Living the Christian Life
Lesson 3The Discipline of Study
We continue our Christian Living study by looking at the discipline of Study. In the past two lessons, we have examined meditation and prayer. So, in this lesson, we will add this third "inward discipline" to our portfolio. For many, studying God’s Word can seem daunting, and it can appear to require a college degree. But that is far from God’s truth. His Word is written for all of us to understand and apply in our lives. Accordingly, we will identify some ways to improve and facilitate how we study the Bible.
Let’s begin by performing the following exercises and considering what they tell us about the Discipline of Study.
- Describe the following study aids:
- Bible Commentary
- Bible Handbook
- Bible Dictionary
- Bible Atlas
- Bible Concordance
- There are a variety of ways that we can study the Bible—verse-by-verse is only one of them. Using our Concordance, we can study by subject, such as "love" or "forgiveness"; or we can learn from Jesus by reading all of his teachings in the New Testament; within that topic, we could focus our study even further by examining how Jesus led, for example, and in doing so, we could learn Christian principles for good leadership. Read the following verses, which identify traits we need to see or develop in ourselves, in our leadership, and in our church; and then answer questions that follow.– John 10:1-14, 27-28– John 1:14– Isaiah 55:4– Psalm 23.
- What are the dangers mentioned in these verses that the shepherd who leads must protect against?
- How does the Good Shepherd protect his flock?
- Another way that we can study God’s Word is through applying our own experiences and not simply relying on books. We need to be aware of what is happening around us and pay closer attention to these events when we are studying and seeking to know God’s Word. The disciples had some difficulty doing this. They would be with Jesus every day, experiencing miracle after miracle, but never learning from it. Read Mark 8:1-21. What can we learn from the disciples’ experience about studying God and His Holy Word?
- Obviously, we can also learn by studying scripture. Read Romans 8:24-35. What is the core teaching found in this passage?
- As a closing exercise, gather as many of the following that you have access to: a Commentary, a Bible Dictionary, a Bible Handbook, a Concordance, and an Atlas. Many of these resources can be accessed in the Online References section of www.Daniel222.com, found under Study Aids. Also, referenced in this section is an online web site named BibleStudyTools.com, which contains an extensive library of many of these study tools as well. Using the various tools that you have access to, research the passages, subjects, and events cited in Acts 6:5 and Acts 11:19-30. Summarize what you learned via use of the various study aids in conjunction with these verses.
The purpose of the last exercise above was two-fold: first, to provide you exposure to some of the study aids that exist; and secondly, to demonstrate that by using several or more different aids, a much broader and deeper understanding of the context and meaning of many of these passages becomes evident—and our overall practice of the discipline of Study is enhanced as a result.
Thanks for your faithfulness in studying with us!