Sunday, February 21, 2010

How Can I Be Filled with God's Word?

Since being filled with the Spirit is a result of being filled with God’s Word, followers of Christ ought to characterized by being Biblically-Oriented.  Here are some things that have helped me personally:
  1. Have a Bible reading plan.  I’m not a big fan of “read through the Bible in one year” (though I’ve done it a few times) because of the pressure it puts on me, but I always do better with a set plan.  Currently, I am using a one year plan that I’m stretching out over 2.5-3 years; this leaves me time to study other things.  Here are some suggested reading plans from Andy Perry and Justin Taylor.
  2. Along with my regular reading plan, I’ve recently started my daily “quiet times” by reading one Psalm.  This has helped put me in a worshipful state of mind, before, for example, reading the book of Job or Paul’s letter to the Romans.
  3. Read non-fiction books.  I read some fiction, but >90% of what I read is non-fiction.  Our minds need to be stimulated, challenged, and stretched. 
  4. Keep a journal.  If this is new, don’t overdo it.  When I started, it was just very simple observations about what I was reading.  Then, I learned 3 key parts: Observation (What does it say?), Interpretation (What does it mean? -- Hint: you'll need some good commentaries and Bible study tools), and Application (What does it mean for my life?).  Observation and Application are (I think) they two most important steps, but most passages need the middle step of Interpretation, so that you don't take the Scripture out of context.
  5. Know what your children are learning in their Small Groups, and be proactive in teaching them the same Bible lessons and principles.  You can see the curricula outlines for Camp Grace (Elementary) and Preschool on our website.
  6. Especially helpful with elementary-age children, you can try our ROAD Bible-study plan. Be attentive to tailor this to your child’s capabilities.  Younger children may just need to draw pictures of what they read and apply.  Then, they could write out their observations and applications.  For our 3rd grader, we are thinking that this summer will be a time where we try to transition her to needing less guidance from me when she does her ROAD Map.
  7. With Elijah (our 6-year old), we have started having him, one day a week, draw a picture of what his Bible lesson is about.  Over the next few months, we want to help him learn to come up with an application of what he learned about, too.
  8. Read through a Gospel account with your children, even just 4-8 verses at a time.  We’ve been reading through the Gospel of Matthew this year.  Again, don’t overdo it.  Take time to talk about what you read.  Let them hear your thoughts and questions and feelings.  That will have as big an impact as anything else for them.
  9. Check out Grace Church's resources and teaching on being Biblically-Oriented.  You'll find lots of great tools there.

    -- Joey Espinosa

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