Over the last several months, I have been taking our youth group through a series on Bible study. We have talked a lot about context, subject, complement, author, audience…we’ve covered a lot of ground! We’ve learned how to find the meaning of a passage of the Bible. It has been a great series, and I think we have all learned a lot! Every Christian needs to know how to effectively study the Bible.However, we don’t just want to know what the Bible says and fail to do anything about it! The Bible is a living book that God still uses to speak to us today, and we need to take the time and apply its truths to our lives. When I arrived at Foundation Baptist Church almost two years ago, my pastor presented the church with four questions to help us in applying the Bible to our lives. I have found these questions to be greatly helpful, and they have really helped me in applying biblical truth to my life!
- What does this tell me about God?
Every passage of the Bible tells us something about God. No matter where in the Bible we are reading, we can look something about God and His character. Read through the passage you are studying, and write out the things you can learn about God’s character. Does this passage show that God is merciful, loving, and kind? Does it show that He judges sin? Really take some time and effort to think and meditate on what you learn about God. Let the wonder of who He is draw you to worship and praise Him!
- What does this tell me about man (myself)?
Just like we can learn something about God from every passage of Scripture, we can also learn something about man from every passage. Read the passage again, and see what it shows you about the character and nature of man (it’s rarely good!). More importantly, reflect on what the passage shows you about your own heart! It’s one thing to admit that men, in general, are liars, lustful, sinful…but it’s another to stop and think that I’m all of those things! Compare and contrast what you have learned about man with what you have learned about God. Does this passage reveal man’s need? God has the solution! Does is reveal man’s sin? Contrast that with God’s holiness!
- What am I going to do about it (today)?
As James says, we are supposed to be doers of the Word, not just hearers. The entire point of application is take action on biblical truths and change our lives! After the first two questions, you should have a pretty solid grasp of both God’d holiness and goodness, and man’s sin and neediness. With those things in mind, how will you take action on what you have learned from the text you are studying? Do you need to ask someone for forgiveness? Get rid of some harmful entertainment? Be a more faithful witness? Ask the Holy Spirit to show you what you need to change, and then write out something specific that you will do (preferably that day!). Don’t just write, “I’ll be a better witness”; write, “I will invite my coworker to church today.” What will you do about the biblical truth you’ve studied?
- What am I going to ask God to do about it?
We must all understand that we need God’s grace and power to follow His Word and change; it’s no good trying to do things on our own! Take what you have learned, and what you intend to do about it, before the Lord. Ask for His grace and help to better live for Him; ask Him to work in your situation. Did you read about trusting God? Ask God to provide your need! Were you convicted about witnessing to your coworker? Ask God for courage, and to soften the heart of your coworker. All of our efforts will be in vain, if we fail to rest in God’s power!
These four questions have been a great help to me in my personal devotions. I have found that they greatly help me in reflecting and meditating on the Bible, and in making it personal to me. I hope it’s a blessing to you as well!