Encouraging God’s People to Study the Bible Better!
Welcome to the March edition of the Bible-Student-Online.org e-zine, The Encourager.
We would like to pose a question this month...
What do you do to keep on track with your Bible study time?
We'd love your imput on this. The easiest way to post your answer would be to go to the discussion tab of our fan page on Facebook. We'll have that topic question posted there. You'll find a link to our fan page at the bottom of this issue.
But for now we'll deal with that topic in this issue and post the results of your imput in next month's issue.
...without further ado...
Here are some of the useful little tidbits we’re offering for this Christmas…
1. Tip of the Month – Supercharge your Bible study time with these great ideas.
2. Starters of the Month – Can’t find anything to study? Look here for “starter” ideas.
3. Study of the Month – We’ve posed a question that we would like you to answer by making a thorough study of the Bible. Feel free to use resources. But the applications need to be your own.
4. What’s New? – We have several projects going (and are we busy!) Find out the "new news" here at Bible-Student-Online.org!
Alright…let’s get to it!
Bible Study Tip of the Month
Staying on Track
William J. Brown
Because I do a lot of writing, I frequent the cyberspace haunts of professional writers. In many discussions that take place in those forums, I find one very glaring problem that pops up, more often than not, regarding writing...
The answers I find each time a struggling writer asks a question like "What do I have to do to get my writing done?" remain consistent. Seasoned veterans of the writing world always give the same answer...
"Sit your back-side in that chair and write!" (This is a sanitized version of that advice, by the way.)
What works with writing works with other endevors as well. But this advice translates particularly well to Bible study. If you want to remain consistent in your study time with God...
Sit down and study, and don't get up until you're done!
We have so much clamouring for our attention...brew the coffee, feed the dog, do the dishes, fix the leaky faucet...and the list goes on. Those tasks scream for our immediate and undivided attention. And rightly so. They must get done.
But we need to find a time in our life when we shut out all the noise of the outside world and concentrate on God and His message to us. He's too important to neglect. And His Word is too valuable to ignore.
So here are three helpful hints to keep you firmly attached to your study chair (outside of using super glue on the seat cusion that is)...
1. Find time away from all distractions. - I try to get my study time done early in the morning, before I go to work. The house is quiet, and I can concentrate on what God is saying.
I try to get up early enough so I can accomplish a few small tasks too. That way, I feel like I've already accomplished something. So I make the coffee (that's for my wife, not me!), quickly check email and make sure my goals for the day are set.
But I do have one caveat...
Don't get side-tracked with chores. I make sure those things I do are very small tasks. I don't waste any more than ten minutes on them. But the psychological impact pays dividends for me. I feel like I've already accomplished something for that morning which puts my mind at ease.
After that, it's time for Bible study. No excuses please!
If you aren't a morning person, then find a time that fits you. But once you sit down, don't let anyone or anything hinder you from finding God's truth!
2. Choose a comfortable place. - I can't stress this enough. Don't do something just because someone else does it. Some people can read their Bibles while kneeling on the floor. I can't do that! The screaming in my knees would drown out God's voice!
The point is, some people may be able to pull that off. Most of us would probably find such a position distracting. That's why I always say...
Find a comfortable place to study! It doesn't make you any more spiritual to take up an uncomfortable position when finding guidance in God's Word. So make sure the place you choose to listen to His still small voice facilitates the kind of person you are.
I study at a table. I know some people do better sitting on the couch. Some even flop out on the floor. Whatever you choose, make sure that place allows you to concentrate on what's important.
3. Pray! Pray! Pray! - Before you begin, ask God to help you concentrate and understand what He has for you. I know for a fact I won't get anything out of study time if I do it in my own strength. Chances are, if you're human, you have the same problem. Ask God to quiet your heart and open your mind to the message He has for you.
Besides this, prayer also gets you into a more restful mood. Studies have shown that people who pray have less stress than the average non-pray-er. Prayer will get you into a mindset more conducive to hearing God's voice which translates into keeping you glued to your chair longer.
The point of all this?...
Keep your back-side in that chair and study! That's the least we can do for the God of the universe!
That's it for this month. I hope this was a help. We'll have more next month.
Keep up the good work. And...
Keep the faith!
Bible Study Starters of the Month
Here are a couple ideas to jump-start your brain for your personal Bible study…
1. Focus on what God has done for you in the past two months. Find verses that remind you of the good things God has done for you. Then claim those verses and memorize them as His promises to you.
2. Read the book of Jonah. Answer these questions...
What did God ask Jonah to do?
What mistakes did he make?
What happened to him in the belly of the great fish?
Why do you think the book ends so abruptly?
Bible Study Project of the Month
Put on your thinking caps this month...
Much has been said concerning the passing on of a godly heritage to succeeding generations. Why does this seem like such an important aspect of the Christian faith? We could probably come up with great philosophical answers. But let's take it from a different angle.
Find all the instances in God's Word that speak of passing on a godly heritage to coming generations. You may want to start in the Old Testament. God had a lot of great advice for the Israelites that still applies today. Joshua 24:15 is a good place to start.
Answer these questions...
What are three passages that you found regarding passing on a godly heritage?
Who was involve in each of these instances?
What kind of advice was given?
How does this translate to your life?
And of course...
Contact us through our “Contact Page”, and tell us what you found. We're interested to hear what your studies turn up!
We've been thrilled with the number of people coming to the site the last few months. Week by week the numbers grow. But we'd like to see them reach even higher.
So invite your friends to Bible-Student-Online.org. The more, the merrier!
If you have a Facebook account, don't forget to join our fan page there. We have several links to our site. And we also post new content there every week.
Here's the link if you're interested. We'd love to have you!
As always, thanks a lot for all your prayers. We love you all. And we hope God continues to bless you.
That about wraps it up for this month. We hope you enjoyed this e-zine provided by Bible-Student-Online.org.