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Making Bible Study Relevant

Sabrina Petersen // May 29, 2020

When I first met Jesus as a teenager, my Christian experience was thrilling! I loved reading my Bible. But unfortunately, in time I began listening more to others’ opinions on the Bible instead of deepening my faith through personal Bible study. Listening to human opinions only led me to confusion.

Finally, I reached the point where all true Bible study begins. “God, I want to hear from You!” I prayed.

When I started praying to hear God’s voice, He began teaching me principles of Bible study that have made His Word to truly become “the Word of Life” to me. See 1 John 1:1.

One of the most important things God taught me is that He wants us to understand His thoughts. His desire to converse with us is far greater than our desire to talk with Him. “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” Jer. 33:3.

The story of King Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 2 illustrates this so well. God approached the king with a dream about the future. This began an ongoing conversation between God and Nebuchadnezzar (with Daniel as interpreter) that eventually led to Nebuchadnezzar’s confession, “Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all of whose works are truth and His ways are justice.” Dan. 4:37.

Over the years, I have found that many people eventually find themselves bewildered by the conflicting opinions of others. Perhaps you have found yourself in this situation. If that is you right now, you can know that God wants to engage you in conversation so that you can understand His Word, too. Jesus, in talking of the prophecies of Daniel, said, “Whoever reads let him understand.” Matt. 24:15. God communicates with us most clearly through His written Word. But understanding the Bible does not come through a superficial scan. In fact, as I discovered, it is a process made up of three things repeated: biblical reading, biblical thinking, and biblical application

This snippet comes from Pastor Marshall McKenzie’s article “A God-Led Conversation,” found in our latest magazine issue.

Here are some tips from the article for a God-led conversation:

  • Pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
  • Read the chapter at least seven times.
  • Note verses and ideas that attract your attention.
  • Pay attention to the immediate and broader context of the verses.
  • Ask God questions about what you are learning.
  • What questions is God asking you?
  • How do the biblical ideas apply to your life?

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