Embracing Your Role As A Spouse
As a spouse, you have three roles to playa friend, a partner, and a lover. On this one-day Focus on the Family broadcast, Pastor Kevin A. Thompson explores those different roles and challenges you to live them out by investing emotionally, physically, and mentally in your relationship. As friends, he suggests we learn to play and laugh together. As partners, he equips us with solid ways to handle conflict and communication. As lovers, he offers some thoughts on how to bring back the sizzle. He shares five keys to saving your marriage: humility, respect, mercy, communication, and resilience. Youll be encouraged to intentionally invest in your marriage.
Simple Steps For Studying The Bible Effectively
- Jim George, Th.M.Christian Author
- 201815 Mar
One of the noblest pursuits a child of God can embark upon is to get to know and understand God better. The best way we can accomplish this is to look carefully at the book He has written, the Bible, which communicates who He is and His plan for mankind. There are a number of ways we can study the Bible, but one of the most effective and simple approaches to reading and understanding Gods Word involves five simple steps:
Steps 1-2 ObservationWhat does the passage say?
Step 3: Asking questions–Who, What, Where, When
Step 4: InterpretationWhat does the passage mean?
Step 5: ApplicationWhat am I going to do about what the passage says and means?
Basic Tools To Use When You Start Studying
Youll want to keep these basic Bible study tools and resources on hand:
- Post-it notes
- Journal or notebook
If youre a creative person or love to make things beautiful, you might also want to use:
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You might also want to keep a simple beginner Bible study plan with your supplies. For example, will you begin with the gospel of John, as we discussed earlier? Or maybe our Gods Love scripture writing plan? Keeping a printed reading plan or devising a set schedule will help you stay motivated and on track.
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Identifying Triggers In Your Marriage
They were both convinced they had married the wrong person. From almost the very beginning of their marriage, Amber and Guy Lia experienced various tensions and personality clashes related to house cleaning, backseat driving, workaholism, and intimacy. In this two-day Focus on the Family broadcast, Amber and Guy discuss how they bravely faced the triggers head-on, and committed to working on their own relationships with Jesus. As you listen to the Lias story, youll feel hope that you, too, can see real marriage transformation!
Soak Bible Study Method: Observation
This is the stage of your Bible study where you get to be a detective . Step 1: Examine the text and make note of what stands out for you. Are there words that are repeated? Is there a word that stands out or seems out of place? Mark the words that stand out to you or that you want to learn more about.
If youd rather, you can watch the YouTube video here:
Step 2: Ask Who, Why, What, Where, When and How questions.
- Is there a narrator? Who is it?
- Who is the text written to?
- Is there any indication of why it was written?
- Are there any places or landmarks mentioned?
- Are there people, places or things mentioned in the verse? What are they?
- Are there references to time in the verse?
- What type of literature is it?
- Whats happening in the text? What action is mentioned or taking place?
- What new things did you learn about God the Father, Jesus or the Holy Spirit?
Step 3: Use a dictionary to look up the meanings of unfamiliar words. A Bible dictionary is useful in this step but you can use a regular dictionary as well.
Step 4: Use a Bible Concordance to research the words you highlighted in step 1.
Step 5: Read the verse youre studying in alternate translations. Make note of any new understanding you receive.Refer to the Bible Study Resources section of the Bible Study Tips for Beginners post for additional details on Bibles dictionaries, concordances, and alternate translations.
See Proverbs 4:23 for an example of a personal paraphrase.
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How Can I Study My Bible By Myself
Just use a notebook page or blank journal page. Put the date and book/chapter/verse at the top. Ask yourself some questions about what you are reading. Write out thoughts that come into your mind as you read.
As youre comfortable, try one of the Bible study methods outlined above. Pray that God illuminates his Word for you as you study and helps you understand what youre reading.
Study A Verse By Looking For The Great Ideas Revealed In It
Let us look again at John 3:16 as our example. We might title this verse, The greatest verse in the Bible. The following ideas are found in it:
Godthe greatest Personso lovedthe greatest devotionthe worldthe greatest numberHe gavethe greatest actHis only begotten Sonthe greatest giftthat whoever believesthe greatest conditionshould not perishthe greatest mercyhave everlasting lifethe greatest result
Sometimes a combination of these various ideas applied to a verse will bring the richest results.
ThereforeThis verse depends on 4:25. Our justification is based on and is guaranteed by Jesus resurrection.justifiedmade righteous.by faithmethod of our justification .havenot future, but present tensewe have this now.peace with GodWe were enemies, but now there is peace between us and God because of what Christ has done. through our Lord Jesus Christthe way to peace with God is only through Jesus Christ.
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Act : Gods Plan For All People
Christs Coming: Gods True King Arrives
Christs Ministry: Gods True King Manifests His Kingdom
Christs Deliverance of His People: Gods Work Through Death, Resurrection, and Enthronement of His King
Christs Church: Gods People Advance the Kingdom
Christs Second Coming and Reign: Gods Future for the Kingdom
Read for transformation: The Bible is not meant merely to informit is meant to transform us in accordance with Gods truth . Therefore, read with expectation that you will hear from the Lord. Be thinking about ways to apply Gods truth to your life as you read.
Read with perseverance: Commit yourself to being consistent for the next 10 to 12 weeks, which is about how long it takes to form a long-term habit. As you are faithful with your Bible reading and begin to see it make a difference in your life, you will begin to hunger for your time in the Word.
Be realistic about the goals you set, and have a good plan: If you take just 20 to 30 minutes per day, you can read through the whole Bible in a year. In just 10 to 15 minutes per day, you can read through the whole Bible in two years. The key is not volume but consistency and a clear plan.
Set aside a consistent time and place to read and study the Bible: Make it a time and place that guards you from distractions and allows you to be consistent, missing no more than a handful of times per month. When you do miss a day, just pick back up the next day.
How Often Should You Read The Bible
Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips 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.
In Joshua 1:8 God tells Joshua to meditate on the Law day and night. This will help Joshua obey Gods commands.
While reading and meditating on Gods word are two different spiritual disciplines, it is hard to do one without the other.
As a Christian, you should be reading your Bible daily.
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Take A Few Minutes Each Day To Memorize Scripture
Whenever many adults hear the word memorize, they groan, I could never do that. Yet all of us memorize many things in our daily lives: telephone numbers, account numbers, addresses, television commercial jingles, sayings by famous people. You have much more capacity to memorize than you realize.
We should memorize Scripture if for no other reason than the Lord commanded us to learn His Word . You will soon notice other changes in your life because the Holy Spirit will use the verses you learn to teach you new things and to help you resist temptation . As a new believer,
I memorized many verses. First Corinthians 10:13 alone has saved me from disobeying God on hundreds if not thousands of occasions. As we memorize Gods Word, the verses become part of the inner workings of our mind and the Holy Spirit uses them to guide us through situations we encounter during our day.
Effective Scripture memory will just take a few minutes out of your day if you develop a systematic method. Then look for small slots of time that you normally waste and fill them with memorizing Gods Word. For example, instead of reading a magazine in the doctors office, memorize a verse of Scripture. Use your break at work or arrange to memorize Scripture with a fellow believer in your workplace, campus, or church. Memorize Scripture as a family.
Review is just as important as the initial memory stage. Here are some suggestions for organizing your review.
Stage : Read The Road Signs Carefully
When you travel, it is critical that you read the road signs well. As we study the Bible, there are many clues to the authors intentions built right into any given passage. So, one important aspect of Bible study is slowing down and reading the passage carefully.
When you are driving down a road at 65 miles per hour, how many roadside details do you catch? Not many. You might be able to see interesting objects on roadside, but they blur and then fade quickly as you speed by.
Many of us are drive by readers of Scripture, never slowing down to explore and enjoy the details of Gods Word consequently there is much that we miss in the process. Choose to slow down and read with care. Read a passage repeatedly if you sense youve yet to catch all the elements. One way to ensure that you are reading slowly enough to catch the details is to underline key phrases or words, or write notes in the margin.
Read the Passage in Several Translations: Doing a comparison of modern English Bible translations can be a helpful way to highlight key interpretive issues in a passage. Why? Because translation, by its nature, requires interpretation. With almost any verse of Scripture, translators have to choose, given the context and grammatical constructions, between various possible word meanings. Therefore, the differences reflected in the various translations represent various interpretations of the passage.
Subjectwho or what is the passage focusing on?
Agentwho does the action?
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The Bible Gives Us Moral Moorings For Our Lives
Many years ago while I was a student at Fuller Theological Seminary, two gifted young evangelists spoke at our chapel program. Both believed and preached that the Bible was inspired in every word. Some time later, one of those men rejected the authority and integrity of Gods Word. As a result, he lost his moral standard on which to base his life and ministry. He divorced his wife, left the ministry, and eventually became an outspoken antagonist of the Christian faith.
The other young evangelist continued to believe that the Bible is Gods Word and is without error. When he could not understand something in the Bible, he trusted that what God said was true. God honored his faith. That man is Billy Graham. God has used him to touch the lives of many millions of people around the world.
Study One Chapter At A Time
Going slowly helps you really take in and absorb the meaning and application of what youre studying. One chapter a day is manageable and helps you dig deep without getting overwhelmed. What are the main points of the chapter? What passage of scripture seems to be pivotal here? Read the chapter in different translations.
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Study A Book Of The Bible
Have you tried other ways to study the Bible and want to go deeper? Do you like to be challenged? Studying a book of the Bible, or doing a book-by-book study, is a great way to go.
Studying a book of the Bible is one of the more challenging ways to study the Bible because it involves a little bit of every method of Bible Study. It can involve studying themes, topics, characters, individual words, and cross-references.
A book study takes time and commitment, but it can also be the most rewarding! Its my favorite way to study the Bible because it takes me deeper and helps me wrestle with the text over an extended period of time.
You might see many Bible verses in a whole new light when you read them in their context. You might even find that some of your favorite verses mean something different than what you might have heard in the past.
If you take a verse out of its context, it can seem to mean something different than what the author intended. The advantage of a book study is that it helps you keep Bible verses in their context. You want to know what God is saying and not change its meaning.
What I love about doing a book study of the Bible is that I usually end up where I didnt expect. I start out with a general idea of what I think the book means. Then I end up in a surprisingly different place at the end. Also, whatever book I studied last becomes my new favorite!
Here are the 5 steps from that article:
How to Study Books of the Bible
Be A Doer Of The Word
Don’t just study God’s Word for the sake of studying. Be sure to put the Word into practice in your life.
Jesus said in Luke 11:28, “But even more blessed are all who hear the word of God and put it into practice.”
If God speaks to you personally or through life application principles you find in the text, be sure to apply those nuggets to your day-to-day life.
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Read Through One Book At A Time
With this method, you simply work through one book at a time, instead of skipping around through the entire Bible. This helps you fully grasp the meaning of the book overall and how each chapter relates its message. This should be one of your go-to methods of Bible study. If all of your studies bounce from passage to passage, you only gain fragments of Bible knowledge and never a sense of the whole. When you do a whole book from beginning to end, you learn about Bible topics as they arise in your reading, gain a better understanding of cultural context, and ultimately build a better foundation.
Why The Bible Is Hard To Understand
âHe writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destructionâ .
When you introduce difference, you introduce confusion. We have a hard enough time making sense of our own intentions. Understanding those of others can be even more difficult.
The distance between the Bible and our 21st century experience is enormous. There are many obstacles to understanding these ancient texts correctly. We are historically, personally, theologically, chronologically, culturally, and geographically removed from the Bibleâs authors.
Recommended Reading: How To Read The New Testament In Chronological Order
Prophecy Is An Essential Part Of The Bible
Some of the seemingly bizarre verses we just talked about have to do with prophecy. Which is why they can seem perplexing. But God has many reasons for communicating with humanity through prophecy.
God has historically selected certain individuals to reveal divine details to their people group. Sometimes its to warn them about potential enemies or about behavior that will ultimately lead to destruction. Sometimes Gods prophets would provide healing, or acknowledge a radical act of faith.
And in many places youll find extensive prophecies about the future.
Some prophecies are fulfilled later in the Bible, such as the prophecy that Jesus Christ would come to Earth as a baby, born in a stable. Some prophecies were fulfilled after the Bible was writtenand some are yet to be completed.
The symbolism used by the authors to describe these prophecies is vibrant, dramatic, and can often be unsettling. Keep in mind that there wasand isa purpose to each prophecy. Diving into their meanings can be absolutely fascinating.
Stage : Read The Maps
Maps are vital to navigationyou must know where you are to understand how to get to where you want to go. In Bible study, knowledge of the historical and literary contexts provides orientation. Like maps, they give us the layout of the biblical neighborhood. The historical context can give us a clearer backdrop in terms of historical events or cultural dynamics of the time, and the literary context can help us understand how these words function, given where the author placed them in the book.
The Broad Historical Context of the Book: In studying the historical context of a book, you want to understand the following facts:
Who authored the book?
Who were the original recipients?
Where were the author and the recipients located?
When was the book written?
What is the purpose of the book?
You can find this kind of information in the book introductions in this study Bible. You can also find it in Bible dictionaries, commentaries, and Bible handbooks. The Holman Illustrated Bible Handbook, for instance, gives general background information on the city of Philippi and the church there, including the following:
Philippi was an important city in the province of Macedonia. . . . The city had a privileged status as a colony of Rome, so its citizens were considered citizens of Rome. . . . According to Acts there were not enough Jews in the city to support a synagogue, so the city and the church were primarily Gentile.
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