How to Read the Bible

As a pastor I work hard to stay focused on the mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ. One of the most important ways for a person to become more like Christ is to read and study the Bible. I have noticed that many times in the church we provide sermons, classes, and small groups but we fail to actually teach people how to study the Bible for themselves. 

In our Adult Sunday School class we are about half way through a study called “Six Steps To Reading Your Bible” by Matthias Media. This study is very user friendly and I would recommend it to you.

Beginning with the third session the course introduces a very simple method for reading and studying the Bible.

The acronym they use to help you remember how to read the Bible is COMA.

CONTEXT

  • What sort of writing is this? (A letter, a narrative, a poem?)
  • What happened right before the passage you are now reading?
  • What do you know about the author, audience, and situation that prompted the writing of the book?

OBSERVATION

  • What do you learn about the main characters in this section? How does the author describe them? How do they describe themselves?
  • What is the main point or points?
  • What are the key words? What words or ideas are repeated?

MEANING

  • How does this text relate to other parts of the book?
  • How does this passage relate to Jesus?
  • What does this teach us about God?
  • How could we sum up the meaning of this passage in our own words?

APPLICATION

  • How does this passage challenge (or confirm) my understanding?
  • Is there some attitude I need to change?
  • How does this passage call on me to change the way I live?

Instead of randomly reading the Bible I believe this is a simple process that will help Christians dig into the Word of God and apply it to their lives with the result that they are being transformed into the image of Jesus Christ.

Looking to do something big for God?

 

I was chatting on the phone this week with Marty Sweeney, Executive Director of Matthias Media Ministries, about working to develop a culture of discipleship within the local church. One of their resources for helping discipleship to flourish is called “The Course of Your Life.” During the conversation Marty asked me to look at page 126…

We are often tempted to think that the next big thing God wants us to do involves a grand plan of some sort; that if we’re going to contribute to the work of his kingdom it will mean signing up for something at the church, or putting on an impressive event that you invite lots of people to. And these things are all good.

But truthfully, the next step is a person-because that’s how it happens: one person at a time. That’s what we talked about during the intensive. The next step is for you to prayerfully consider who you could shepherd towards maturity in Christ by prayerfully speaking God’s Word to them in some way.

I do believe that many of us are missing what God wants to do in and through us because we are waiting for the next big thing to be involved with. What if the next big thing was a person that God has already brought into your life (home, church, neighborhood, workplace, school)?