Saturday, December 26, 2015

Reflection - Effective Bible Reading

Source (book): "Faithful to the end", Question 4, Page 95.
By Robert M. Solomon, Bishop of the Methodist Church in Singapore from 2000 - 2012



It is difficult to think of anyone who does not take the Bible seriously - and is nevertheless useful to the Lord.
PHOTO: It is difficult to think of anyone who does not take the Bible seriously - and is nevertheless useful to the Lord. Those who have been greatly used by the Lord always emphasise the importance of reading the Bible with care, reverence, faith, and obedience.
Picture posted b Terry MacDevitt
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-MMYivanW4W0/Vn0-H80gJmI/AAAAAAAAilw/4w4xjKVT0SU/s1600/9c01b82c154646e942475ff97d1687ad.jpg
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Discuss John Wesley's six points on effective Bible reading. Which of these do you find most difficult to practise? Share about the resources you use to help you read the Bible more effectively.

Discuss John Wesley's six points on effective Bible reading.
How do you handle God's Word? [1]
Each of us needs to examine how we actually handle God's Word. Do we exercise passion, care, and depth in the way we get into God's Word? Do we know the Bible well? It not only helps us not to be destroyed by false teaching, it will also enable us to be useful to the Master. It is difficult to think of anyone who does not take the Bible seriously - and is nevertheless useful to the Lord. Those who have been greatly used by the Lord always emphasise the importance of reading the Bible with care, reverence, faith, and obedience.



Each of us needs to examine how we actually handle God's Word.
PHOTO: Each of us needs to examine how we actually handle God's Word. Do we exercise passion, care, and depth in the way we get into God's Word? Do we know the Bible well? It not only helps us not to be destroyed by false teaching, it will also enable us to be useful to the Master.
Picture posted by Answered by The Community
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http://www.answers.com/Q/Analogies_for_idleness_in_21st_century



In the Preface to his Explanatory Notes upon the Old Testament, John Wesley offered the following advice on effective Bible reading:

1. To set apart a little time, if you can, every morning and evening for that purpose.

2. At each time if you have leisure, to read a chapter out of the Old, and one out of the New Testament: If you cannot do this, to take a single chapter, or a part of one.

3. To read this with a single eye, to know the whole will of God, and a fixed resolution to do it. In order to know his will, you should,

4. Have a constant eye to the analogy of faith; the connexion (link) and harmony there is between those grand, fundamental doctrines: Original sin, justification by faith, the new birth, inward and outward holiness.

5. Serious and earnest prayer should be constantly used, before we consult the oracles of God (Word of God), seeing "Scripture can only be understood thro' the same Spirit whereby it was given." Our reading should likewise be closed with prayer, that what we read may be written on our hearts.

6. It might also be of use, if while we read, we were frequently to pause, and examine ourselves by what we read, both with regard to our hearts, and lives. This would furnish us with matter of praise, where we found God had enabled us to conform to his blessed will, and matter of humiliation and prayer, where we were conscious of having fallen apart. [7]



In the Preface to his Explanatory Notes upon the Old Testament, John Wesley offered advice on effective Bible reading.
PHOTO: In the Preface to his Explanatory Notes upon the Old Testament, John Wesley offered advice on effective Bible reading.
Posted by Renee James on 06 August 2015 at 8:00 AM, embrace a teachable spirt toward his Word
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-vP6AAPm9Y1Y/Vn0-H99ajMI/AAAAAAAAil0/wD_mUQzlwSE/s1600/61969.jpg
http://www.christianitytoday.com/images/61969.jpg
http://www.christianitytoday.com/gifted-for-leadership/2015/august/how-i-spent-20-years-in-ministry-without-bible.html



We can discern the same kind of seriousness, diligence, and thoroughness in reformer Martin Luther as he described his Bible reading strategy:

"I study my Bible like I gather apples. First, I shake the whole tree that the ripest may fall. Then I climb the tree and shake each limb, and when I have shaken each limb, I shake each branch and every twig. Then I look under every leaf. I search the Bible as a whole, like shaking the the whole tree. Then I shake every limb - study book after book. Then I shake every branch, giving attention to the chapters. Then I shake every twig, or a careful study of the paragraphs and sentences and words and their meanings." [8]



I study my Bible like I gather apples.
PHOTO: "I study my Bible like I gather apples. First, I shake the whole tree that the ripest may fall. Then I climb the tree and shake each limb, and when I have shaken each limb, I shake each branch and every twig. Then I look under every leaf. I search the Bible as a whole, like shaking the the whole tree. Then I shake every limb - study book after book. Then I shake every branch, giving attention to the chapters. Then I shake every twig, or a careful study of the paragraphs and sentences and words and their meanings." [8]
Picture posted by Megan on 10 September 2015

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-cWrus8lP99A/Vn0-I4ssnKI/AAAAAAAAimM/kZsKr_FnP9E/s1600/Apple-Picking.jpg
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http://henfamily.com/category/green-living/celebrations/



"For some years now, I have read through the Bible twice every year. If you picture the Bible to be a mighty tree and every word a little branch, I have shaken every one of these branches because I wanted to know what it was and what it meant." [9]

The instrument that is useful to the Lord is a cleansed instrument. (2 Timothy 2:21). Our Lord said, "You are already clean because of the word  I have spoken to you" (John 15:3); He also prayed for His disciples in His High Priestly prayer: "Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth" (John 17:17). Furthermore, Paul taught that Christ gave Himself for the church "to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word" (Ephesians 5:26).



Our Lord said, 'You are already clean because of the word  I have spoken to you' (John 15:3)
PHOTO: Our Lord said, "You are already clean because of the word  I have spoken to you" (John 15:3); He also prayed for His disciples in His High Priestly prayer: "Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth" (John 17:17).
Posted by Dreams from sacred spirit dance on 12 april 2014
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https://sacredspiritdance.wordpress.com/2014/04/12/%E2%9C%A9-%E2%9C%A9-sacred-spirit-dance-%E2%9C%A9-%E2%9C%A9-2323/



The word of God is used by God to cleanse us and make us clean vessels as we believe and act upon the Word, obeying Jesus through the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit. Through the careful handling of God's Word, we will gain both purity of doctrine as we are cleansed of false doctrines and ideas, and purity of life as we are cleansed of sinfulness. And in this way our usefulness to the Lord is enhanced. A poor workman of the Word will not be of use to the Lord, but a good and diligent workman will be of great use to Him.


VA poor workman of the Word will not be of use to the Lord.
PHOTO: A poor workman of the Word will not be of use to the Lord.
But a good and diligent workman will be of great use to Him.

Posted by Ian & Sue Coate (Copyright - Ian Coate), Sitting on the Bench
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http://www.freechristianillustrations.com/prayer.html


Therefore, how well do you know the Bible? How seriously are you applying it in life and service? Your answer will show how useful you are to the Lord - whether you are a noble instrument or not.


Which of these do you find most difficult to practise (John Wesley's six points on effective Bible reading)?
Point 6 is the most difficult to practise.


6. It might also be of use, if while we read, we were frequently to pause, and examine ourselves by what we read, both with regard to our hearts, and lives. This would furnish us with matter of praise, where we found God had enabled us to conform to his blessed will, and matter of humiliation and prayer, where we were conscious of having fallen apart.



While we read, we were frequently to pause, and examine ourselves by what we read, both with regard to our hearts, and lives.
PHOTO: While we read, we were frequently to pause, and examine ourselves by what we read, both with regard to our hearts, and lives.
Posted by Brant Clements on Saturday, 10 March 2012 at 12:00 PM
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-JIgosFYOorY/Vn0-JDeO9wI/AAAAAAAAimQ/XiAuELUd80U/s1600/Domenico_Ghirlandaio_-_St_Jerome_in_his_study.jpg
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http://saintandcynic.blogspot.sg/2012/03/texts-underlying-old-testament.html



Share about the resources you use to help you read the Bible more effectively.

1. Bible: New International Version (NIV). Plan daily Bible reading 1 chapter. Read with voice.

2. Location: a quiet corner of my house. [2]
 
3. Time: Morning. [2]
 
4. Variety: Commentary, Explanation book, e.g. "Faithful to the end", by Robert M. Solomon.

5. Internet: Reflection - Study and Practice listening to Word of God.

6. PCN (Park Connector Network): Walking with family members and talking about the Bible.

7. God’s presence: Distractions like noisy world, fears, frustrations, temptations and worries are given to God through prayers. [2]



Bible resources
PHOTO: Proverbs 6:6 - 'Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise!'
The ant has been famous for centuries for its social habits, foresight, economy and industry. Collecting their food at the proper seasons, they bite off the end of the grain to prevent it from germinating and lay it up in cells till needed.
Though a small, weak, feeble creature, yet will travel over flints and stones, climb trees, enter into towers, barns, cellars, places high and low, in search of food; never hinder, but help one another in carrying their burdens; prepare little cells to put their provisions in, and are so built as to secure them from rain; and if at any time their corn is wet, they bring out and dry it, and bite off the ends of it, that it may not grow. [4]

"Dear Lord, help us to learn from the ants. Help us cooperate and be responsible, diligent, hard workers.
We pray that we stop being an 'irresponsible sluggard' and learn to be hardworking in Bible reading. Amen.
" [5]
Picture posted by Eternal Life Blog on 13 December 2013
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http://www.evangelicaloutreach.org/images/antslift.jpg
http://www.eternallifeblog.com/learn-ants/


Reflection - Effective Bible Reading
By Robert M. Solomon, Bishop of the Methodist Church in Singapore from 2000 - 2012



Reference

[1] From "Faithful to the end" A Preacher's Exposition of 2 Timothy, Copyright © 2014 by Robert M. Solomon, ISBN 978-1-62707-241-0, PART TWO: USEFUL TO CHRIST, Chapter 6 "Meditation and Application of Scripture" (2 Timothy 2:14-19), Page 93-95.

[2] The Seven Habits of Effective Bible Readers, by Scripture Union USA, http://e100.publishpath.com/websites/e100/downloads/7habits.pdf

[3] How to Read the Bible and Pray, by Scripture Union USA, http://www.scriptureunion.org/how-read-bible-and-pray

[4] Proverbs 6:6, from Bible Hub, http://biblehub.com/proverbs/6-6.htm

[5] Free Go to the Ant Lesson Plan, by Search Heart of Wisdom!, http://heartofwisdom.com/blog/go-to-the-ant-lesson-plan/

[7] Wesley, Explanatoroy Notes Upon the Old Testatment, in the Works of John Wesley, ed. Thomas Jackson (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1958), 14:267-268.

[8] This quotation has been widely attributed to Martin Luther, e.g. at Daily Christian Quote, http://dailychristianquote.com/dcqluther.html.

[9] Jaroslav Pelikan and Helmut T. Lehmann, ed., Luther's Works (St Louis, Minneapolis: Concordia Publishing House, Philadelphis: Fortress Press, 1957), 54:165.

NIV, New International Version, Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.


2 Timothy 2:14-19 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Timothy+2%3A14-19&version=NIV

2 Timothy 2:21 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Timothy+2%3A21&version=NIV

Ephesians 5:26 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Ephesians+5%3A26&version=NIV

John 15:3 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+15%3A3&version=NIV

John 17:17 - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+17%3A17&version=NIV

Proverbs 6:6  - https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Proverbs+6%3A6+&version=NIV