I had a blast on my birthday...
I turned 30 yesterday, and got to celebrate it by gathering together as God's community, honoring Him, enjoying each other, and growing in His purposes. I was truly blessed! Thank you to all of you who are a part of my life, and this community!
We spent the evening talking about Scripture, asking some of the following questions:
What is the Bible?
Where did it come from?
Is it something we can trust?
What is it's purpose?
How are we supposed to interact with it?
I had several people express interest and gratitude for the handout that we looked at, so here is the material that was on it:
What is the plain meaning of the text?
What is the significance of that?
How does that apply to my life, or that of my community?
Look up every use of a specific word in a letter, or the entire Bible
Look up the meanings of people’s names, or place names.
Find out the history of certain places or people mentioned in a passage. Look them up in other passages or sections of the Bible.
Become a Character:
Ask some basic questions about the character’s role in the story:
Who am I?
What am I feeling?
What are my motivations?
What am I doing?
What am I thinking?
What am I learning?
What mistakes am I making?
Take this approach to each character or group of characters in the story.
Take a large chunk of scripture (for example: an epistle, or the life of Joseph in Genesis) and make an outline of it, listing major points, subpoints, and details
Put a passage into your own words.
Commit a passage of scripture to memory
Lectio-read the passage several times
Meditatio-meditate upon the passage, a phrase, or even a single word
Oratio-respond to God in prayer
Contemplatio-listen to what God wants to say to you
Where do I start?
Get a good modern translation of the Bible
(I use NIV and The Message primarily)
Start with the New Testament:
Mark is the shortest letter that tells Jesus’ story
Luke and Acts were written as sequels, telling the story of Jesus and the early Church
The Psalms are ancient songs/poems
NIV Application Commentary Series
Everyone Commentary Series
How to Read the Bible for All It’s Worth
Stuart and Fee
What am I trying to accomplish?
1) Familiarity with the grand story told by the Bible as a whole
2) Study of the details and how they fit into that entire grand story
3) Meditation upon the words inspired by God;
allowing the Spirit of God to reveal from the words of Scripture who God is, what He is like, and what He is inviting us to participate in.
How often, and how long, should I read?
Find a regular place in your daily routine where you can be uninterrupted.
Read as little or as much as necessary to interact with the Holy Spirit!