Monday, August 21, 2006

Lost Art of Loving God, Part Four

A friend and fellow pastor once developed a list of Bible study suggestions geared toward lay people and those new to studying God’s word. I was impressed; The suggestions were basic, but helpful. I was impressed because I think sometimes pastors, in an effort to impress, fail to outline the fundamentals.

I have merged his suggestions with my own, and so I tend to call this the “Ken & Phil List.”
These are suggestions rather than God given rules. However, I think you might find some of them helpful.

Suggestions Bible Study & Meditation on God’s Word

1. Put consistency before quantity. Better 10 minutes a day than an hour “hit and miss.”

2. Find a time that is conducive to reading and prayer. You want to choose a time when you are alert, but also a time when you are least likely to have other concerns pulling on you.

3. Find a place that is conducive to reading and prayer as well. Mentally stake out this space as a place of daily reading and prayer.

4. Before you open the Bible, pray for insight & teachable spirit.

5. Have a “flexible plan” for what you will read. A plan is very important, as is some the flexibility to break out of your normal pattern here and there.

6. Many like to read through the Bible cover to cover, but this is not always the best approach. What will really help you grow? Consider starting with the Gospels, Romans, or Psalms.

7. As stated in part two of this series, find a friend who will keep you accountable to your plan. (Don’t underestimate the value of this!)

8. Bring your own Bible to church, especially if your church prints the Bible verses in the bulletin. It is helpful to get a “feel” for where things are located in your Bible, and a “feel” for the surrounding context.

9. Because the church was (and is) God’s idea, don’t feel guilty utilizing its resources. Consider making the sermon a springboard for what you read in the Bible one or two days of the week.

10. Use a notebook to record thoughts about what you read. You don’t have to be a writer, and you don’t have to write much, but consider C.S. Lewis’ words, “Writing takes the fuzz of our thinking.” It also helps us better retain what we have learned.


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