Bible study

Bible Study Methods

Last week was the last of “Question of the week” on the Facebook page.

Copy of Question of the Week

This post is a follow up on the topic of Bible study methods.

BUT FIRST

Before reading this post please take a brief pause to ask yourself one simple but extremely important question:

Why do I want to study the Bible?

Why is such a powerful question! It clears the confusion and brings what is truly important into focus. Once you are certain of your why then it’s time to think about how.

Bible study for me is an activity with one constant goal that doesn’t change regardless of the method used for the study. My why is to know Jesus. I don’t just want to learn and understand about Him but truly actually KNOW JESUS! 

However

I have definitely experienced times of losing sight of the true goal and forgetting my why. To know more about that problem, please read this earlier post Purpose of Bible Study


Bible Study Methods

A method is a way to go about doing a Bible study. You could say that a method of Bible study is a kind of framework or structure to organize what you are doing.

Choosing a method for personal Bible study

Let’s explore this subject by considering a few questions:

  • what comes to mind when you think of Bible study methods?
  • why use a method at all?
  • Do you currently use a particular method?
  • Does it matter what method you use?

I think it does matter what method of studying the Bible is used. Not because one way is necessarily better than another but there is likely a certain Bible study method that is more beneficial for you. Discovering the best method will result in an enjoyable, rich and rewarding experience.

If you are finding Bible study to be a great experience you are probably using the best method for you. But if not, you may want to explore different types of Bible study methods.

Resources for you

Here is a page that is absolutely packed with helpful links. I recommend visiting and bookmarking it – How to Study the Bible

More helpful links can be found on the Bible Study page

Please leave comments below or contact me – HERE

Surround your Bible study time with prayer and make sure your motive is all about Jesus!

 

 

 

Bible study

Purpose of Bible Study

Before reading this post please take a brief pause to ask yourself one simple but extremely important question:

  • Why do I want to study the Bible?

Why is such a powerful question!

It clears the confusion and brings the truth into focus.

Bible study for me is an activity with one constant goal that doesn’t change regardless of the method used for the study. My why is to know Jesus. I don’t just want to learn and understand about Him but truly actually KNOW JESUS!


(The following is from a post I wrote 2 years ago)

As we enter the season of Fall many of us are excited to be starting new Bible studies!

So, let’s stop and think for a moment about our motivation.

What is the purpose of Bible study?

Choosing to study the Bible is obviously a wise use of your time. You might describe this activity as having eternal value and it’s worth truly priceless.

However, we must always keep in mind the true purpose of studying the scriptures. For those of us who enjoy the process of study, there is the danger of becoming consumed with the study itself. Take a look at what Jesus said in John 5:39-40.

You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.                -John 5:39-40      

You search and investigate and pore over the Scriptures diligently, because you suppose and trust that you have eternal life through them. And these [very Scriptures] testify about Me! And still you are not willing [but refuse] to come to Me, so that you might have life.       John 5:39-40 AMPC

Why do you study the Bible?

This is an important question to ask yourself.

And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.   – John 17:3 NKJV

And this is eternal life: [it means] to know (to perceive, recognize, become acquainted with, and understand) You, the only true and real God, and [likewise] to know Him, Jesus [as the] Christ (the Anointed One, the Messiah), Whom You have sent.   -John 17:3 AMPC

This is eternal life:
that they may know You, the only true God,
and the One You have sent – Jesus Christ.   -John 17:3 HCSB

Surround your Bible study time with prayer and make sure your motive is all about Jesus!

Surround your Bible study time with prayer and make sure your motive is all about Jesus!
everydaywiththeking.com

Love to know your thoughts about the purpose of Bible study.

Please leave a comment below or send an EMAIL

 

Bible study, Jesus

Martha and Mary Part 2

Be sure to read Martha and Mary Part 1

Part 1 ended with the following question.

What exactly bothered Martha about Mary sitting at the feet of Jesus?

I hope you take some time to ponder this and other questions that come to mind in this study. Sometimes we are quick to listen to someone explain when we are actually well equipped to read and learn on our own. If you are a believer you are not alone because Jesus is present with you. The same Jesus that spoke to Martha is with you today. Pray that you will see and understand what Jesus has for you to learn as you dig into the story of Martha and Mary.

Please read the passage again and then share your answer about what was bothering Martha.


Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house.  And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word.  But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.”

 And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things.  But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”     Luke 10:38-42


We already saw in Part 1 that Martha’s upset was no slight irritation but the overflow of a deeper problem. The way she spoke to Jesus suggests the possibility that she was not only disturbed by the many things and what her sister was doing but she may have even been upset with Jesus.

Martha and Mary (2)

Martha was in an agitated state when she observed her sister sitting at the feet of Jesus.


Sitting at the master’s feet was the place of a student

The fact that Mary was sitting at the feet of Jesus made it absolutely clear that she was a devoted disciple.

I am well aware that it is not popular in today’s culture to say outright that Martha was wrong. But she was. I’m not sure why so many who write about Martha seem to feel compelled to defend her.

Jesus corrected Martha and heartily approved of Mary’s choice. There was nothing vague about the response that Jesus gave to Martha.

Martha must have been taken by surprise when Jesus answered her. What do you think she might have felt and thought about what Jesus said?

Let’s dive a little deeper into the upset about Mary sitting at the feet of Jesus.

N. T. Wright on Mary and Martha from Women’s service in the Church: The Biblical Basis

Most of us grew up with the line that Martha was the active type and Mary the passive or contemplative type, and that Jesus is simply affirming the importance of both and even the priority of devotion to him. That devotion is undoubtedly part of the importance of the story, but far more obvious to any first-century reader, and to many readers in Turkey, the Middle East and many other parts of the world to this day would be the fact that Mary was sitting at Jesus’ feet within the male part of the house rather than being kept in the back rooms with the other women. This, I am pretty sure, is what really bothered Martha; no doubt she was cross at being left to do all the work, but the real problem behind that was that Mary had cut clean across one of the most basic social conventions. It is as though, in today’s world, you were to invite me to stay in your house and, when it came to bedtime, I were to put up a camp bed in your bedroom. We have our own clear but unstated rules about whose space is which; so did they. And Mary has just flouted them. And Jesus declares that she is right to do so. She is ‘sitting at his feet’; a phrase which doesn’t mean what it would mean today, the adoring student gazing up in admiration and love at the wonderful teacher. As is clear from the use of the phrase elsewhere in the NT (for instance, Paul with Gamaliel), to sit at the teacher’s feet is a way of saying you are being a student, picking up the teacher’s wisdom and learning; and in that very practical world you wouldn’t do this just for the sake of informing your own mind and heart, but in order to be a teacher, a rabbi, yourself. Like much in the gospels, this story is left cryptic as far as we at least are concerned, but I doubt if any first-century reader would have missed the point.   – N. T. Wright

Paul sat at the feet of Gamaliel (see Acts 22:3)

Jesus said “Mary has chosen”

Chosen is not difficult for us to understand. It means to choose, select, choose for oneself.

So there was a choice, an option and it was available to Martha as well as Mary.

What did Mary choose?

We have the same choice today. It does not matter what your gifts, talents, interests, personality traits are— it is a choice

This relationship is offered and available to followers of Jesus but not forced upon anyone.

Whole-hearted devotion and a life of discipleship or something less? The choice is yours.

The next time the Bible mentions the sisters is found in John 11:1-11

Don’t skip reading that important portion of scripture! I am not covering it at all in this study. But please don’t miss it!


Let’s close this study by reading another time Jesus comes to visit in John 12:1-8

Then, six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was who had been dead, whom He had raised from the dead. There they made Him a supper; and Martha served, but Lazarus was one of those who sat at the table with Him. Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.

But one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, who would betray Him, said, “Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” This he said, not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the money box; and he used to take what was put in it.

But Jesus said, “Let her alone; she has kept this for the day of My burial. For the poor you have with you always, but Me you do not have always.”     -John 12:1-8 NKJV

(The anointing at Bethany is a subject worthy of a separate study but we will touch on it briefly here as it is relevant to the current study of Martha and Mary)

Notice that Martha is again serving but perhaps not overwhelmed by the activity like she was before. I like to think that this time she chose to serve something simple prepared in advance allowing undistracted time with Jesus.

Jesus was again approving of Mary and defending her actions.

Mary is again quietly keeping her focus on Jesus. As a devoted disciple, she had listened, learned and believed what Jesus taught. She had followed His teaching so closely that her belief spilled over into this worshipful act of anointing Jesus.

What do you notice about Mary in this portion of scripture?

What is Jesus saying to you through these verses in Luke 10:38-42 and John 12:1-8?

Please share your comments below

Here is a blog post that contains some practical help for living daily as a devoted disciple of Jesus – Constant Prayer

You can live every day with The King!


Martha and Mary 

  • Luke 10:38-42
  • John 11:1-44
  • John 12:1-11

Martha Mary (1)

 

Bible study

Martha and Mary Part 1

Please join me in a Bible study of Luke 10:38-42

Start by reading the passage in your Bible and perhaps in more than one version.


Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village, and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.” And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”

-Luke 10:38-42  NKJVMartha and Mary (1)Now let’s focus in on verse 40

The NKJV says Martha was distracted. Distracted is a word in common use today but it is not very specific.

Reading the verse in other versions may be helpful in getting a clearer picture.

The best way to dig a little further is to find the original Greek word used in this verse.

Step one is to go to the KJV where we find the word used is cumbered

Here are verses 40-42 in the KJV

40 But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.

41 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:

42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.


You can do some quick and easy research here at Blue Letter Bible

The first thing you find is the number in Strong’s which leads to the Greek word. Click on the number and you should find yourself  HERE

Strong’s  4049

Greek word  – perispaō

verb

Cumber: lit., “to draw around” (peri), “draw away, distract,” is used in the Passive Voice in the sense of being over-occupied about a thing, to be “cumbered,”

Interesting that this word is only used once. We don’t have any other verses with the same word to compare with Luke 10:40. However, there is one instance of a similar word used in Luke 13:7. See this in the Blue Letter Bible Follow the Strong’s number 2673 to the Greek word

Isn’t it great that you can so easily access the original words, their meanings, and additional information? Take advantage often of the free resources at Blue Letter Bible



Read what John Wesley wrote about this portion of scripture

verse 40 – Martha was encumbered – The Greek word properly signifies to be drawn different ways at the same time, and admirably expresses the situation of a mind, surrounded (as Martha’s then was) with so many objects of care, that it hardly knows which to attend to first.

verse 41 – Martha, Martha – There is a peculiar spirit and tenderness in the repetition of the word: thou art careful, inwardly, and hurried, outwardly.

from John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes


from Matthew Henry’s Commentary

  • She was cumbered about it; periespato-she was just distracted with it. Note, Whatever cares the providence of God casts upon us we must not be cumbered with them, nor be disquieted and perplexed by them. Care is good and duty; but cumber is sin and folly.
  • She was then cumbered about much serving when she should have been with her sister, sitting at Christ’s feet to hear his word. Note, Worldly business is then a snare to us when it hinders us from serving God and getting good to our souls.



It seems clear from only a quick study of verse 40 that Martha was not simply concerned about cooking a meal for her guests that day. She was overwhelmed by a number of cares and worries perhaps every day. Seeing her sister sitting at the feet of Jesus instead of joining her in the meal preparation was the tipping point for Martha. She became so upset that she went to Jesus about it. Her question to Jesus clearly revealed her anxious state of mind. Without realizing it, she had done the best thing she could have possibly done in her situation. Anxious, stressed and overwhelmed? Call on Jesus!

Jesus answered Martha by first explaining her true state of mind. He described her as worried and troubled by many things. This revealed the truth of a deeper problem that Martha may not have even realized herself.  What Jesus said to Martha removes all possibility that Martha’s irritation that day was simply a little stress caused by the desire to serve a nice meal.

We do not know what all the cares, troubles and worries were that surrounded Martha. Daily responsibilities and financial concerns connected to maintaining her home may have contributed to the load she carried. These alone could have been heavy on her mind.

We may not be able to determine the many things that distracted Martha on that particular day but we can definitely know where her focus should have been.

  • Martha was distracted from  ____________.
  • What exactly bothered Martha about Mary sitting at the feet of Jesus?

To be continued…

Meanwhile please research Luke 10:38-42 yourself and then come back and share your discoveries in the comments below? Love to know your thoughts!

Don’t miss part 2 of Martha and Mary

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Martha Mary

 

 

Bible, Bible study, Jesus

John 21:22

John 21:22

Sharing this scripture today as a follow up to the recent post – Envy

Please take a moment to read chapter 21 of the gospel of John. After reading the chapter go back to look at verses 21 and 22.

Here is a link to the chapter on the Blue Letter Bible website → John 21  If you take some time to explore the website, you will discover many tools to help you in your study of the Bible. The page I’ve linked to is the chapter in the KJV because it is the easiest place to start for accessing the tools. However, at the top of the page, you will see where you can easily choose another Bible translation.


Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.     John 21:22  KJV

Jesus said to him, If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me.    NKJV

Jesus said to him, If I want him to stay (survive, live) until I come, what is that to you? [What concern is it of yours?] You follow Me!    – AMPC

If I want him to remain until I come, Jesus answered, what is that to you? As for you, follow Me.     -HCSB

If it is my wish, returned Jesus, for him to stay until I come, is that your business, Peter? You must follow me.   – J.B. Phillips

 

If you have read the chapter, you see that Jesus is speaking in response to Peter’s curiosity about John’s future. I don’t know about you, but I can easily follow Peter’s thinking that led him to ask about John in this chapter. I have often found myself wondering about other people’s situations and life story. This is especially likely to happen when things appear to be unfair. This is also the place where wondering and seemingly innocent questions quickly lead to comparison and envy.

John 21 contains the answer for when our focus shifts from following Jesus to wondering about what is going on with other people.

Interesting that this is the last time Jesus speaks in the gospel of John.

 

what is that to thee_ follow thou me.1 (2)

 

Bible study

Summer Bible Studies

Spring is almost over and everyone is busy getting ready for Summer.

Will you be including a Bible Study in your Summer plans?

I have put together a listing of Summer Bible Studies along with their start dates. Follow the links below for all the details. Research the options now and pray about what is the right choice for you. Then you will need to sign up and get your workbook.

Summer Bible Studies

Heart to Heart Women’s Bible Study

  • Jesus The One And Only – Beth Moore   – starts on  July 16

Womens Bible Cafe

  • The Quest – Beth Moore  – June 25

Proverbs 31 Ministries

  • Seamless – Angie Smith  – June 25

First 5

  • What Matters Most  – June 18
  • That You May Believe  – July 2

Love God Greatly

  • Truth Over Lies  – June 18

Interested in an E-Course?

For more Bible study links and resources, visit the Bible Study Page


Do you know of a great study that I’ve not included?

You are welcome to share in the comments below.

What study are you planning to do?

Please leave a comment 🙂

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Bible study, E-Course, Worry

Stop Worrying E-Course

About two years ago I wrote a blog series on the subject of worry.

See all four parts of  〉〉 The Worry Series

I’ve now written some new material containing a strategy for overcoming worry.

Who doesn’t have a problem with worry and stress?

Would you like some help dealing with this?

Stop Worrying is an E-Course available now

This course provides practical help for dealing with worry.

Don’t live as a slave to your worries. You can take steps today and find freedom.

Stop Worrying 

Worried about the cost of the Stop Worrying E-Course?

This course FREE 🙂

So stop worrying and enroll now!

⇒Stop Worrying

Stop Worrying (1)

Become fully equipped to conquer worry! 

The course along with the blog series is a powerful combination

Enroll in the E-Course AND read the 4 -part → Worry Series 

You will find that the E-Course and the blog series are completely different. Access both to have everything you need to stop worrying! 

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Bible study

Purpose of Bible Study

As we enter the season of Fall many of us are excited to be starting new Bible studies!

So, let’s stop and think for a moment about our motivation.

What is the purpose of Bible study?

Choosing to study the Bible is obviously a wise use of your time. You might describe this activity as having eternal value and it’s worth truly priceless.

However, we must always keep in mind the true purpose of studying the scriptures. For those of us who enjoy the process of study, there is the danger of becoming consumed with the study itself. Take a look a what Jesus said in John 5:39-40.

You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.                -John 5:39-40      

You search and investigate and pore over the Scriptures diligently, because you suppose and trust that you have eternal life through them. And these [very Scriptures] testify about Me! And still you are not willing [but refuse] to come to Me, so that you might have life.       John 5:39-40 AMPC

Why do you study the Bible?

This is an important question to ask yourself.

And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.   – John 17:3 NKJV

And this is eternal life: [it means] to know (to perceive, recognize, become acquainted with, and understand) You, the only true and real God, and [likewise] to know Him, Jesus [as the] Christ (the Anointed One, the Messiah), Whom You have sent.   -John 17:3 AMPC

This is eternal life:
that they may know You, the only true God,
and the One You have sent – Jesus Christ.   -John 17:3 HCSB

Surround your study time with prayer and make sure your motive is all about Jesus!

Untitled design (1)

Bible study, prayer

Bible Study Tips and Resources

bible-1310889_640 I hope that last week’s post was an encouragement to devote yourself to Bible study. This week I’d like to share some helpful Bible study resources.

But first, a few tips that you might find useful.

  • Pray
  • Plan
  • Place
  • Persistence

∗Prayer is the first step to Bible study. First, pray about what God would like you to study. Watch and listen to what specific Bible study the Holy Spirit is guiding you to do.

∗Plan is about gathering what supplies will be needed. Where will you keep your Bible study book and any other items for the study? I would suggest that these things be kept in plain view at least until you have developed a solid habit of study. If your materials need to be portable you could put everything in a tote bag to carry with you. Planning is also needed to decide on a specific time each day that you will spend on the study. Establish a certain time because otherwise, it will be very difficult to develop consistent study.

∗Place is deciding on a certain spot that you will usually do your daily study. It should be somewhere that you are comfortable and undisturbed if possible. I like to be flexible about the place. If I can go outside for Bible study that’s an added plus for me.

∗Persistence is so very important. If you enthusiastically start your Bible study but then fail to finish for whatever reason, don’t give up Bible study! It is not easy to establish this wonderful practice of consistent study. Ask yourself some questions to find out how you can improve your experience. Was it the right study for you? Did you follow the tips – Pray-Plan-Place-Persistence?

∗Don’t add another P for Perfect to the list of tips. It’s not about doing everything perfectly or like someone else. The important thing about your study time is spending time with the King every day. Please don’t give up. It might be difficult to get the habit established but so very worthwhile.


Please click on the link below to go directly to the Bible study page. There is also a tab on the menu that goes to the Bible Study Page. This page is loaded with plenty of Bible study resources including the links and is kept updated with current information. I pray that you will explore and enjoy.

                         →   →   Bible Study Page

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