This past weekend we talked about protecting our hearts by investing time in studying and applying the Bible. I will freely admit that there are times when it’s hard to understand the Bible and even harder to apply it/live it out in my life. But since applying the Bible to my life helps protect me and my heart I’ve decided to work at it. Over the years I have heard and seen great study techniques that help in my personal study, but the best tool that I have found is to ask questions about the text. I came across these 7 questions years ago from a friend and they have really helped me.
- Is there a sin to avoid? – Did the people involved the text that I read do something that caused great trouble in their lives? Is there a specific prohibition? Is there something that would be wise to avoid?
- Is there a warning to heed? – Does this passage have a warning for my relationships? Work? Finances? Children? If so, what do I need to do?
- Is there a command to obey? – Does God says something specific to me or the church that I need to give myself to?
- Is there a promise to believe? – Despite what I am feeling right now or experiencing right now, is there a promise that I truly need to claim and hang on to?
- Is there an example to follow? – Does Joseph’s example with temptation teach me anything? Does Abraham’s example of faith teach me anything? Does Paul’s pursuit of those far from God call me to do anything?
- Is there a principle to practice? – Is it true that saved people serve people? Is it true that found people find people? Is it true that you can’t out-give God? If so what do I need to develop as a practice?
- Is there something to learn about God? – Is he patient? Just? Will he truly judge sin? What can I learn about God?
The asking, answering and acting on the answers to these questions helps me dig into God’s Word. I hope they are helpful to you. Maybe you have different helps. If so…what are they? What works for you?