8/27/2008

Our First Day of School & How to Study the Bible

Yesterday was our first day of school. We usually don’t start until the day after Labor Day, but my children have been anxious to getting going. I’ve struggled a bit with doing it God’s way, as mentioned in previous posts, but finally we dug in and just did it.
They did do some math, not much. Reading, they read their Bibles…A LOT, and read a missionary story (they will do this for some time as we are planning on going on our first missions trip sometime next year). They did a little bit of spelling, we seriously need to work on that a bit, especially my son. But we didn’t dwell on it as much as we usually do. We focused on the Word of God.
I attended a conference last month and learned how to study the Bible for myself and figured my girls are old enough to learn as well. I tell you, if someone had shown me this method when I first got saved, I don’t think I would be the same. It has transformed my way of reading the Bible. Priscilla Shirer taught the method and assured us we would never “need” to pick up another person’s written Bible Study again and I believe it!!!

I will start with John 1 (which is what we are all studying right now)

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.
5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. 6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. 8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. 9 That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 11 He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. 12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: 13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. 14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
15 John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, "This was He of whom I said, 'He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.' " 16 And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. 17 For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.
19 Now this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, "Who are you?" 20 He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, "I am not the Christ." 21 And they asked him, "What then? Are you Elijah?" He said, "I am not." "Are you the Prophet?" And he answered, "No." 22 Then they said to him, "Who are you, that we may give an answer to those who sent us? What do you say about yourself?" 23 He said: "I am 'The voice of one crying in the wilderness: "Make straight the way of the Lord," ' as the prophet Isaiah said." 24 Now those who were sent were from the Pharisees. 25 And they asked him, saying, "Why then do you baptize if you are not the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?" 26 John answered them, saying, "I baptize with water, but there stands One among you whom you do not know. 27 It is He who, coming after me, is preferred before me, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose." 28 These things were done in Bethabara beyond the Jordan, where John was baptizing.
29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, "Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is He of whom I said, 'After me comes a Man who is preferred before me, for He was before me.' 31 I did not know Him; but that He should be revealed to Israel, therefore I came baptizing with water." 32 And John bore witness, saying, "I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him. 33 I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, 'Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.' 34 And I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God." 35 Again, the next day, John stood with two of his disciples. 36 And looking at Jesus as He walked, he said, "Behold the Lamb of God!"
37 The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. 38 Then Jesus turned, and seeing them following, said to them, "What do you seek?" They said to Him, "Rabbi" (which is to say, when translated, Teacher), "where are You staying?" 39 He said to them, "Come and see." They came and saw where He was staying, and remained with Him that day (now it was about the tenth hour). 40 One of the two who heard John speak, and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother. 41 He first found his own brother Simon, and said to him, "We have found the Messiah" (which is translated, the Christ). 42 And he brought him to Jesus. Now when Jesus looked at him, He said, "You are Simon the son of Jonah. You shall be called Cephas" (which is translated, A Stone).
43 The following day Jesus wanted to go to Galilee, and He found Philip and said to him, "Follow Me." 44 Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. 45 Philip found Nathanael and said to him, "We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote--Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph." 46 And Nathanael said to him, "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" Philip said to him, "Come and see." 47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him, and said of him, "Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no deceit!" 48 Nathanael said to Him, "How do You know me?" Jesus answered and said to him, "Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you." 49 Nathanael answered and said to Him, "Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!" 50 Jesus answered and said to him, "Because I said to you, 'I saw you under the fig tree,' do you believe? You will see greater things than these." 51 And He said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man."


So we read the entire chapter. Then we only study a few scriptures at a time. So for yesterday we focused on verse 1-5. Read those few verses again. Read them a third time, slowly while asking God to open His Word up to you. Meditate on those verses.
Now you will take each verse and write it in your own words. Below is what I actually did.
John 1:1- Before anything existed, Jesus was everything & He was with God.
John 1:2- Jesus was with God.
John 1:3- Jesus made everything and nothing was made without Him.
John 1:4- Jesus is life & light to all.
John 1:5- Jesus came into the world to be light but the world did not understand or accept
Him as the light (Savior, Messiah)

Then you close your Bible, because you have all you need at this point written in front of you. You meditate on the scriptures as you have re-written them. Please do all of these steps with prayer. I thought at first, it was like changing scripture, but when God is leading you, He really is opening your mind and heart to what He has for you. You will find nuggets of GOLD!

Now you write out what God is directing you to apply to your life now.

John 1:1- I need to remember that Jesus is everything I need.
John 1:2- I need to remember that Jesus is no longer on the cross but He sits with God.
John 1:3- Everything I have & everything I see, God made.
John 1:4- I need to remember that it is because of God that I have life and He must shine
Bright in my life in all I do.
John 1:5- Just as Jesus was not understood back then, it is the same now. But He does
Continue to be who He is and shine.

Now you write this out in a prayer.

Heavenly Father, I thank you for being You, I thank You for Your Son Jesus Christ. I pray Lord that You will enable me to remember that Jesus is everything I need and that He is no longer on the cross, but sits with You daily. All that I have and all that I see was created by You and through You. Help me to remember that it is because of You that I have life and that You must shine bright in my life. And Lord when I am faced with persecution and trials, help me to remember that You were rejected by Your chosen people even during Your time and it will be so now. But I am responsible for allowing Your light to shine forth in my life that You may be glorified. In Jesus Christ’s Name I pray, Amen.

Finally, you pray aloud the very prayer you just wrote.

Please write whatever the Lord is leading you to write. You can get as detailed as you need to or it may be just as simple as mine was above. I believe God did it that way so as not to overwhelm my girls since it was their first time. Whatever His reason, it worked…they loved it. A few times the oldest one kept writing and we were waiting on her. She just ran with it. Afterwards she had this big grin on her face and said mom, I love this. I really like doing this. It is easy, but God just opened up so much to me in that short time. All I could say is I know! That’s exactly how I felt. Now imagine here I am at 37 learning how to do this and I have taught my 15 & 16 year olds how to do this. How much more of an advantage they already have on me. Oh Lord that You would bless them indeed and open up Your Word to them that they will never be the same, that they would pass this down for generations to come and make a shift in the legacy left behind.

What this allows the Word to do is penetrate in Your heart, but it helps you to have a deeper understanding of it and grasp what it is God wants you to do in your life to apply it. I truly believe that if you are reading the Word and not applying it, you are merely a hearer and not a doer. I want to be both! According to Priscilla, she has notebooks of whole books she has done. She has done some over and God has enlightened her to something she didn’t see the first time. That is what excites me as well, you can’t get bored with it, because you don’t know what He is going to show you next.

1 comment:

Best Selling Author said...

Natasha, your posts are always a blessing to me. Thank you for sharing so openly the things God has put on your heart. I am going to use this method for teaching Jordan the Bible in his 1st year of homeschooling (which we're so very excited about!). I've been doing something similar to this in studying God's word and just never knew this is what I was doing. But, with it written out the way it is, I can certainly have a clearer idea of WHY I'm doing it, to make my study time more effective, so THANKS for sharing!
LOVE reading your blog posts!
Take care and God bless. Love, Nicole :o)

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