- Jackie Raderstorf
Studying Your Bible
2 Timothy 3:16-17 - Do you read your Bible? Daily? Just the scripture the Pastor used? As you read, do you study the scripture?
Let’s start out looking through your Bible as if you just received it. The parts before and after the Scriptures hold an enormous amount of information about your Book. These features are helpful guides. Each Bible varies, but these are some of the helpful aids:
>> Title of contents (maps, charts, index) >> Abbreviations and pronunciations
>> Preface and acknowledgements (telling who wrote and what basic languages were used to develop translations – Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, etc.)
>> Concordance and dictionary >> Introduction to each Book in the Bible
>> Footnotes (mostly in study Bibles) >> and other informative items.
The Bible is a history of God’s creation. It is about strange times, strange people, and strange customs. But mostly, it is about God’s desire for us, His people and salvation. His offer of salvation is so we may live with Him in eternity. Right now, we live in an imperfect world.
God has placed answers and guidelines in His Word for us to follow. There are answers in the Scripture to the problems and dilemmas we have. Maybe at a later time, that same Scripture will come to you to settle an entirely different situation. His Word covers all of our needs.
God gives instructions for every day situations. It may not be laid out step by step or detailed exactly as yours. If you are drowning, it may not tell how to churn your arms and kick your feet, but it tells how the disciples dealt with a storm at sea. God is always looking out for us.
Now, it is time to read the Word. Where to begin? Some close their eyes, open the Bible and place their finger on the page, opening their eyes and that is where reading begins. (Personally, when I read a book I start at the beginning.) May be a favorite story, Book or Scripture is where you’d like to start. The Book of John tells of Jesus’ ministry and would be a good beginning. The point is to begin!
Wherever you decide to read, start with these aids (Matthew 7:7-8) in mind.
1. ASK - God to speak to you and reveal understanding of the scriptures
2. SEARCH - for God’s message. He feeds you the spiritual food you need as you need it and as you can understand and comprehend it.
3. KNOCK - on God’s door and be ready to put into practice what you have received.
Now is the time for action and obedience. You have His Word, His promise, now receive His joy!
Lord, for the person who begins a closer walk with You by reading Your Word, bless Your child with deeper understanding and a closer relationship. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
As you read, some places of Scripture may become confusing. So ask these 6 questions:
6. Whom to = (Who is speaking? What about? When is this happening? Where is this happening? Why is this happening? Whom is this being spoken to?)
It can become a joy, getting to know God, Jesus, and their desire for you. Try it!