Updated: Jan 3
For a long time, I have desired to create a simple, practical method of interacting with the scripture for my personal study time with the Lord. I’ve always thought there has to be a way of progressing through a passage of scripture to encourage both rich textual insights and rich application of the biblical text.
This guide walks through four areas for reflection.
The first is a place to capture any observations or insights from your reading. Simply enough. Yet, I found just allowing a dedicated space to write out those thoughts was incredibly helpful.
The second area focuses on two verbal moods, indicatives and imperatives. This was primarily influenced by my focus in the area of Biblical Counseling. Imperatives are verbal commands, and Indicatives are verbal motivations. The scripture is filled with these two types of verbs, especially the epistles. In other words, God doesn’t just give us rules to obey but motivations to carry out those commands. Often the indicatives are given before the imperative. Here is a short article on the matter (Article Link). Granted, there are more verbal moods than these two, and to be clear, I’m no biblical language scholar. However, I found that slowing down to consider the type of verbal mood gave rise to rich consideration of the scripture.
#3 Gospel Focus
The third area focuses on Christ and His gospel. The purpose of this section is not to flatten the scripture passage to the degree that it avoids the context or meaning of the passage at hand (see Sermon Link). However, the purpose of this section is to consider the truths of Christ and His gospel as it relates to this passage. In this way, the aim here is to fix our minds on the things of Christ and life in Him (Col 3:1-4). Further, my desire is for this section to drive me to my glorious savior. Oh, how desperately I need Him and to be reminded of the good news I have in Him, of the union my soul desires in Him, and the longing of my heart to be with Him for all eternity!
#4 Take Aways
The final section presses toward thoughtful and personal application. Each question is anchored in an attribute of the Lord, albeit His kindness, grace, mercy, or Holiness. Further, each question causes my heart and mind to search deeply within and consider my walk before the Lord. Like a prism, these statements probe my soul and expose darkness within me. What are the things I know of myself that I need to repent of? God, help me recall areas of my life that need to change, that I may not even recognize within myself. God, help me to rid myself of habits that only hinder my growth in godliness. They are only weighing me down! Oh Lord, help me to live differently! I was amazed at how helpful these four questions searched my heart.
Here is the simple template and an example of its use. I pray this template will be a helpful resource for you. Honestly, I was surprised at how beneficial this simple resource was for me. Ignore the chicken scratch and certainly any typos. I spent about 15-20 minutes with an open bible, a pen, and this resource to produce the following.
I've included below a PDF version of this resource for your use.
Also, I’d love to hear your feedback from using this resource. Was it helpful for you?