Summer Series

Bible 101: Week 5 – Pull Apart

Bible 101: Week 5 – Pull Apart 

Last week we dove into the middle finger, study, nerding out as we looked at the differences in Bible translations, and the exegesis and hermeneutics of the Word. If you missed last weeks post, check it out here. This week we will be digging deep again with a practical tool to help walk you through the analysis of a verse. #livesaltedsummerseries 


MONKEYBREADGive me that cinnimonny-bun goodness

Have you ever had Monkey Bread? It is this glorious, sticky, cinnimonny-bun goodness that you pull apart and devour and feel wonderfully full and cozy afterward. {As long as you don’t eat too much! Then you just feel a little sick.}  While the outer crustier edges are delicious, the warm gooey inward parts are really the best. But, it takes unwinding the twisted, knotted dough to get in there and enjoy those rich little pieces… (haven’t tried it? Check out this recipe to make it for yourself!)

Today, as we dig even deeper into our segment on “study,” we are going to treat Scripture like Monkey Bread – pulling it apart, gazing at it, enjoying the smell and getting it all over our fingers and our face as we get delightfully full on its goodness.

You ready?


Solid Food vs Milk 

Some of you might be wondering why we can’t just listen to someone else teach the Word and call it good.  Why can’t we just listen to a great pastor or teacher who breaks it down for us? While that is of great help to our spiritual growth, if we always depend on someone else digesting the Word of God for us and feeding it to us like a mama bird would, we will miss out on allowing our own spiritual organs to “grow up” and learn how to function with solid food!  When Paul went to speak to the Berean church in Acts 17, it says this: “Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.”  This bunch of people were said to be noble because they did their homework! Curious skepticism is a good thing! They didn’t just take Paul’s word for the things he spoke about Jesus, but rather studied daily to confirm what he said was true.

skeptismleadstomaturity

Skepticism unchecked leads to doubt. Doubt left unanswered leads to atrophy of faith. But a healthy skeptic who does her homework becomes wise.

Let’s be wise women who go to the Word ourselves, who take our skepticism to God and say, “You are big enough to handle my questions and my doubt and my mess. So show me. Grow my faith. Give me enough bridge to stand on to jump the rest of the way.”

Hear a good sermon? Look up the Scripture afterward.

Something you disagree with? Look that up too!

I had a friend in college whose professor taught that Jesus never claimed He was God! Oops. An entire group of students emerged from that class taking his word for it {probably what this professor did at some point as well without ever checking his facts!} But my friend allowed her skepticism to propel her into the Word of God to answer her doubts! Fifteen years later, she continues to be a constant learner who wrestles with God and is full of wisdom and strength as a mama of four and a wife to a man of deep character. And that could be you too !{the woman of wisdom and strength part; the rest is not so much promised nor perhaps desired. Four kids is a lot. ;)} If you have the eagerness to learn the scripture and be filled with knowledge- it will happen! But not just so that you can know, but so that you can be known.

The point of this whole wisdom and knowledge thing is to know the One who is at its source!

Look at Paul and his prayer to the people in Ephesus. Pray this same prayer over yourself:

 “I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength” Ephesians 1:15-19

Do you see those little words “so that” in the first sentence? They point to the whole point of this whole series… of this whole life. We search the Scriptures not just to gain wisdom but to know JESUS. He is the one who will fill you and sustain you.
And THAT is why I want to encourage you to continue getting into the Word every day. Not to check a check box and feel like a good Christian. But to know the the living God.  If you need to, put a heart on your Challenge Sheet and make sure THAT gets checked off above all the others.

You Don’t Need to Read for Hours

Reading the Bible is not about the amount of time you spend reading (quantity), it is about the depth of understanding you take away (quality).

You don’t need to read for distance, but for that moment when a verse or phrase pulls you up short, hits your heart, and you have to stop to think about it.

Consider going shopping in a beautiful boutique, or maybe your fave thrift store… you are browsing, browsing, touching each dress or item of clothing and suddenly something grabs your eye, or the feel of a silky blouse makes your hand linger and invites you to touch it just a bit longer….meditateverse

THAT’S where you stop.

You highlight the verse, write it in your journal, and sit with it.

You could turn over that same verse all day long and be obeying God in His command to “meditate day and night on His Word.” You don’t need to have your Bible open for it to be able to do miracles in your life! Remember, the first believers didn’t even have a written Bible; in fact for centuries, our brothers and sisters in the faith had to engage God without a highlighter in hand, which is why the Holy Spirit’s promise to write God’s word on our heart is so enlivening and hope-filled! {That said, let’s not take the privilege of a Bible in our hands for granted!}

End of rant.

So, once a verse has grabbed you, you’ll want to turn it over in your hand and inspect it. There are many ways to do this {check out some of our other posts in the Bible 101 series to see}, and this week we will be going into a tool that is embodied in the acronym SPACEPETS. It’s a tool that helps you to “pull apart” verses to see the greater meaning and the purpose God might have in them for you. Remember, God wants to speak to you!

In fact, He wants to speak to you even more than you want Him to speak to you. The question is if you are listening…


Let’s Do This Together: Weekly Activity

week5

I really want you ladies to get into a habit when it comes to your daily time with Jesus.  My prayer is that you find a routine that works for you- one that makes you excited to get up in the morning, or stay up a little later at night to dig into the Scripture and unpack all that the Lord has for you. Here is a routine that you may want to implement into your own life, but once again it is just a skeleton. Try this out today, and then modify from there to make it your own!

1. Get Readycoffeedatetea

Grab your journal and pen {maybe a coffee or tea as well; I personally love popcorn}, find a place to sit down for a period of time, and get your mind ready to practice “active listening.”

2. Pray

Ask the Lord to be with you and help you along in the Scripture. Pray for Him to guide your thoughts and the nudges he wants the Holy Spirit to impress on your heart, soul, and mind during your time with him. Try out this prayer to get you started:

“God, as I open your Word, teach me! Talk to me! Bring to mind the things you want to show me in my life, and help me to understand more of who you are and how you want a deeper relationship with me. I trust that what may just seem like my thoughts can actually be shaped by the whispers of your Holy Spirit in me. Thank you God for what you are about to do!”

3. Choose a Passage

Choose a section of text that you want to go through. This could be the next weekly reading if you are doing a Bible plan; it could be a verse that you wanted to follow up with from a sermon you heard last week; or it could be a verse that was impressed on your heart. It can literally be anything 🙂 For this week, we will be looking at a beautiful bit of Scripture in Philippians 4:6-7. Want to listen to it as well? You can here!

Philipians4-67Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.. Philippians 4:6-7 {ESV}

4. Choose a Tool

There are so many tools utilize to dig into the Word. We hit  SOAP in Week 1, and Comparing Translations was a simple method for gaining understanding {that we will layer into today’s study as well}.  I want to add one more to your tool belt. I came across Andy Deane years ago; his book offers 40 practical ways to study the bible and is an awesome resource for yourself or if you want to lead a study with friends. {Consider it a book of 40 date ideas with Jesus to keep things fresh!} For this week we are going to focus on one tool that I love. It is a little acrostic called SPACEPETS.  Weird? Yes. But SO helpful! 


SPACEPETS: The Rundown 

Spacepets

This is just the overview for now on what the letters of SPACEPETS stands for. We are going to apply it and practice it in step 7!

SPACEPETS

SPACEPETS

Sin to confess? Do I need to make any restitution?

Promise to claim? Is it a universal promise? Have I met the condition(s)?

Attitude to change? Am I willing to work on a negative attitude and begin building toward a positive one?

Command to obey? Am I willing to do it no matter how I feel?

Example to follow? Is it a positive example for me to copy or a negative one to avoid?

Prayer to pray? Is there anything I need to pray back to God?

Error to avoid? Is there any problem that I should be alert to, or beware of?

Truth to believe? What new things can I learn about God the Father, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, or the other biblical teachings?

Something to praise God for? Is there something here I can be thankful for?


5. Compare Translations

Comparing translations is a great way to make sure you get the overall idea of the text and gain clarity as you dive deeper in a particular passage. This week we are going to look at Philippians 4:6-7 in the Voice, Message, and Phillips Translation, but you are free to choose whatever versions you would like! Look for similarities and differences, and how they impact you differently. 

  • The Voice: “Don’t be anxious about things; instead, pray. Pray about everything. He longs to hear your requests, so talk to God about your needs and be thankful for what has come.  And know that the peace of God (a peace that is beyond any and all of our human understanding) will stand watch over your hearts and minds in Jesus, the Anointed One.”
  • The Message: “Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.”
  • Phillips: “Don’t worry over anything whatever; tell God every detail of your needs in earnest and thankful prayer, and the peace of God which transcends human understanding, will keep constant guard over your hearts and minds as they rest in Christ Jesus.”

6. Get in the Know

Often times you will encounter words you do not fully understand, or just want more context for the verse you are reading. Recognize this, and then do something about it 🙂 Look up the difficult words in a dictionary to get more info and/or read the surrounding verses to familiarize yourself with the story or context in the Bible. For instance, in Philippians 4:

  • Petition: a formal written request, typically one signed by many people, appealing to authority with respect to a particular cause.
  • Transcend: be or go beyond the range or limits of (something abstract, typically a conceptual field or division).
  • Supplication: the action of asking or begging for something earnestly or humbly

7. Apply Tool (SPACEPETS this week)IMG_3035

It’s time to use those tools we have learned for what they are meant for! Grab your journal and write each letter down the left hand side as you move through the questions. It might look something like the photo on the right-> If you would like a printable form of this, check it out here

Each of the letters represents a question to be asked of the Scripture. There won’t always be an answer to each letter in the Scripture you study on a given day, but the questions will act to “filet” the word… and “filet” you as well. Do not be surprised if the verses you are studying begin to go to work on you! Sometimes this can get super uncomfortable, but trust that God is a great physician, and that surgery is potentially painful, but the outcome is health and renewal and more life!

8. Give Thanks

Once you have pulled apart the verse and gone through the questions, thank God for what He revealed to you! If there was any action that came about {someone to confess to, to express appreciation to, to encourage, or some action to take place} put it in your calendar or on your to do list, and do it! Tell a friend or family member to keep you accountable as well. We must put into practice what we learn and digest. 

9. Take it with you

Now take that verse and keep it with you. Put it somewhere today where you will see it. I suggest having a few index cards or sticky notes on hand whenever you do a study so that verse can “stick” with you throughout your day – on your dashboard, your mirror, the back of your phone. Make it your screen saver for the day! SheReadsTruth is a beautiful ministry that offers bible studies and the most lovely screen locks as well as some awesome designs found on Pinterest. The more you see the verse, the more you will be reminded of it and its presence in your life!


Week RecapWholehadmetaphor

This week we learned how to look at the Bible as a multi-layered cinnimony-goodness dessert, and how to enjoy every process of that- from the crunchy  exterior to soft insides. I introduced you ladies to the concept of SPACEPETS to help deepen your understanding of a particular verse, as well as provided a outline that might work for a morning routine with Jesus. Like last week, we are in the middle finger of the “Whole Hand Metaphor” of studying, and next week we will be here as well! Keep it up ladies, we are praying this time has been fruitful for you!

week5


Until Next Time

I am so thankful to be journeying together with you. Remember, God loves you. He is with you. He doesn’t need you to spend an hour a day in His Word for you to be pleasing to Him.

He delights in you.  Just as you are.

But I trust that you are here because you want to delight in Him. You want to know this invisible God revealed in Jesus more intimately, and you are willing to give precious minutes and even hours to let your soul be romanced by Him. It’s worth it. I promise you. Keep it up.

We want to hear about how the #livesaltedsummerseries has been affecting you! Let us know below in the comments 🙂 We are praying for you constantly!

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