|Good morning everyone,|
Our theme for this month: “Writing and Reading”
Our Bible verse for today: “Blessed are they whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the Lord. Blessed are they who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart.” Psalm 119:1-2 (NIV)
Our thought for today: “Read the directions”
As was noted in the first devotional of this series about the gift of the written word and the importance of reading, throughout this month we will consider our subject from many different angles. But the most important form of written communication is the Bible, and therefore we’re spending the first part of the month thinking about it. Next week we’ll move on to other forms of writing and reading.
Over the last couple of days, we’ve considered the importance of staying immersed in the story of God so we can develop a feel for how God interacts with people (including us). Today we will consider another way of using the Bible to hear from God.
Shortly after I became a Christian, I met George and Dorcas Taggart. They were an older couple who operated the church bookstore. They sold Bibles, Christian books, cards, gifts, etc. It was George who guided me in my selection of my first Bible, “The Disciple’s Study Bible”. (I still have it and I’m using it to write this devotional). I love this Bible! It’s filled with all sorts of helps in using the Bible to establish and maintain the life of a committed disciple of Christ.
One section provides instructions on how to use the Bible to find guidance pertaining to common life issues which we all must deal with. It lists Biblical principles that pertain to the issue, and it directs you to numerous Bible verses and passages that teach about it. The idea is to read each of those verses and passages, jotting down in your notebook your understanding of what they teach regarding the issue you are dealing with. Once you have read them all, you write a summary statement about your overall understanding of the Biblical teaching regarding the issue. Then you go back to the Biblical Principles Guide and compare your summary statement to the explanation of the principle to make sure your summary is in fact consistent with the Biblical teaching.
Most study Bibles offer a section of helps similar to that. Most Bibles also offer a concordance in the back which helps you to locate verses and passages by category. There are also handy little books like “Walk Through the Promises”, which list hundreds of Bible promises by category; or “God’s Wisdom for Daily Living” which takes all the wisdom sayings from Proverbs and lists them by category and by life issue. All of those tools help us to find verses and passages which pertain to the subject we need help with.
This study method takes a little time and effort but it is extraordinarily helpful for getting Biblical guidance regarding basic life issues. It directs us to the many passages and verses that pertain to our issue and, it helps to ensure that we don’t “cherry-pick” verses, or take them out of Biblical context. I encourage you to try it.
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