Dayspring Baptist Church ©   2014

Dayspring Baptist Church

Maumelle, Arkansas

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How Do I Make the Bible A Familiar Friend? - Expanded Version

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Maximize church activities connected with the Bible
Techniques for private Bible study
Choose Bible study helps carefully.

Maximize church activities connected with the Bible
Mentally engage during the sermon, lesson, singing or discussion. This is more than just paying attention. Explore the thought, evaluate the statements made. The leader will move on, so write notes for review later.

People can make mistakes. God does not. The Bible is God's word. Use what is taught at church but always check to see if it matches the Bible.

If possible, study the subject beforehand. The Bible is not something you can learn by "just showing up for class." Additionally, you will dishearten your teacher if you have not studied the material before class. Be an encourager!

Connect with God from your heart. Ask God to help you understand His word and make personal life applications.

"Open my eyes, that I may see Glimpses of truth Thou hast for me;
Place in my hands the wonderful key That shall unclasp and set me free:
Silently now I wait for Thee, Ready, my God, Thy will to see;
Open my eyes, illumine me, Spirit divine!

Open my ears, that I may hear Voices of truth Thou sendest clear;
And while the wave-notes fall on my ear, Everything false will disappear:
Silently now I wait for Thee, Ready, my God, Thy will to see;
Open my eyes, illumine me, Spirit divine!

Open my mouth, and let me bear Gladly the warm truth everywhere;
Open my heart, and let me prepare Love with Thy children, thus to share:
Silently now I wait for Thee, Ready, my God, Thy will to see;
Open my eyes, illumine me, Spirit divine!"
words and music by Clara H. Scott, 1841-1897

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Techniques for private Bible study
A good place to start regular Bible study is by seeking information on subjects of immediate interest or personal curiosity. If something catches your attention then make that the subject you study.

A Topical Bible can help you find the verses that cover your subject. Make notes, and organize them by topic or by scripture text.

There is nothing wrong with reading the Bible for pleasure. If you enjoy reading adventure stories, love stories, history, poetry or literature, then read the Bible.

Commit to a comprehensive study of the Bible. Every part of the Bible is God's word and it should all be studied.

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Choose Bible study helps carefully
Use the cross references in your Bible. Many verses contain similar thoughts or the same word or phrase. A cross reference directs you to related verses. You can even add your own cross references.

Most Bibles have an abbreviated concordance. A concordance is like an index in that it lists the places in the Bible where a word is found.

If you can buy only one study help, buy a good English dictionary. How would this help? The basic rule of Bible interpretation is to know the definition of the words.

Additional study helps
Purchase a complete concordance that matches your Bible translation. A complete concordance is an exhaustive index of the Bible. In addition, the literal meaning of the original word or words is provided. You can look up the original word and see the other ways it was translated.

A topical Bible is another good choice. A topical Bible lists scripture references for a topic, or subject. Some will give only the scripture references for each topic. The best kind prints the verse in addition to the scripture reference. It may be called topical concordance or Bible themes.

Understanding the historical and cultural context of the Bible can be difficult without help. A Bible dictionary or encyclopedia can be helpful. It has biographical, geographical and historical information. It has theological topics also. Be careful when reading it. Compare it with the Bible's teachings.

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