How to study the Bible

This blog post is intended to provide another avenue in studying the Bible. It is called “Dwelling on the Word”. I will use one of my personal God moments with you from 1 Peter 5:1-11 to give an example of how this process works. When you are done reading, practice the discipline of “Dwelling on the Word”.

Before reading 1 Peter 5:1-11, take a moment to (1) ask God transform your life through His word. As you read, (2) underline any phrases that catch your attention. Now take take a few minutes to (3) re-read and reflect on the phrases you underlined. Then (4) answer the following questions for each phrase you underlined:

  • Why did these phrases catch my attention?
  • How does my life presently align with God’s standard?
  • What is God affirming in me?
  • What do I need to repent of?
  • To whom do I need to ask forgiveness?
  • How does God what me to live differently?
  • What can I do today and the remainder of this week to grow in what God just revealed to me?

Note: These questions may change slightly based on the passage you are reading or the phrase that catches you.

For our purposes, I am going to focus one of the three phrases that caught my attention to help you understand how this process works and reveal how God is working in my own life through this passage.

Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”

Why did this phrase catch my attention? The parallel between self-control and the ability to stand firm in relationship with Jesus and others caught my attention. It is amazing how self-control enables me to overcome temptation and difficulties, but self-control doesn’t come easily. It comes only by disciplining myself to do what I don’t really want to do.

So am I self-controlled and alert to the temptations and difficulties that have the potential of hurting my relationship with God and others? Well … no. At least not as much as I could be. This verse doesn’t say, “exhibit self-control when it is easy or convenient”. It implies 100 percent of the time.

So what is God affirming in me? Well … I’m definitely not perfect. I still have room for God to grow me, especially when it comes to practicing disciplines that produce self-control. Other people are not my standard for self-control. Jesus is my standard.

So what do I need to repent of? Honestly … speaking harshly to my daughter in moments of frustration and impatience.

Who do I need to ask forgiveness from? My daughter (she is 6).

How does God want me to live differently? God longs for me to communicate my love for her as I patiently affirm her beauty and character while correcting her inappropriate behaviors and attitudes.

What can I do to grow in self-control? I will change the image on my computer desktop to one that shows the beauty and godly character of my daughter. Every time I see this image, which is approximately 20 times per day, I will write down a positive attribute of her beauty or character. Prior to correcting inappropriate behaviors or attitudes I will affirm three of the positive qualities I see in her that I have previously written down. I will practice this discipline for the next 7 days.

By the way, I need accountability on this. So feel free to email me, whether you know me or not, to ask if I am living out what God has taught me? I’ll be honest. You may also want to ask what God is teaching me as I live out this discipline.

Now … What does God want to reveal to you?

To discover more about the role of the Bible in changing our lives, read my blog post titled “Don’t Study the Bible” by clicking here.




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