< What I Learned Teaching Sunday School: How to Read God’s Word so you can hear Him speaking to you.

Monday, February 11, 2013

How to Read God’s Word so you can hear Him speaking to you.

At the Woman to Woman Conference Anne Graham Lotz taught us a wonderful way to read the Bible!

Exodus 34:1-3 The Lord said to Moses, “Chisel out two stone tablets like the first ones, and I will write on them the words that were on the first tablets, which you broke. 2 Be ready in the morning, and then come up on Mount Sinai. Present yourself to me there on top of the mountain. 3 No one is to come with you or be seen anywhere on the mountain; not even the flocks and herds may graze in front of the mountain.”

God called Moses to come to Him alone in the morning. That is an excellent example for us to follow. Spending time in God’s Word every morning sets the tone for our day. We spend time with Him in order to know Him. This is how we see His Glory. Sometimes we can see it in retrospect. We may be in a spiritual dry spot, but we can remember what He’s done in our lives. By taking the time we can look back at different times in our life and see He was with us all the time.

Anne suggested we have a spot set up that we use every day: our Bible and a notebook already in place. To start we choose a book of the Bible to read. She suggested starting with The Gospel of Mark or maybe a smaller book like Colossians. Take just the first paragraph or couple verses. Read the paragraph through. Then re-read it listing just the outstanding facts. (Don’t paraphrase).

Go through each fact and ask what it means. Find a spiritual lesson or a principle in each fact.

Next ask what this means in your life. And finally ask yourself “How am I going to live in response?’ Date this one and hold yourself accountable.

Here’s an example:
John 14:1-6 “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. 2 My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.”
5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?” 6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

1. Facts might be Do not be troubled, trust in God, trust in Me.

What the fact means could be worry is a lack of trust. Or there are going to be troubles but they don’t have to come inside. (don’t let your heart be troubled by them.) Even “do not be troubled” is a command so worry is a sin!

What does this mean in your life? You might ask yourself if you choose to put your hope and belief in God instead of circumstances. Or; if you really know God why do you keep worrying? Or what areas of your life are you currently worried about that would demonstrate a lack of faith in that area?

How are you going to live in response to this? Depending on the answer above you would come up with something you are going to change or work on.

2. Fact In My Father’s house are many rooms. If that were not so, would I have told you I’m going to prepare a place for you? Jesus is going to prepare a place for me.

What the fact means may be there are lots of rooms in Heaven; enough for everyone who wants to go! Or God is preparing a place just for me! Heaven is a labor of love!

What you might ask yourself from this is “Am I living my life with the expectation of going to Heaven? Am I letting others know they can go too?”

And then decide what you are going to do about the question you just asked yourself.

3. Fact I will come back to take you to be with Me.

What this fact means is God is the initiator! And Jesus will personally deliver you to God. You can be confidant of this because He says so. It also means that earth is not your home and this life is not all there is.

What you might ask yourself from this is “Will I be ready when He comes back? Am I staying in the Word, sharing the Gospel, loving others, worshipping God?”

Then decide what you intend to do, write it down and date it.

4. Fact You know the way to the place I am going.

This fact means God has told us! We have been given the information! We’ve got the Bible. Believers have the Holy Spirit. It also means there is a way! One way!

What you might ask yourself is “DO you know the way?” or “Can I help others know the way?”

And then decide what to do about that!

Fact 5 Thomas said he didn’t know where Jesus was going so how could he know the way?

From this fact you could take that even a disciple might not get it – so what about all those other people sitting in church every Sunday? Or it might be showing you that it’s ok to ask Jesus questions.

You can then ask yourself “Am I alert to people who are in the dark?” or “Am I looking for another way to Heaven?”

And then decide what you are going to do about this.

Fact 6 Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Him.

This means that not all roads lead to Heaven. It also shows Him answering a question – we will get answers when we ask. He answers in His Word, so stay in the Word! Jesus is the guide who will take us there! When we close our eyes on earth we open them looking into His eyes!

You might ask yourself “Am I making myself available to answer people’s questions about how to get to Heaven?” “What questions would I like Jesus to answer?” “Am I asking God to reveal His will?” “Do I go to Jesus first for my answers?” “Am I submitting to His leadership?”

And then decide what you will do about it.

Lastly, but really firstly, pray before you read your Bible. Ask God that the Holy Spirit open the passage to you so that you will understand it and hear God speak to you.

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