Day Plan
Deeper into Scripture is a methodology of scripture reading that instructs, encourages and equips people to read God’s Word daily and deeply. To accomplish this we have created a unique four-fold method of bible reading that directs the individual to read a short passage of scripture (usually 5-15 verses) 4 times. Each reading is done with a different question, instruction or objective to be considered. This repetitive reading and instruction takes us deeply into the Word of God and draws us closer to Him.
Choose a Passage (usually a paragraph) of Scripture you would like to study (Philippians 4:4–7).
Step 1—Read through the entire Book in which your passage occurs in no more than two sittings. Take note of what stands out to you. What questions do you have as you read the book?
Step 2—Reread the entire Book looking for clues to the following questions: Who wrote the book? To whom did he write? What kinds of issues were important to the recipients? Are there any clues in the book as to when the letter was written? Why was the book written? What are the natural or logical divisions of the book?
Step 3—Read what others say about the 5 questions in Bible dictionaries, Bible encyclopedias, Bible handbooks, commentaries, and introductions.
Step 4—Identify the Section of the book in which your Passage occurs. (A Section is a group of Passages [paragraphs] that have the same focus.) Read the Section twice and identify the following:
The main focus of your Section in one sentence.
How each Passage advances the main focus of your Section.
Step 5—Read your Passage 3 times. List as many observations as you can about your Passage using the six observation questions to guide you: What is emphasized? What is repeated? What is related? What is alike? What is unlike? What is true to life?
Step 6—Read your Passage in 4 different translations and look up all marginal references in your passage.
Step 7—Identify, research, and explain every historical context item in your Passage.
Step 8—Do the following steps for every significant word in your Passage:
Where does this word occur in the passage? First sentence? Last?
Is the word repeated in the passage? If so, how many times and in which verse(s)?
At first glance what do you think this word means in this passage?
Using a concordance, make a list of every reference to your word in the book you are studying.
Look up and read every reference to the word in the book. (Note: if the word is used more than 25–30 times in the book, look up primarily those which fall in your section and others which seem to be significant throughout the book.)
Write a short phrase beside each reference to help you remember the context. (Note: if you are studying a verb, include who is speaking or doing the action and to whom. In what context is the action taking place? If you are studying a noun, what is this thing used for? If it is a place, what happens there?)
Is this word used in similar contexts? What is that context?
Does the word occur primarily in one section or passage of the book?
Read about your word from theological wordbooks and commentaries.
How does the meaning of this word clarify the meaning of the sentence in the passage in the section in the book you are studying?
Step 9—Develop a one-sentence statement that includes the main idea of the Passage and what it meant to the original audience.
Step 10—Develop a one sentence teaching statement that summarizes what the Passage means for all people. How will people’s lives change if they get the main point of this passage? What will people think, feel, and do if they get the point?
Just for fun, try your hand at taking these "tests" that will challenge your knowledge of Scripture. While we're more concerned with applying the Word of God it's also critically important to know what the Bible actually says.