Bible Study 101

Your statutes are forever right; give me understanding that I may live.     Psalm 119:144 (NIV)

‘Studying’ the Bible or Scriptures isn’t always an exciting prospect in and of itself, especially to those of us who studied only enough in school settings to get through and reach our goals.  We were not the
kids that exhibited a thirst for knowledge through the written word.  One of the ways that I knew my life had changed when I accepted Jesus as Savior and Lord was that I truly
loved to read the Bible.  Initially my reading up was significantly more heavy in the New Testament than the Old.  I thought it was more relevant to my modern day to day life!  As God continues to be patient with me and pour out His understanding of His Word to me, I find myself…hungry for my time with Him through all the Scriptures.  He has also taught me some of His ‘tricks’ to making it more interesting and challenging.

I was reading my NIV one day and I ‘felt/heard’ God in my spirit say, “What do those words mean to you?”  I mentally shrugged.  I wasn’t sure.  Then He said, “Put that passage in your own words.  Think about what you would hear if we were sitting across the table and I said this to you.  What would it sound like?  What words would you hear?”  And so that started with me taking a passage, usually the really familiar ones, and ‘paraphrasing’ it into conversation language that is revealing.  Here is one that came to me:

Blessed are the humble for God’s Kingdom is their kingdom as a child of the King.

Blessed are those who experience grief and loss of loved ones, jobs, their health, or in many other ways in this world.  The Holy Spirit will comfort them totally in ways they cannot imagine or even ask.

Blessed are the meek for they will inherit the earth, not having to fight and scrape for it.

Blessed are those who are so hungry and thirsty for a right relationship with God above all else — they will receive it!

Blessed are those who, without conditions, are loving and forgiving and merciful to others for they will receive back the same.

Blessed are those who have pure intentions in their hearts without manipulation or greed for their own way — they will be looking with God’s eyes.

Blessed are those who see reconciliation with God for everyone!  They are ministering just like Jesus.

Blessed are those who are persecuted in all the ways Jesus was because they also have a the same relationship with the Father — they have the eternal kingdom with God.

Blessed are you when you are insulted and persecuted in many ways — including with lies and gossip and innuendos because of the life you walk in Jesus every day.  Get excited! Your riches and glory will be the same as Jesus Christ!     Matthew 5:1-12 (my paraphrase)

I’ve been to wonderful Holy Spirit revival services and week-long conferences where it seems like I have spent time trying to ‘drink from a fire hose’!  Taking notes, even just short bullet-like jottings, is a good way to bring back to my quiet time, things that I would like to ponder with the Lord.  It’s like bringing home homework.  There is another one of those words that do not bring to mind wonderful memories but maybe it is time to replace those memories with something new and fresh! It is time for me to get excited about my new creation life in Jesus Christ!  It is time for me see what a
wonderful opportunity I have to spend time with the best Teacher who knows many, many ways to explain the same concept to me!

I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word.  Psalm 119:16 (NIV)

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