HOW TO STUDY THE BIBLE

In order to grow spiritually, you need to study the Bible. There is a difference between reading and studying of the word. Reading involves knowing the story while studying involves understanding the story. Studying is more in depth than just reading.

In this article, our focus is on how to study the Bible. When studying the Bible you need to understand the classification of the Bible.

The Bible is divided into the old and new testament. Then there is a further division of genres – books of law, books of history, prophetic books, epistles, apocalyptic books, and Gospels.

Knowing this helps you to understand what you are reading the Bible.

If you are a beginner. Make the Gospels your preferable options, to begin with. The Gospels help you to understand the main character – Jesus who is preached in the entire Bible.

Begin by reading the four gospels then you can move to the book of Acts which teaches about the church which was founded on the teachings of Jesus as recorded in Mathew 16:18  ”And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock, I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it”.

Thereafter you can read proverbs which could be followed by Ecclesiastes as they were authored by the same person.

You might then decide to focus on a prophetic book like Jeremiah then follow it up with Lamentations. Following them in this manner would communicate to you what Jeremiah felt as he demonstrated what Israel would go through while they were in exile.

It is advised after reading the Major Prophets or a very lengthy book such as Isaiah, go ahead and read a book that would be easier to understand in order to avoid giving up. One good example would be Ruth or Jonah. Normally a less hefty book would be shorter. You could also opt for a New Testament book.

In order to understand the history of the Israelites which is portrayed throughout the Old Testament, you may need to read through the Pentateuch – Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.

The point is you may need to read the Bible consistently so as to understand the story. Remember the Bible is not a book that conveys many stories but has one story in many books.

Choose a preferred version

You can choose a simple version that does not circumlocute around the point or use complex English. Personally, I prefer NIV, CEV, and ESV as they tend to have original manuscripts of the translation and simplified language.

History of a book

In some digital Bibles (like you version) or analog Bibles like the Good News, you tend to see why the book was written and the audience it was written to. This helps in understanding how you can apply it. Not forgetting that ”all scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching rebuking and training in righteousness”. 2 Timothy 3:16

Do you need a Bible Plan?

That depends on you and what you want to learn but you have to be very careful with some Bible plans. For example, I would not advise you to go for the Bible in a year study plan because it is not about the quantity but the quality of your study.

Do not search for a verse- that equals to reading and not studying. Instead, study a book by possibly going through a chapter a day.

An addition could be Psalms alongside the book you are reading. This is because it is lengthy and you may need to relax even as you read the word.

Choose a consistent time and place               

You may choose to study the word very early in the morning or late in the evening just before bedtime.

For early morning you have something to kick start your day and if you choose late evening it is efficient in providing refreshing after a long and tiresome day.

Creating time

You may say you do not have time but if you really want to accomplish something you will create time for it.

You can sacrifice time before looking into your social media. Eventually, it will become a habit and you will enjoy doing it.

Cross references and footnotes

At the end page of your analog Bible, you find small writings.

This provides meaning to names, places and the verse in general. They provide context or meaning from original language before the translation.

Praying

The most important thing is to tap from the Holy Spirit hence pray before and after reading the word.

image source click here

THE UNINTENTIONAL EYEWITNESS SUPPORT OF THE GOSPELS

James Warner Wallace is a christian who has been reformed from his old ways – that of atheism. He is a retired homicide detective for the Torrance police department homicide unit.  He is now a public speaker, christian apologist and best selling author of the book Cold Case Christianity- A Homicide Detective Investigates the Claims of the Gospel.

I discovered J Wallace from the movie God’s Not Dead 2   where he acted as a witness in the case of High school history teacher Grace Wesley (Melissa Joan Hart) comes under fire for answering a student’s (Hayley Orrantia) question about Jesus. When Grace refuses to apologize, the school board votes to suspend her and threatens to revoke her teaching certificate. Forced to stand trial to save her career, Grace hires young lawyer Tom Endler (Jesse Metcalfe) to defend her in court. Endler devises a powerful strategy to show the jury the historical significance of Wesley’s classroom discussion.

James Warner Wallace  became a christian at the age of 35 after investigating the gospels as potential witnesses to the gospel.

For instance during the feeding of the five thousand in John 6 mathew 14:13-21 mark 6:30-44 luke 6:9-10  Jesus asks Philip where they can get food from yet Philip was a very minor disciple. it is not until you read the other accounts that you realize they were in the town where Philip was raised.

I fell in love with this concept because it shows that the gospel is reliable and that the Bible is one book and not a series of books as people tend to think.

To find out more about unintentional ye witness accounts of the gospel click the videos below

have a look at Cold-Case Christianity with J. Warner Wallace Channel

 

 

HYPO CHRISTIAN

This is a dramatic piece that shows the meaning of a real christian enjoy.

TITLED HYPO CHRISTIAN

Character #1:               So they ask me who is a Christian

They say that they keep hearing that word

They tell me that they do not know what that means

But I say a Christian …

Real Christian:            is Christ like

is not about being Sunday best

Character #1:              so you are saying you don’t like my

Clothes, look, behaviours and person on Sunday ?

Real Christian:            no you don’t understand

A Christian is not just about Sunday

of being a Christian is what your life looks consistently

Character #1:               but I wear my best clothes for him

My behaviors are good to him

I always look good for him

Both:                              but it seems

Real Christian:            it only happens on Sunday for you

So that means you are only a Sunday Christian

Character #1:               people know I go to Church

Real Christian:            so that means the only Church they know is they know

Is the church of Laodicea

A lukewarm Church described in Revelation 3:14

That God will spit out of His mouth

He would have preferred they be hot or cold

Character #1:               so you are you don’t like me because I am hot?

Real Christian:            no I did not say that

I said you cannot serve two masters at the same time

Character#1:                does that mean I choose between my boss and God?

Real Christian:            you don’t understand Him (pointing up)

God needs worship

God gave that boss to you

He gave that work to you

And everything you do needs to be an act like worship

Even your work

Character #1:               work that I was given after going through series of interviews

With a strict panel that…

Real Christian:            a panel that choose you out of the many because God saw you among

Many that were in the list as the one who should serve him in that position

Character#1:                so you are saying the Panelists were there to determine whether I am

Christian or not

Real Christian:            no the panelists were there to choose person to continue with the

Work of God’s kingdom.

Character#1:                The work of God’s kingdom is done in Church.

Real Christian:            A Church is the body of Christ it all depends on what Church you are

Character#1:                what do you mean what Church that I am?

Real Christian:            you could be one of the seven Churches in Revelation 2 and 3

The Church in Ephesus

Ran from their first love

The Church in Smyrna

Who had faith that perseveres

Revealing Jesus to a broken world

The Church in Pergamum

Who are steadfastly faithful

But enticed by the teachings of Balaam

The Church in Sardis

A reputation of being alive but dead

The Church in Philadelphia

Who have allowed Christ to empower them

Through their struggles in endurance

The church in Thyatira

Who tolerate that woman Jezebel who

Seduces God’s servants to practice sexual immorality

Or the Church in Laodicea

Neither hot or cold

Whom God will spit out of His mouth

Character#1:                 Wait a minute you said being a Christian is

Being like Christ

So why are you talking about a Church?

Real Christian:            Because the Church is the body of Christ

Character#1:                If the Church is the body of Christ why are there different Churches?

Real Christian:            because each Church has its own works

We know one by their works

Works is the evidence of the fruit of our salvation

Works are the outward sign of an inward change

Character #1:               And what does Christ do because I only see him pointing out my

Wrong in this -judging me

Real Christian:            Christ loves you, he is love –real love-the only love that is able to keep you from falling

Character #1:               people say they are Christians but show no love

Real Christian:            they do not know God because he who does not love does not know God

Character #1:               so are you saying they are the Church of Ephesus

They ran from their first love

Real Christian:            yes because they know the first love

But quantify the love he gives

To choose separate and distinguish

Character#1:                Apart from love what is God?

Real Christian:            he is a God of mercy and Justice

Mercy because he gave his son

To die on the cross for my sins

That if you believe in him you shall live eternally

He is Rock of ages

The Alpha and Omega

But let me say to you
there are not enough words to describe this name Jesus

Character#1:                Justice?

Where is Justice?

Real Christian:            Justice when you pay for your sin

For refusing to believe

Justice is part of his mercy

He is the only one who can put mercy and justice

On one beam and let them balance

Character#1:                you said Jesus died on a cross for my sins

Real Christian:            Yes

He took the cup of suffering from you

He took nails for your nails

He took lashes for your lashes

Tortured and bruised for you

Father into your hands his last breath for you (strong heavy breathe)

Character#1:                and so if you took his last breathe for me to get Justice

Would you give me time to consider salvation that I may see his mercy?

Real Christian:            sure because before he died

He said it is finished

THE WORLD OR THE WORD

In today’s life many people think satisfaction comes from the material things. They want their happiness from the things of this world and not from Christ.

The world is ruled by Satan. Want proof? The Bible refers to him as the prince of this world (John 12:31) or the god of this world ( 2 cor 4:4). Furthermore during the temptation of Jesus the devil said to him he will give him all the kingdoms of this world if Christ bows to the devil- which means they belong to him. (Mathew 4:9-11) That also goes to say that he gives but not as God give true to which the Bible goes ahead to assure us in John 14:27 Peace I live with you: my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

The world is after pleasure-money, wealth, fame and material things. Not to say such is bad but once they take the place of God then they become worldly. People think by gaining worldly, material pleasure they will be happy but really they have been received.  We are warned do not conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is –his good, pleasing and perfect will.

That means we need to be congruent with the word who is Christ (John 1:1-3,14) described Jesus as the Living word. In Christ is not where we find happiness but joy. It is in his name that we find completeness of joy. John 16:24. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive then your joy will be complete. Christ came that you may have life and have it in abundance.

In this world you will experience but the peace of Christ is inside you. Now is your time of grief but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. (John 16:22)

There is a battle to be fought not against flesh and blood but truthfully speaking the battle belongs to the Lord. He helps us to fight by his word (Ephesians 6;11-17). He assures us in John 16:33. I have told you these things so that in me you ma y have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

Therefore do you belong to the world that is ruled by the devil that is after material things which are all vanity or do you belong to the word who is Christ and in him there is eternal life? Remember you cannot serve two masters. You cannot be lukewarm as God says in Revelation 3:15-16 because you are neither cold nor hot I will vomit you out of my mouth. So choose where you belong.

image source click here

 

SKILLS GOD HAS GIVEN US TO MINISTER

Many are they in this world who thinks that if anything cannot be explained in certain ways, It is wrong. Many Christians tend to think if you have not been equipped with certain skills then they are certain areas you should not take interest in or are not in your calling. Remember many are called but few are chosen.

NOTE:  in your calling –many are called.

God equips those whom he has called. I know you have heard of the saying God does not necessarily call the equipped but he equips those whom he calls. There are skills god gives us that his will may be done. There are some things we think are formed by certain interactions we make but truth be told it is God who allows those interactions to be formed.

I made a list of thinks that God equips us with.

  • People interaction

The Bible in the book of Exodus talks of resistance by Moses to his call from God. He claimed he is not an eloquent speaker but God gave him Aaron his brother to speak for him.

 Exodus 2:10,14 NIV

Moses said to the Lord, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.

Then the Lord’s anger burned against Moses and he said, “What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he can speak well. He is already on his way to meet you, and he will be glad to see you.

For instance

If you wanted to serve somewhere in the church but you cannot approach the church leadership on that day someone you know and serves will meet you in church and can introduce you to the leadership at the church.

Therefore God will provide a way where there seems to be none.

  • Social skills

‘‘I feel God is calling me to serve from the pulpit-but I am shy.’’ What if this is you- you are shy but have been called to preach do not lose hope God will begin to cultivate courage in you through the people around you. He may bring people who will give hope to you that you may stand before others. Furthermore churches do offer training as there is a need to cultivate certain skills in an individual for ministry.

  • Reference tools
  • Prayer

Journals, articles, books and other materials with scriptural teaching are very key. We can do our research in order to communicate the message of Christ. However we need to be very careful when using tools designed by man. We have to pray for discernment to know which tools are from the spirit and which ones are not especially when it comes to literature.

In order to come up with this blog the two people involved had to sit together and pray about the idea, content, strategies and above all guidance from the Holy Spirit. We know the importance of prayer and we have to use it at all times.

One great tool is a dictionary. Elijah was not taken up to heaven in a chariot of fire but in a whirlwind (A small rotating windstorm of limited extent ) the chariot and horses of fire separated Elijah from Elisha. Elijah went to heaven in a whirlwind (2 Kings 2:11)

In everything you yearn to do in love, life and laughter turn to God in prayer.

In conclusion God has given us useful tools that you may push aside as it is easy to say they are flesh seeking motives.

This article has only four

Engage us through sending a message or word document to our email stillandlistening@gmail.com

Feel free to also write your message in the comment section below

image source click here

 

LET MY PEOPLE GO

The Israelites are oppressed. They are slaves in a foreign land. This is God’s promise to Abraham. But Pharaoh has held them captive and will not release them without authority from a higher deity. They will be slaves if no one comes to the rescue. So Moses is born and in the plan of God Pharaoh’s daughter acts as his mother. One day as Moses was taking care of the flock of his father-in –law, Jethro, the Lord appeared to Moses in the form of a burning bush. Though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. Moses drew closer to see this strange sight but the Lord called to Him from within the bush, Moses! Moses! He was sending him to take his people out of misery. Moses goes to Pharaoh and he says LET MY PEOPLE GO! If I were to speak to you this day I would say: the devil has oppressed you for long and God is saying to him-let my child go! The Lord has freed you from the enemy’s chains but so should you know the devil is still looking for you because he does not love holiness and the Lord seeing your oppression has forgotten but he says to the enemy; LET MY PEOPLE GO!