Good evening to people of all towns, states, nations, continents,
It is my upmost privilege to be able to use a highly technical thing called a laptop to write to all of you. As my blog followers know, I have been on a mission and that mission to learn about Jesus as much as humanly possible. I now believe the brevity of my knowledge far surpasses anything I could have ever dreamed of. God’s blessed me so much that I honestly struggle having a conversation that doesn’t include Jesus. Much like the man who was healed at the lake, I want to tell the world all Jesus has done for me! But that’s sort of what we’re supposed to do, eh?
It has been my main emphasis in writing to you all over some time now, that we maintain our premise in that we are to live as much like Jesus as absolutely possible. We are to follow the life of Jesus and ensure that our actions and His actions can be unified. Or at least, that is the goal. I really like the way my current pastor says this, it’s something to the effect of, I want to see imperfect people follow a perfect God. Realizing where our faults may be is so crucial in exhibiting a successful relationship with God, because God knows we’re jacked up…Everyone is a sinner, frankly, we’re all jacked up…But how we boldly ask for Jesus’ help could be the whether or not we get guidance, which is contingent upon whether you faithfully believe what we’re asking.
Much like James says, ” If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get his help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. People who “worry their prayers” are like wind-whipped waves. don’t think you’re going to get anything from the Master that way, adrift at sea, keeping all your options open.”
So today I would like to keep things very basic and simple for you, because I do have a lot of viewers who will email me and be like…”Where do I even start in the Bible, it’s kind of a big book?” or…”You know, I would really like to get better at (insert your problem), but I’m not quite sure where to find it in the Bible.” There are even seasoned Christians who will say, “You know, I really like what you write but sometimes it goes a little over my head.” So in lieu of those statements/questions, I would like to keep this blog very basic:
Answering the question: The Bible is so big, where to even start? How do I even study it?
This question is an extremely intimidating question and honestly, I believe it’s the main reason that people stray from God’s Word. Often times people tend to think that going to church is all that your relationship with God consists of, but this is not the case. As it will be really hard for you to grasp the concepts in a sermon without having some sort of background with the information/historical context. Let me set it up to you like this:
We’ve all been in classes before, right?? The classes where if you don’t read and prepare for your quizzes/tests/exam that you will legitimately fail the course. It’s flat out like that because your preparation for class-time is sequential to the success that you will have in the class. I like to think of Bible study very similarly, because the more prepared and devotional work that you do aside from being in Church, the greater your ability to grasp concepts will be. After you begin truly sustaining a successful devotional plan, you will begin having those “AH HA” moments and those “Really? Wow that’s really cool!” . Actually, that big boring book (that most call it) called the Bible, suddenly becomes extremely fascinating. So much so that the words will literally begin to jump off the page at you, because you are so in-tune with exactly what it is going on.
Major example, if you just picked up the Bible and flipped to Revelations and had no context of what Revelations was about…you would seriously struggle with what was going on and you would make your own judgments about what the text is supposed to mean, rather than the perfect intentions of God, himself, through John. Enough rambling, so where to start?
Understand your context
- Who is the writer?
- When does this take place?
- Culturally, what is going on at this time?
- Why is this book written?
You get the gist, understand the book and the writer before you ever begin to read it. This may sound silly for a book like Philemon, but understanding why a one page book was written helps so much understand the significance of Paul writing to his great friend Philemon. But if you can understand all of the things above and more, you will begin to feel as if you’re writing the book along with the writer. From there things will begin to make so much more sense, as opposed to just making…eh, dare I say, “your best guess”. Okay, so now you can successfully say that someone has made you aware of a starting place to study the Word, whether you apply it is up to you, I am just giving something that has really helped me in my developmental process.
Where do you start in the Bible? Do I start from Page One? Do I start in the New Testament? How about do I start at Revelations and work backwards? Honestly, I don’t care where you start in the Bible, as long as you are keeping everything in context and assessing the conceptual ideals, then applying them to your daily life.
Okay, so now you understand how to study the writer, Word, and know that what you learn must need to be applied to your daily living. (The Bible will tell you that a lot) One nice place to start may be somewhere like James, where the book is seemingly compiled of sermon notes and let’s us in on how the first churches were ran and what our churches are supposed to be today. Keep in mind, James, one of Jesus’ closest friends would know much better (Seeing as He knew Jesus personally) how to run a church rather than we would today. James is a very fundamental book that would help you learn a lot of things that may be common sense, but you just need to see it on paper.
As always, if you have any questions, comments, or anything: feel free to share with me or others. I thank you so much for taking the time to read this brief, elementary, but insightful blog that will hopefully help someone get on their feet again and getting in the Word. I’ll throw this in there, if you want one of those fantastic relationships with God, it will take a lot of work, so don’t think that over night God is going to radically solve all of your issues. Our beliefs and our relationship in God is much more like a toddlers crawl. Assuredly, God will prepare you if you will allow Him, He is so faithful.
Again, thank you so much for your time. I love each and every single one of you. God bless you!