Sunday, March 17, 2013

A Simple Way to Study

You may have memories of school where study was really a drag. I sure do. I failed algebra twice in spite of trying to get it. I loved geometry though, it was one of my best subjects. I needed to see a pattern, not as a number, but a shape.

I have a cousin who was miserable in school because she was ignored by people, though she is really sweet.

Here he goes with an application!

But I see churches like going to school and the Bible as having different patterns. Some people are ignored in church. They may get a hearty handshake and a big smile. Lots of churches do that. But perhaps a person is grieving, and a smile is not what is needed as much as someone to grieve with?

Study can be the same way. Some of us fail at certain subjects, maybe at the very idea of study at all. I sympathize with them. Just as my cousin needed someone to say, "You seem unhappy. What is wrong? Please tell me about it."

Others would love to understand the Bible better, but need to see a pattern or shape. They have a lot of pieces, but can't make a quilt from them, though the pieces of cloth are intriguing, or of great sentimental value.

Let me tell you my approach to both subjects. First, I don't try to "convert" my friends or pressure them, with my "superior" way. If any changes are needed, God will do that. Maybe it will take years, but friendship is more important than facts many times.

I started out to tell you about a simple way to study.

First thing is to find a theme you love--you really are in love with--and pursue this theme. You may have a gift here.

Some churches have a real thrust on evangelism. "Everyone should be an evangelist," they say. But this is a separate gift and calling. I don't have it. Though even a cat can swim, it is not their element.

Finally, my method of study, may be is not easy, but such happy work! First, read through whole sections of the Bible, maybe the whole Bible. Like shopping, where each person has a part of a store that draws them, certain sections of the Bible will appeal, to you. You may love them most of all.

I feel I am talking down to you, and I don't want to appear to do that. I am just talking about my experience, that's all.

For me, it is the path of prophecy. I love to see the great things God will do and has already done. So if that appeals to you, follow it.

I think of the death of Dorcas. People remembered the garments she made for them, as they cried for her. They were her contributions. So love is where it all begins.

It is so neat to print out every verse in the Bible to study, and enjoy. We can now do it quickly, with a computer and a printer, or a print concordence will do it.

If an angel or a preacher were to tell me something is true, I still want to look it up. It could be a fallen angel, or a mistaken preacher I am dealing with. With every quote before you, it is much easier to really see God's ideas.

So begin with love , and every word God gives you. If you have it on your mind as you go to sleep, that may be your theme, whether it is a person in need, or a theme to study, that may be your gift.

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