SHORT-TERM GOALS FOR BIBLE STUDY

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In our years of women’s conferences, we have met many inspired wonderful women who come to Christian events like our National Women’s Conference, to worship and celebrate in the fellowship of other Christian women. They come to find answers to life’s unexpected questions. They come in times of crisis, and in times of joy to strengthen their relationship with God through times in the presence of God and from the words of the Bible. After the conference when we get home, however, some of us find that we don’t have the deep understanding and the practical applications of the Scripture that we wish we had. We all have a deep desire to know God’s word and to reflect His life in our daily lives, but the question remains, where do I start?

God’s intimate love letter is a beautiful combination of 66 books from poetry, to prophecy. They show us examples of things to imitate, and of things to shun. We see through the life of Jesus the heart of God in action. Through the Old and New Testament, there are jewels and jems that are more precious than pearls or rubies. But our biggest obstacle to finding these treasures seems to be our time. So rather than putting yourself under a burden of legalistic rules and expectations for your Bible study, we suggest to start with something do-able. This means to set a short term goal.

The first step in reaching this short term goal is to make a plan to study something not too long that will stir your interest in the Bible. You could start out by simply choosing one of the shorter books like Eohesians, Colossians, 1 John, James, or Ruth. As you begin to enjoy that one book, your confidence will grow that you can understand the Bible and grow from it.

Another type of devotional studying is to take the same chapter and read it every day for the whole week. I like to pray before I read and ask the Holy Spirit to open my eyes to what God would want to show me that day in His Word. God’s Word begins to grow within us as we meditate on it and we let Him show us new things in a chapter that we are becoming familiar with.

I also like to pray about what I am reading in the Bible. Sometimes it’s good to thank God for a promise. Other times we can pray back the Word as in the Lord’s Prayer, or the Prayers of Paul.

Another way to begin your walk through the Word is to take the Bible helps that we have now on the computer. You can look up verses that relate to a need you are facing or a question you need answers for. You can take a topic like the love of God and do a search and come up with a plethera of verses to encourage yourself in it.

Now that you have your starting point, look for a verse in the 

http://www.biblija.net/biblija.cgi?lang=sl  or

http://www.e-sword.net/ 

Once you have found your chosen verse, follow that part of Scripture to the root. Start with the meaning of the verse as it applies to you, and then expand outward to the chapter, and then the book. Gain a better perspective by referencing history books and atlases. Find the root and reason of each detail. Who was the apostle? Where was he from, and what were the circumstances surrounding his life? What were the local customs and laws that led the people to behave the way they did? The whole idea behind Bible study is  to understand fully the true meaning of the Scripture so that you might apply it better in your own life.  What is God saying to me from this scripture?  Is there a command to follow?  Or an example to learn from? Do I see a principle that God is teaching?  How can I become more like Christ through putting this scripture into my day to day existence?

Starting with short-term Bible study goals is a gratifying way to begin or continue a commitment to the knowledge of the Scripture, without feeling like you’re taking on the entire Bible all at once. This is a great starting point. Eventually you will come to subjects that will require much more in-depth study, and much longer books that will require more long-term commitments. Bible study groups or use study guides are also very helpful in organizing the different sections of Bible study, so that the clearest and deepest meaning can be put into action and understood. Regardless of whether you take a short-term approach or dive into a planned lesson set, the important part is to gain a better understanding of the Word of God, so that we can apply it to our everyday lives, and pass it along to others.

 

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