SOME HELPFUL HINTS
I’m still considering I Corinthians 10:13 and want to comment just a bit further on that. I’d also like to hear what your thoughts are on how we escape temptation. Once we complete this study, my plan is to share some thoughts I had as we head toward the Christmas season. That will be just one “meditation.” Then I’m asking that we consider the life of Job and how he became one of God’s “Comeback Kids.” Keep looking and thinking. As you do, you’ll find someone who experienced the same kind of spiritual reverses and blows that you and I have faced. Or will face. I’m asking: “What led to his setback?” “How did he deal with the devastation? How did his friends and his wife contribute to the situation? How did Job recover? It is my good fortune to have some very sharp friends. Some of them have encouraged me in my blogging and have beautiful, helpful websites of their own. I asked Mark Ryman for permission to take the following from his site:
Daily BREAD or Tips for Reading the Bible
Find a quiet place and time for daily reading. Make sure everything you need is there—Bible, pen, pencil, marker, dictionary, and journal or notebook (if you want to take notes). I like to keep my laptop nearby so I can refer to eSword. Sometimes I like to compare a verse with another version or check out a commentary in eSword or at theWorld Wide Study Bible at Christian Classics Ethereal Library. You have to be careful about doing your Bible reading close to a computer. I find it’s easy to get sidetracked by email. So putting your sound on “mute” and closing your email browser before you begin can be a big help.
All you really need though is your Bible. Be sure to keep it where you’ll need it. It can be a distraction to go looking for your Bible. On the way, you can find other things to do. Instead, have your Bible and other stuff exactly where you need it so you can go straight there and begin.
Which Bible? If you don’t know what version to read, I’d recommend the English Standard Version (ESV). If you don’t have a Bible, request a New Testament and my church will send you an ESV New Testament free of charge (while supplies last, of course). Be sure to include your name, full address, email address, and what you’re requesting.
Where to Begin? If you’ve never read the Bible before, the Gospel of John is a good place to begin. Or you could do a 30-day New Testament overview.
A Few Steps (BREAD) Following these steps can be helpful:
e still. Take a moment to just be silent before God. Then get your heart right: confess anything that has come between you and God. Thank him for blessings. Next, ask him to speak to you and draw you nearer to himself in your reading.
ead. Slowly. Try. to. catch. every. word. If you don’t know a word, look it up before reading on. I find that writing down definitions in the margin of my Bible helps me remember what a word means. Endeavor to get the big picture first. Don’t get hung up on a phrase or even a verse. Instead, see how phrases lead into phrases and sentences relate to each other. Take special notice of how the last sentence of a paragraph fits with the first sentence of the next paragraph.
xplore. What was the main point of what you read? Always take a minute to think that through. Most Bibles are divided into pericopes or units of thought. These are typically set apart by captions that might help you with the main point. When you have finished reading one pericope, ask yourself what it was saying before reading further. Strive to express the main point in a phrase or sentence. You may want to write this down in a journal or in the margin of your Bible.
pply. How does what you read relate to you? Was God saying something special about himself—his character—or how he wants to change you? Based on your reading, can you state one thing that God wants you to know or change or do?
evote yourself. Pray again, asking God to bring back to you in the course of the day, reminders of your time with him. Each time he does, remind yourself of the main point of your reading that day and ask him to help you apply his word to your life.
P. S. After trying to vary the site with different fonts, colors, and sizes, I’ve come to agree that selecting one and sticking to it is best. Nothing fancy. I’d probably have to spend as much time figuring out how to insert beautiful graphics as I spend studying the Scripture. It seems I should focus on the content. That’s the reason I started the study. Nothng fancy or flashy. Just “Bread” and “Water” of Life!
I do have a suggesttion, which may be helpful for any who have trouble reading small print; If you have your cursor positioned on what you are reading, then press the “control” key and the + at the same time, it will enlarge the print! That’s been helpful to me sometimes. ~don