The Bible Works

Disicipleship Bible Studies
"Blessed are those who hear the Word of God and keep it!"

Shannon Baptist Church
101 N.
Broad St
Shannon, Illinois 61078
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written by Pastor David Wood
The Bible Works

Lesson One: How can you learn to listen to God?
Lesson Two: How can you learn to understand your Bible?
Lesson Three: How can you get the most from your Bible?

Lesson One: How Can I Learn To Listen To God?
Psalm 119:130 "The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple."

There are three common reasons for not reading the Bible.
1) I don't have enough time.
2) I don't know how to study the Bible.
3) The Bible doesn't seem relevant.

Which one of these excuses would seem most applicable to you?

Read the following passages. Find how they relate to each of the above excuses.

Philippians 3:7-10

II Timothy 3:16,17

I Peter 2:1,2

James 1:19-27

Establish a daily quiet time. A quiet time is a short time (e.g., 15 minutes) set aside daily to be alone with God for the purpose of knowing Him. You want to sense His leading through Bible reading and prayer. You begin to crave his presence and his prompting. Psalm 27:4-- One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in His temple.

Matthew 4:4 says, But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

Why is eating necessary to our physical health?

What will happen to an individual who only eats once a week or two?

How do those two questions relate to your spiritual life?

I Peter 2:2
Revelation 1:3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

How to establish a quiet time:

1. Establish a specific time in your day for your quiet time.
Mark 1:35, Matthew 14:23, Luke 4:42

2. Establish a private location for your quiet time.
Luke 22:39

A.W. Tozer:
Retire from the world each day to some private spot, even if it be only the bedroom (for a while I retreated to the furnace room for want of a better place). Stay in the secret place till the surrounding noises begin to fade out of your heart and a sense of God's presence envelops you.(1)

3. Establish a method of hearing God's Word.

*You can listen to the Bible on tape.
You can listen to the entire Bible in less than 80 hours.

*You can read the Scriptures with a Bible reading program.

Option 1— Read one chapter a day in the New Testament

Option 2— Read three chapters a day. Read one chapter in Genesis, one chapter in Job, and one chapter in the New Testament.

Option 3— Read one Psalm, one chapter in Proverbs, and one chapter in the New Testament.
*You can read devotional books that guide you to relevant portions of Scripture.

Suggested devotional books:

4. Establish a means of recording your promptings from God's Word.
Psalm 119:16
James 1:22-25
Why is it so important to record your promptings from God?

Someone has wisely said, "The shortest pencil is better than the longest memory."

What are the promptings from God that you should be looking for?

*What truths do these verses show me about God?

Always look for God, on each page of the Bible!

*What changes do these verses show me that God wants me to make?

*What insights do these verses give me regarding life and the world around me?

5. Establish the habit of sharing what you've gleaned from the Word.

Establish the habit of saying to at least one other individual that you meet today,
"God showed me today in the Bible ."

Pastor Wood relates this incident:
Sam Korf helped found Shannon Baptist Church years ago. It was in the living room of the Korfs that folks came to meet for church in the early sixties. Now, well over 90 years old, Grandpa Korf is not able to get out of the house much. Yet he maintains a vital relationship with the Lord! On a recent visit, I asked Grandpa Korf what he had been doing with his time. Sam said, "Oh, I've been reading that book," and he pointed to his well worn Bible. I asked him how much he read on an average day, and he said, "Oh, at least six chapters, Pastor." Then with a sparkle in his eye, he said, "Pastor, I've been reading that book now for years, and you know, every time I pick it up, there is something new in it that I discover. It just never gets old!"

Daily Thought From God
Scripture verse or thought:

Prayer of Application:

Adjustment God wants me to make:

Lesson Number Two
How can I understand my Bible?

2 Timothy 2:15 Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

1. Start with the Big picture in view.
God works in different time periods in unique ways according to His revealed truth at that time. In each age man has to make the decision to walk by faith and obey God.

Ask yourself, what factors do I need to keep in mind in this section of Scripture I am studying? What truths of God had He revealed to these people I am reading about. What did God ask of them? How did God speak to them? Be very careful not to take the passage out of context.

Always interpret the Bible with these rules in mind:
1. Apply logical application of grammatical rules of interpretation (I.e.: Parts of Speech are just that. Figures of Speech are figures of speech.)
2. Interpret the passage according to the intended purpose at the time of writing. Never take it out of context.
3. Use the "whole" of the Bible to explain the "difficult." Never use the single verse to interpret the rest of the Bible.

2. Examine the background.

Learn to ask questions when you are studying your Bible:

Who is the author ? What do I need to know about Him that applies to this passage?

Who are the recipients ? What was their spiritual condition? Why was the author writing to them?

What was the culture like in that day? How was it different from what we know today?

What is the main purpose of this section of Scripture?

What were the problems these people were facing?

3. Make personal application.

The more you study the Scriptures, the more you will be convinced that you know very little. Bible study tends to be a very humbling experience. You will continue to be amazed at the living truths that continue to come out of the Bible for you. Keep on searching the Scriptures!

A Welsh pastor named Geoffrey Thomas shared some very encouraging words in his little book, Reading the Bible:
Do not expect to master the Bible in a day, or a month, or a year. Rather, expect often to be puzzled by its contents. It is not all equally clear. Great men of God often feel like absolute novices when they read the Word. The apostle Peter said that there were some things hard to understand in the epistles of Paul (2 Peter 3:16). I am glad he wrote those words because I have felt that often. So do not expect always to get an emotional charge or a feeling of quiet peace when you read your Bible. By the grace of God you may expect that to be a frequent experience, but often you will get no emotional response at all. Let the Word break over your heart and mind again and again as the years go by, and imperceptibly there will come great changes in your attitude and outlook and conduct. You will probably be the last to recognize these. Often you will feel very small, because increasingly the God of the Bible will become to you wonderfully great. So go on reading it until you can read no longer, and then you will not need the Bible any more, because when your eyes close for the last time in death, and never again read the Word of God in Scripture you will open them to the Word of God in the flesh, that same Jesus of the Bible whom you have known for so long, standing before you to take you for ever to His eternal home.(2)

Daily Thought From God
Scripture verse or thought:

Prayer of Application:

Adjustment God wants me to make:

Lesson Number Three
How can I get the most out of my Bible?
Memorize: John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

R.C. Sproul says something that is pertinent to our understanding of the Bible:

Here then, is the real problem of our negligence. We fail in our duty to study God's Word not so much because it is difficult to understand, not so much because it is dull and boring, but because it is work. Our problem is not a lack of intelligence or a lack of passion. Our problem is that we are lazy.(3)

I. Discipline yourself to memorize passages of Scripture.

Most people think they have a bad memory, but it's not true. As we've already discovered, most of the time memorizing is mainly a problem of motivation. If you know your birthday, phone number, and address, and can remember the names of your friends, then you can memorize Scripture. The question becomes whether you are willing to discipline yourself to do it.(4)

Why memorize Scripture?

A. Because you are commanded to memorize.
Deuteronomy 6:6

B. Because you will be protected from temptation.
Psalm 119:9-11

C. Because you will then be able to discover the wonders of Scriptural meditation. Read Psalm 1.

N.A. Woychuk
It is so much more profitable to have the enduring Word of God itself in the memory than to be occupied with technical details in the study of the Bible or various theories and speculative interpretations which relate to it. Studying the Bible gets a person into the Word, memorizing it, gets the Word into the person.(5)

Suggestions for memorizing

*Choose meaningful verses

Suggested verses to start memorizing:

* Write the verses out by hand on a card or smaller sheet of paper

*READ the verse out-loud five times a day in one sitting. Continue this process for the first week.

*REVIEW throughout the day.
Use the moments in your day that are not previously assigned to review the verse for the day.
Right before bed, read the verse again out-loud.

Repetition . . . Repetition . . . Repetition is the key to memorizing.

*Attempt to make a song out of the verse.

*Find an accountability partner to quote your verses to weekly.

* Pray for the strength to memorize.

Consider this testimony from Frank Hall, a member in our church:

Some people have more difficulty memorizing than others. Individual differences in personality and intellect probably account for most of this. All of my life memorizing has been extremely difficult: poems, parts in a play, Scripture, etc. Bob Root, the man who led me to the Lord, assigned me the "overwhelming" task of memorizing three verses per week. I was having a terrible time and failing miserably until Bob taught me to pray before starting to memorize anything, and ask God to help me. From that point on for the next two years I memorized three verses per week without failure.

II. Discipline yourself to the effort of meditate on Scripture.
Joshua 1:8
What are the conditions set forth before true prosperity will happen?
Romans 12:2
What do you suppose the Bible means by "renewing your mind?"

How to meditate on Scripture:
1. Memorize the verse to the point that you can say it word perfectly without effort.

2. Pray the verse back to God.

3. In your prayer ask God for understanding of the verse.
Psalm 119:18
"Open my eyes that I may see wondrous things out of thy law."

4. In your prayer ask God for applications of that verse to your life.

5. Concentrate on the truths you find in that verse.

6. Take your time .

Maurice Roberts
Our age has been sadly deficient . . . At the root of this is the modern disease of shallowness. We are all too impatient to meditate on the faith we profess . . . It is not the busy skimming over religious books or the careless hastening through religious duties which makes for a strong Christian faith. Rather, it is unhurried meditation on gospel truths and the exposing of our minds to these truths that yields the fruit of sanctified character.(6)

Daily Thought From God
Scripture verse or thought:

Prayer of Application:

Adjustment God wants me to make:

(1) Warren Wiersbe, comp., The Best of A. W. Tozer (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1978), 151,152.
(2) Geoffrey Thomas, Reading the Bible (Edinburgh, Scotland: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1980), 22.
(3) R.C. Sproul, Knowing Scripture (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1977), 17.
(4) Whitney, Christian Life, 40.
(5) N.A. Woychuk, Keep in Memory (St. Louis, MO:Scripture Memory Fellowship International), x,xi.
(6) Maurice Roberts, "O the Depth!" The Banner of Truth, July 1990, 2.

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