God has given us His Word as our guideline for life. He wants you to know His heart on all of life’s issues. He says: “If you seek Him, you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart.” It is through prayer and Bible study that we receive direction from our Creator and Redeemer.
When reading God’s Word; have you ever come across a difficult passage that seemed impossible to understand? Here are some helps given to me years ago, by my friend Jo Ellen Potts. Before reading a passage:
- Pray first. Confess your sins. Ask God to explain the mystery. Ask Him to show you the deeper things.
- Read it, read it, read it. Familiarity breeds content.
- Get out a piece of paper and answer these 3 questions. 1. Summarize the passage. What does it say? 2. Spiritualize: What does the passage mean? 3. Personalize: How do I apply this to my life?
As you search for the meaning and truth of a passage use this code word or acronym. It will help you remember the passage you have studied. Here’s the word. S.P.A.C.E.
S. Is there a sin to confess? P. Is their a promise to claim? A. Is there an action to take? or avoid? C. Is there a command to obey? E. Is there an example to follow?
After you’ve answered the above yes or no questions; then ask yourself the deeper questions of how, what, when and where and why?
Why should I confess my sin? He is faithful and just to forgive me of my sin and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9) Why should I claim God’s promises? They are yes and amen. What do I need to do in response to this truth? How shall I obey any command I may read? Where will I apply this passage? ( in my home, at my church, while I’m at work?) When will I begin to use what I’ve learned from my study?
Personalize a principle in the passage by putting your name in the verse. Here’s an example:
Matthew 16:13-15 This is the passage where Jesus asked His disciples, “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” Then Jesus asked the twelve; “But who do you say that I am?”
Ask yourself, Who do I,______________ say that Jesus is? We must know who Jesus is before we can share Him with those in our sphere of influence.
Prayer in Motion:
Oh God, may I study to show myself approved unto God. Lord, may I be able to rightly divide Your Word; to those whom You have given me. May I be filled up to overflowing, with the truth of who You are, so that it spills out onto everyone with whom I come in contact. Spirit of the Living God, fall fresh on me.