Saturday, November 29, 2014

How To Study The Bible. No Commentaries Needed.

At our family Thanksgiving gathering this year, I was blessed to have a conversation with a young woman who recently accepted Jesus Christ into her heart and life as her Lord and Savior.  She exuded an overflow of the Spirit living inside of her. She was full of awe and wonder of how radically God has softened and changed her heart.  It was evident that the Holy Spirit is giving her a hunger, thirst and a deep reverence for the word of God. She was full of questions wanting to experience the whole counsel of God. This caused me to wonder how many young converts have the same yearning and hunger within, where they once were spiritually dead now made alive by the Spirit of the Living God residing in them, but aren't being exhorted to study the word of God for themselves. That yearning within can only be satisfied through  intimacy with God and the only way to have true intimacy with God is to peer into his heart and connect with him at a heart level by getting to know His character, the depth of His redeeming love for us and the covenant relationship we have with Him.  How do we peer into and get to know the very heart of God?.....through his word and by his spirit.

As I shared with my young friend, finding a solid bible teaching church is key to building our faith and growing spiritually,  but studying the word of God on our own is equally important. Bible commentaries are excellent and helpful tools to aid in the study of the word but nothing interprets the word of God like the word of God. In other words, scripture interprets scripture and we don't need a commentary to interpret what the word of God wants to teach us personally through his Spirit.

There are many who have written books on how to study the bible but I have found personally that no one quite explains it as simply as Anne Graham Lotz.  She  presents the simple 3-question Bible study method the she uses to study the Bible in context.
  1.  What Does It Say?
  2.  What Does It Mean?
  3.  What Does It  Mean To Me?

It is designed to lead you on a personal journey through  Scripture to a fresh encounter with God through his word and by his Spirit. I love how she reiterates that when we read his Word, we must come to Him expecting to hear from Him through prayer. I pray that like Samuel we too can say..."Speak Lord, for your servant hears." (1 Samuel 3:9)