As we grow in our walk with Christ, knowing God’s word (and seeking it with zeal) is one of the most important things we can do. After all, he’s revealed himself to us in two primary ways: Through his Holy Spirit, which we received as a gift when we became Christians, and in his Word.
This post is the 9th of 15. In each post, I’ll be examining my personal “Top 15″ things leading to successful bible study. This series of posts can be filed under “Making it Happen.”
Click the link to view yesterday’s post on the Blue Letter Bible.
Making it Happen: A Study Plan: The Bible can be a pretty overwhelming thing. And that shouldn’t be terribly surprising, given that it is the inspired Word of the Creator of the universe! The Bible is also unique from any other book in that it comes with the spirit of its creator to guide the reader to learning and understanding that’s personally tailored to them. But that’s the subject for another post entirely.
Because of this special nature of the Bible, you could probably just get away with reading it straight through, or reading it randomly. Whatever you do, something good will come of it. But to truly STUDY the bible, it helps to have a plan. And it doesn’t have to be a complicated one. I’ve already mentioned my 21-month Discipleship Curriculum study; that was a pretty complex one. I’ve also gone to the extreme simple end of the spectrum: One of my old study leaders, Chip Crush (can you tell that he had an impact on my life?) told me about a pastor whose study plan included a weekly reading of the Gospels. All four of them. So there was a time when I was just reading steadily through Matthew, Mark, Luke and John in rotation – and getting something new from them each time.
My current study plan is somewhere in the middle. The plan is called REAP (which stands for Read, Examine, Apply, Pray). It’s really simple; I read four passages of scripture every day (from Psalms & Wisdom; History of God’s People; Chronicles and Prophets; and Gospels and Epistles). I can then build my study, reflection, application and prayer around the texts. The super-nice thing is that my church, the Austin Stone Community Church, has an iPhone App that includes not only the daily REAP schedule, but the passages themselves. That means that when I’m on then road (a not-infrequent occurrence) I can do my full bible study bringing nothing but my iPhone. Pretty sweet.
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