Saturday, October 25, 2014

Saturday Snippets

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This is not an official "Digging Deep" post, but I'm intentionally sharing a bunch of great posts and articles on Bible reading below. I hope you enjoy the links and I'll be back next week to wrap up the Digging Deep series.

Jesus said to "leave her alone..."

Your music tastes might reveal how smart {or dumb} you are...

The best birth story I've ever read...

Great tips for Bible reading...

When dad doesn't disciple the kids...

9 tricks to put a spark in your Bible reading time...

Just open your Bible...

An interesting read on baby blankets and hospital births...

It's supposed to be over 90 degrees today, but I'm craving fall in the form of tunic sweatshirts like this one and this one...

Friday, October 24, 2014

Digging Deep: Homiletic Method {Part IV - Application}

This is the second half of the step-by-step overview of the homiletic method. You can see the first half in yesterday's post.

Yesterday I walked you through the first three steps of the homiletic method, which included a verse by verse list of the passage facts, dividing the passage into three main points, and writing a one-sentence summary of the passage. These were the observation steps that are focused entirely on the text. Today we are going to talk about the last three steps of the homiletic method, which are the application steps of this process.


We are working through John 16:5-15 and our summary of the passage was: The Spirit speaks truth to convict us of sin and righteousness for Christ's glory. Today we are going to apply the truth of Scripture to our daily lives and ask how the presence of the Holy Spirit should impact us as believers.

The first step in the application process is to write a Content Principle. This is an overall piece of truth that we can glean from the passage.

 *Believers should eagerly rely on the powerful Holy Spirit.

Next you will write your Content Applications, which are best when written in the form of thought-provoking questions {not yes/no} that ask you to examine your own life and heart. Here are some examples from John 16:

   1. How am I intimate with the Spirit? How could I actively invite him into areas of my life?
   2. In what areas is the Spirit convicting me of sin and/or righteousness?
   3. In what areas of my life is the Spirit guiding me to action in order to bring Christ greater glory?

The final step is one I made up on my own, because my heart needed time to process through my answers to the application questions. We'll call the last step Application Meditation. Basically this is a time to reflect on the truth of the passage and its application to your own life. I usually do this through writing out a prayer or journaling, but you could also do it through songwriting, singing, art, poetry, etc. If you follow me on Instagram, most of my #flowersfade posts come from this meditation time as the Lord reveals truths to me that I think will encourage other women. In my writing I reaffirm the truth of the passage and ask God to transform my life in light of this specific Scripture. Here is an example...

The Lord has given us a Helper who is strong, always-present, and all-knowing. He convicts the world of sin and righteousness and draws the hearts of men toward God. He reveals the very words of Jesus to those who believe and He is always at work to bring great glory to God on this earth. Lord, I know I have the Spirit. Thank you for that gift. May I not neglect His presence but eagerly invite Him into my life. I throw up my hands and say "invade my life." Invade the dark places and bring my sin into the light of Christ. Illuminate my laziness and apathy and show me how I can live and serve and love wholeheartedly for the glory of God. Reveal to me righteousness in my own life and in the lives of others, so I can praise God for the way He can use broken people for His good purposes. Teach me and lead me, Spirit. May my mind receive your truth with thanksgiving and may my heart always be responsive to your promptings.

And that's it. This is how I study Scripture deeply without using some type of published guide. It's not as time-consuming as an Inductive Bible Study {which are excellent by the way, but not a perfect fit for my current season of life}, and it's easy to spread the steps out over many days. On Monday I will give a review of the whole method and share a few more tips about how I adapt it for my daily life. 

Read the rest of the Digging Deep series here...

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Digging Deep: Homiletic Method {Part III - Observations}

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Once you've chosen the Scripture you are going to study {perhaps a book of the Bible or a specific chapter}, your first step is to read that passage multiple times. Usually I read the passage once or twice all the way through on my own, then I read it again along with the footnotes in my ESV Study Bible. I often spread this process out over two mornings.

Once I've saturated my mind in the passage for a couple days, I begin the process of studying it verse by verse. This is where I start writing things down. I use a small spiral journal, my favorite pen, and get to work. 

The first step in the homiletic method {after reading} is to create your Content List. This is a list of the "passage facts" where you write out what each verse is saying in your own words. This is the observation part of your study. Remember, it's best to work in chunks of approximately ten verses of a time when going through this process. The goal is to rewrite each verse very concisely. Here is an example from John 16:5-15 on the Holy Spirit:

   5. Jesus is going back to God the Father.
   6. The disciples are sorrowful that Jesus is leaving them.
   7. It's actually good that Jesus is leaving, because he will send a Helper in his place.
   8. The Helper will convict the world of sin and righteousness.
   9. It's a sin not to believe in Christ.
   10. Righteousness has to do with the presence of Christ.
   11. The ruler of this world {Satan} has already been judged.
   12. Jesus has more to tell the disciples, but they are not ready to hear his words.
   13. In due time, the Spirit speak the words of Jesus to them and tell them truths about the future.
   14. The Spirit will glorify Christ and declare things on his behalf.
   15. All that belongs to the Father also belongs to the Son and the Spirit will make this known.

The next step is called Content Divided. At this stage, you will look at your list of passage facts and divide it into three main points. Write these points out in complete sentences.

   1. Jesus will send his helper, the Holy Spirit (v. 5-7).
   2. The Spirit will convict the world of right and wrong (v.8-11).
   3. The Spirit will speak truth on behalf of the Father and the Son (v.12-15).

The final step of the observation portion of the study is to write a Content Statement. This is where you summarize the full passage in a single sentence. The goal is to keep it to 15 words or less, but if you go over a little bit, that's okay.

   *The Spirit speaks truth to convict us of sin and righteousness for Christ's glory.

These are the three steps to the observation part of the homiletic method. If you have time, you can do them all in a single sitting, but I often spread each step out over three days. One reason I love this method is that it's clearly segmented, so it's easy to spread out over multiple days if I have limited time, but it's also feasible to go through ten verses in a single day if I am blessed with an extra long quiet time. Tomorrow we'll go over the final two steps which are the application part of this Bible study method.

Read the rest of the Digging Deep series here...

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Digging Deep: Homiletic Method {Part II}

The first part of the homiletic method is to choose which portion of Scripture you are going to study. If this is your first time doing a deep study you might want to pick a shorter book of the New Testament such as one of Paul's letter's, I Peter, or I John and go through it chapter by chapter, verse by verse. For the past year, I've been going through what I call "power chapters" of the Bible - chapters I consider extra powerful in their explanations of the gospel or in their descriptions of Christ {ex: Romans 8, Ephesians 1, Isaiah 53, Ezekiel 36}.

It's recommended that you study each chapter in chunks of approximately ten verses. I try to stick to ten verses but sometimes it's easier to do shorter or longer sections, depending on the length of the chapter.

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I am going to start with an example from John 16, which is the passage I went through when I first learned this method. After we go through this ten verse section step by step, I'll then go through a chapter of the Bible I've gone through this year and show you how I've customized the method a bit.

Since I don't want this post to get too long, tomorrow I will be back with a verse by verse study of John 16:5-15. Get your Bibles ready!

Read the rest of the Digging Deep series here...

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Digging Deep: Homiletic Method {Part I}

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The method I've been using to study the Bible this year is a homiletic method. I like it because it allows me to emphasize both the content of Scripture and its applications for my life as I study. Basically, this method remains very focused on the text itself {which is best, because that's where the truth is}, but it's not quite as detailed as an inductive Bible study where you are circling, underlining, and defining almost every word. At the end of the homiletic method, you make a summary of the main point of the passage and apply its principles to your own life, but you only do this after you have studied the text line by line, so you aren't likely to take Scripture out of context to suit your own desires.

The method is based on the word "homily" which basically means "sermon." The process is similar to what pastors do if you go to a church that preaches through the Bible book by book. The pastor will study the text closely, usually focusing on ten or so verses at a time, and then come up with a few key points and some application questions to help the congregation prod their hearts and change their lives to keep in line with what Scripture says.

Basically, the homiletic method is not quite as detailed or time-consuming as an Inductive Bible Study, which can be helpful if you are just easing into deep study for the first time {or if you have a baby in the house and have limited amounts of time to study the Word}, but it's far more text-based than doing a topical study or a devotion, which means you are allowing God's powerful Word to work in you and teach you, and you are less likely to interpret the Bible incorrectly since you are studying it verse by verse. The homiletic method has been perfect for me in this season of life, and I hope it helps many of you dig deep into the Word as well.

Read the rest of the Digging Deep series here...
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