In 2006 I took my first Precept Bible Study course (www.precept.org). Our leader, my friend Sarae, told us that if we didn’t hunger for the Word that we should ask God and He was able to help us desire His Word and want to study it. Well, I didn’t have the hunger, but I knew I should, so I asked, and guess what? He gave me a love for His Word and studying it!
I have had the honor of being trained to facilitate Precept courses, and have been a student in many courses too. Precept uses the inductive study method to study the Bible. This method has helped me countless times in digging into God’s Word.
The key components are observation, interpretation and application. Within the observation elements there are many tools: 5 W’s and an H, key words, context, marking, listing, compare/contrast, etc. Listing and comparing/contrasting are two of my favorite ways to study. There are both simple ways to keep track of what you are learning about Jesus and also about particular topics.
Take Psalm 103 for example. Read verses 1-5.
1 Praise the Lord, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
2 Praise the Lord, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
3 who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
5 who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
Now make a list of what you are to do (on one side) and what God does (on the other).
I use a star to show when something is being repeated.
What I am to do:
Praise the LORD* (vs. 1, 2)
Praise His holy name (vs. 1)
Forget not all His benefits (vs. 2)
What God does:
Redeems your life from the pit (vs. 4)
Heals all your diseases (vs. 3)
Forgives all your sins (vs. 3)
Crowns you w/ love & compassion (vs. 4)
Satisfies your desires w/ good things (vs. 5)
This is a simple exercise, but it helps you organize your thoughts, dig deeper into the text, and helps you better understand truth.
Now, turn this list into a prayer.
Thank You God for who You are, for what You do, for Your great and powerful acts. I praise Your Name. Thank You for forgiving my sins, past, present, and future. Thank You for healing and restoring me to real life in You. Thank You for saving me, for blessing me, for loving me; unconditionally. Amen.
Try using this tool as you study God’s Word and let me know how it goes.