Practicing Basic Spiritual Disciplines
Focus on the Foundational Principals of Christian Living
Charles F. Stanley
Week 4-A Personal Study of the Scriptures
We are in our 4th week of this Bible Study. This week, Dr Stanley helps us see where the Bible fits into what he has taught us thus far.
A person must know God’s word if he/she is to develop the mind of Christ, move into obedience to God’s commandments, and become more conformed to Christ. While it is possible to learn what the Bible says by listening to others tell us what they have read or by reading books about the Bible, there is no replacement for opening God’s word and reading the Bible for oneself. This is an investment of your time and energy that promises to pay a huge return. The Bible is our tangible connection to our creator. It contains all of the promises that our Heavenly Father has made to us and gives us instruction on how to live. It tells the story of God’s love for us, His children.
Your study of God’s word must be:
· Personal – ask “How does this apply to me”
· Daily – we feed our bodies at least once a day and (hopefully) bathe once a day...our souls need to be fed and cleansed daily as well
· Understandable – get a Bible translation that you can easily understand
· Prayerful – always ask God to clear your mind and your heart before starting your Bible study and then ask Him to help you understand what you read
The more you read your Bible, the greater will be your understanding of God’s commandments and goals for your life. You will see more clearly how the Lord wants you to live. Specifically, you are going to gain a new or deeper understanding about the call of God on your life in these 4 areas:
· A Godly Life – the more you read your Bible, the more you are going to come face to face with real, practical changes God wants you to make in the way you think, act, and speak. Ephesians 4:25-29 and 31-32
· Eternal Purpose- the more you read your Bible, the more you will gain an eternal perspective and grow in your understanding that only those things linked to Christ truly last. Ephesians 5:17
· A Role in God’s Plan- The more you read your Bible, the more you are going to gain a vision for God’s greater purposes and plans for mankind. Matthew 28:19-20
· Victory over Satan- The more you read your Bible, the more you learn how to have victory over sin and over the enemy of our souls. Matthew 4:1-11
Resources for Bible Study…
zondervan.com Offers several different plans including plans based on Bible knowledge (beginner, intermediate, and advanced)
intothyword.org Offers a chronological reading plan as well as a historical reading plan
bibleplan.org offers 13 different reading plans.
You can Google something like “printable Bible reading plans” or “Bible study plans” or “Read the Bible in a year” and come up with MANY options!
biblegateway.com offers many translations, passage look up, topic look up, and commentaries
Create in me a hunger and a thirst for Your word. Forgive me for the times that I have put off reading my Bible for things that feel more pressing or that I feel are more entertaining. Lord, I do want to know You more deeply and more intimately and I know that one way to do this is by studying scripture. Help me Lord to make this a priority so that my soul is well nourished and scrubbed clean each day. Reveal Yourself to me Lord and help me to understand what I read so that I can apply it to my life. Use Your word to mold me into the person You created me to be and, as I seek Your will for my life, let others see more and more of You in me.