Do you struggle with studying the bible or perhaps in more practical terms, do you struggle with having a good devotional time in the Word of God? Below is a post called “ABC Study” from the website “Gentle Reformation.” It will only take you a few minutes to read but if you put it into practice it will greatly improve your study of God’s Word!
From my early training under Dr. Roy Blackwood, I was taught the value of an ABC Bible Study. I have found with young and old Christians through the years that God’s people have found this type of study, which is explained below, helpful to their growth. In our church membership class, we teach this basic study as a way of having a devotional time. We also encourage those in a discipling relationship with others to use this study to train them to relate to God through His word. We will also have studies where we ask participants to prepare a study like this so they can participate more actively in the discussion. The Lord promises that as you search His Word, He will use it significantly in your life (Proverbs 2:1-12). Keeping a journal works well with this type of study.
Analysis – What is God saying in the passage?
The analysis can be done by using ONE OR MORE of the following suggestions. Remember, the most important thing to do while studying the Bible is to pray, asking its Author to use His Spirit to guide you into the truth (note in Psalm 119 we ask God to “quicken” us that we might be responsive to His Word.)
- Paraphrase the chapter in your own words
- Make an outline of the passage
- Compare different versions of the Bible, noting their similarities and differences
- Using a concordance, list cross references of important verses with their key thoughts
- Take notes from several good commentaries on the passage
- Ask the questions “Who? What? When? Where? Why?” and answer from the text
Best Verse – What is God saying to me in the passage?
From your study, usually the Lord will use a verse or two, or an idea contained in the text, to address particular areas of your life. The Bible is like a sword that can pierce us so deeply that it discerns the thoughts and intentions of our heart (Hebrews4:12). Prayerfully ask yourself, “What is the Lord using His WORD to speak to me about?” Write down the reference and the chief personal thought you have.
Commitment – How does God want me to respond to His Word?
We must always be diligent not to only hear and know His Word, but to obey it. The good fruit of obedience shows that the Lord is truly working in our lives (Matthew13:18-23, 36-43), proves that we are not deluding ourselves by listening but not responding to God’s Word (James1:22-25), and reveals that we love God even as He loves us (John14:15, 21). Under the Commitment section of your study, make some practical application to your life based on what you have learned. If you are doing this study with another person or in a group, grow in your fellowship by sharing your commitments, praying for one another, and following up one another’s commitments to encourage each other further in godliness.