This blog post is a continuation of the series discussing the excellent guidance in the September/October 2019 issue of Bible Study Magazine.
Below is a synopsis of some more “Words to Live By.”
JR Vassar suggests reading and rereading the text. For example, on Day One, read one or two chapters of the Gospel of Mark or one of Paul’s letters. Reread the same chapters each day of the rest of the week. He correctly observes:
By the end of that time, you’re going to see things that you didn’t see in your first reading.
To read, reread, reread, and reread the passage can provide great insight into a passage. Hebrews 4:12 (ESV) reads:
12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
It makes sense that to engage something living and active like God’s Word repeatedly will continually bear fruit.
D. A. Carson says:
Personal Bible reading ought to have oomph to it.
To give it that oomph, when one doesn’t understand the text, he permits to consult a commentary. Dr. Carson also points out the importance in Bible engagement of coming to God with an attitude of reverence and (reverential) fear. He advises:
Whether you’re writing a commentary or having your morning devotions, you ought to have the sort of reverence that is always due God.
When one ponders the awesomeness of God in creation, as well as the fact that He condescended to even communicate with us through His Word, the attitude in Isaiah 66:2 (ESV) ought to be our automatic mindset:
2 All these things my hand has made, and so all these things came to be, declares the Lord. But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.
Philip Yancey gives excellent advice when he recommends that you put yourself in the shoes of the people in a text. In the context of the prodigal son, be the father, be the younger brother, or be the older brother. Put in the DVD, hit the “play” button, and let the text play out.
Each of these Bible teachers presents helpful suggestions that are easy to implement in one’s Bible engagement. Like I wrote above, this is an exceptional issue of Bible Study Magazine. Please send me any comments at firstname.lastname@example.org or use the comments feature of the blog.
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