Thursday, April 30, 2009

4 Questions?

"All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work." II Timothy 3:16-17

It is a good thing for us, as Jesus followers, to delight in God's Word (Psalm 1:1-2). It is for our benefit that our Father has given us revelation of himself. Paul reminded Timothy of this fact. It should go without saying that the Word must be central to our walk with Jesus.

Over the years, I have found it helpful to ask questions of the texts that I am reading. Questions help me get at what God is saing to me (and to his people). Questions help me truly meditate and think and ponder and apply and pray what I have read.

Recently, I gave a group of our men a couple of questions to help them think and meditate on the texts we are reading in the book of Colossians. I believe these questions could be helpful to anyone and can be used with most passages. They are as follows...

1. What is the author (God) saying in this passage?

Instead of jumping down and reading the notes in your study Bible, why not give a few moments to ponder, for yourself, what you read. Study Bibles, commentaries, devotional journals are great tools that should be consulted, in my estimation, only after you have spent some personal moments meditating and ruminating on the Scripture.

It is always helpful to make sure that you understand what is truly being said. Occasionally, there may be words within in text that you are unfamiliar. A good Webster's dictionary or bible word dictionary can be helpful in making clear words that you feel fuzzy.

As you read, there may be something that really stands out to you. Right it down in your journal - a helpful Bible study tool for righting down your thoughts. Stop. Think over it. Give a few minutes of meditation and think on it.

It was humbling (and challenging) to recently hear a brother in Christ share that he had often just did "Bible reading" for the sake of saying he had read his Bible rather than truly thinking about what he was reading. Wow! That certainly got my attention. Isn't it amazing how we truly have to work hard to slow down long enough to really do some thinking.

2. Why would God want for you to know this?

We can count on the fact that when God inspired the human authors to write His word, He did so in order that we might know something about His character and how we might know Him and walk in fellowship with Him. When we read from the word, "do everything without arguing and compaining...", we can count on the fact that God is revealing something to us, fundamental in living for His glory. Our Father does not share with us with no purpose in mine.

3. Is there some way you need to live this passage? (In the way you think? act?
do? -- in other words, what do you need to do about it?)

The Word is given to us in order that we might know God and live His truth. The word corrects our wrong ideas about God and others and ourselves. The word rebukes us when we have held on to sin. The word prepares us for the work in which God has called us. The word trains us for being a godly spouse or parent or child or student or worker or servant or teacher or...whatever. Our calling is to eat and digest and be nourished and changed by the Bible. What we read is to be lived.

4. How do you need to pray about what you have learned?

If I have studied a passage that calls me to not argue and complain and I tend to be a complainer, then, (I hope) obviously, I must ask my Father in Heaven to transform me by His Spirit into a man that embraces His call to not be argumentative. The Word is the driving force of what we pray and ask from God.

On the past few sunday evenings, we have been studying Paul's prayers. Since Paul prayed for several of the churches to have wisdom and understanding (see Ephesians 1:15-17, Colossians 1:9), it only makes sense that we would pray the same thing when the Holy Spirit helps us to discover this truth.

A few good questions can help us as we spend time with our Father in His Word and prayer.

1 comment:

Brent said...

Brother Rod, this is good word. By favorite part is the sentence where you say God's word should be the driving force concerning our prayer requests. It seems that the desire for good health is the driving force behind 90% of the prayers I hear in churches. How we take hold of that idol? May God help me, and my people, to pray the Bible. - Brent