She asked me what questions I had about God.
I answered with this: “How do I know how specific Bible verses apply to me, Jordy Leigh, here in 2016?“
Thus began a rich study in which I was to dive into my Bible and seek the answers for myself. And in the process, I discovered 3 ways to enrich my Bible study, which is what I want to share with you today:
#1. Be Intentional
This is about the attitude to bring with you… before you even open your Bible. I highly recommend that you ask the Holy Spirit to guide you as you read. Remember that living for God is about relationship; not religion. If you are a Child of God, then the Holy Spirit is your teacher:
But when he, the Spirit of trith, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.
#2. Investigate Context
When considering a specific verse, read it in the context of the whole chapter. This will help you know if the conditions and setting of the verse match those in your life. It will help you discern if and how it applies directly to you. It can be very dangerous to read verses out of context. For example, there’s a promise in Psalm 37:4: “He [God] will give you the desires of your heart”. But unless you read the whole verse, you might never know the condition attached to it:
Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of you heart.
– Psalm 37:4
Often I show just one verse by itself in my posts for the sake of brevity. But I encourage you to look up these verses for yourself, and investigate the context, especially if you have questions.
#3. Compare Scriptures
God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?
– Numbers 23:19
If you have questions about a particular verse in the Bible, keep your eye out for other verses on the same topic. If two verses appear to contradict each other, then dig deeper into the issue. God doesn’t change His mind. His Word doesn’t contradict itself. You’ll learn more about the character of God. Look for connections between the Old and New Testaments. Here’s an example; a New Testament verse that affirms the Old Testament one I just quoted from Numbers:
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
– Hebrews 13:8
Let’s hear from you
Okay, here’s what I want to know from you, today:
- Which insight is most enriching to your Bible reading?
- What would your #4 be?
- Having thought about these things, how can you change your approach to reading your Bible?