Learn with us!
This is an expansion of the learning model on the front page of the blog for greater explanation…the blog posts will try to guide us through this model as we interact with the sermons and in our personal study of God’s Word. Bear with me because this is not a 30-second “3 steps to the knowledge of God” tutorial, but I think you will see the logic here. Unfortunately, we may often only do the first step in our personal Bible reading so hopefully this serves as a model and an encouragement to seek greater benefit from studying God’s Word.
The steps are successive- each one builds upon the previous.
See it clearly
- What does it say?
- See what is in the text well.
- Don’t miss anything important.
- You may need to read it a few times.
Get it truly
- What does it mean?
- Understand accurately what is presented in the text.
- This will take getting some context and thinking hard about what is said.
- Sometimes you will need to use a Bible dictionary or a concordance and you will want to use the cross-references if you have a reference Bible.
- The meaning will be consistent with the whole redemptive storyline of the Bible so the more of the Bible you are familiar with the easier it will be to accurately understand any other part.
Value it appropriately
- So what?
- Consider how the message is valuable today in our day and age and in our context.
- You can call this the “implications” of the meaning.
- This may take thinking through various ways that the message relates to life in general.
- The message is beginning to be internalized here.
Feel it fully
- How does this relate to me? How do I respond to God here?
- This step takes the general implication(s) and gets personal with actual significance in my life.
- This takes prayer and meditation and reflecting upon our motives and emotions and attitudes and it requires humility and a dependence upon God to do a work in us. I believe that without the work of the Holy Spirit here there will be no impact to our thinking or our doing.
- This is the hardest step and without it we may get puffed up with knowledge but we will have no transformation.
- The result of my wrestling with God over my heart here will fuel the next step.
Do it joyfully
- How do I react?
- Now the rubber meets the road with action.
- If we really felt the full impact of the value of the message, then this step will begin to happen “with joy”.
- Finishing the job and following through for the long haul, however, will require much prayer and humility.
- This is the step that we observe to be missing often but the reason is mostly that we skipped most of the steps above and expect somehow to apply a message that we
- 1. Don’t really understand well
- 2. Don’t value appropriately
- 3. Don’t feel the impact of in our soul.
Share it compassionately
- How do I share this?
- When we are applying God’s Word this step becomes more natural.
- This is where we can show that Christ is our treasure and we can share the truth in love with others.
- This is where our vertical relationship with God effectively turns horizontal and we love others well.
This model is adapted from Appendix One of Think: The Life of the Mind and the Love of God, by John Piper. Hardcover published in 2010 and Paperback in 2011 by Crossway Books (Wheaton, Illinois).