One of the easiest ways to dig deeper into God’s Word is to follow along with what is being taught at your church, either from the pulpit (if your pastor preaches/teaches through a book of the Bible in an expository fashion) or by means of an adult Sunday school class where you are part of a group that together explores a book of the Bible guided by a knowledgeable and (hopefully) gifted teacher.
As an example, at my church we are currently going through the Old Testament book of Nehemiah on Sunday mornings. What I do as part of my study time on Thursday or Friday is read through the section (usually an entire chapter) that will be taught that coming Sunday and then try to get a better big picture understanding of the text with the help of a concise commentary. (A good one-volume commentary gives me a “sneak peek” at a section of Scripture in preparation for more in-depth teaching or study.) Come Sunday morning, I already have a “Nehemiah mindset” with a foundational grasp of the text being covered, so I can listen more closely for new insight and understanding to apply to my life. To drive the teaching home, I will then spend some of my study time on Monday or Tuesday going through a more detailed commentary and/or completing a section of a study guide from my Bible software on the material covered the Sunday before. Of course, later in the week, I start this simple, but effective three-step study process over again on the next section of Scripture.
If your church, like mine, has a Small Groups Ministry, where people meet in different homes during the week to discuss the teaching of the previous Sunday, I’d encourage you to get engaged on that level, as well. It will help you both better understand and apply the vital “what it means” component of how that section of God’s Word relates to your life, where you are at physically, emotionally, relationally and spiritually today. Ideally, you should leave each gathering of your Small Group, (we call them “Life Groups” at my church), not just with a better understanding of God’s Word generally or theoretically, but an action plan of Biblical direction that you can put into practice specifically and practically. (This, after all, is the purpose of any Bible study.)
If you are serious about God, His Word and His Son, in addition to spending time studying the Bible on your own, I strongly encourage you to make it a priority to get to a solid Bible teaching church regularly for the weekly weekend teaching/worship service, as well as during the week as opportunities to learn and serve present themselves. You will be amazed at the impact it has on your spiritual growth.
[Blog Author’s Note: As a Christian with Adult ADD, I often find myself jumping into projects that I am passionate about with both feet. Okay, it’s more like doing a cannonball into the deep end of a pool. Anyway, I can also “burn out” and/or get distracted from those projects onto something else pretty easily, with the best of intentions to “be right back.” Simply put, that’s what happened in my ignoring this blog for too long, for which I apologize. That said, my passion for studying God’s Word remains strong, as does my desire to equip and encourage others to do likewise, so with a renewed commitment, especially in the area of “pacing myself,” we press on. Thanks for your understanding and grace.]
[Blog Author’s Note, Part 2: One of my recent “distractions,” which hopefully will remind people of the importance and impact of gathering together as a family of believers, is a simple one-page web site I created at OccupyChurch.org, to take advantage of the “occupy” mentality being fueled by the media, but in a more positive, spiritually-focused way. Check it out and feel free to share it, all to help build a stronger, healthier body of Christ that will impact our world in a more powerful, lasting, Godly way.]