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Hopefully the name of this blog speaks for itself. I envision it being one of humor, exhortation, random musings, theological discussion, sports, and things that impact my life and could bless yours. Sometimes it might be a verse or a funny story, a sports score that has me up in arms or a profound truth that has hit me. I pray you find your visit here blessing your heart.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

How Do You Study the Word?

At the start of the year, I always try and find a new Bible reading plan.  This year, I looked back through some blog entries from John MacArthur on his Grace To You website about different ideas/plans to use and I think I have a good idea about the plan I will be using this year.  It's going to take me longer than a year to do it but I am excited about the charted course I'll follow in and of itself.

I will be reading the sections of the NT beginning with 1 John repetitively for 30 days.  At the end of 30 days reading 1 John, I will move on to the Gospel of John: Chapters 1-7 for 30 days, chapters 8-14 - 30 days and then 15-21 for 30 days.  As I read the chapters, I will make notes as to predominant themes of the chapter as well as things I may not understand fully or want to do further study on.  However, my plan is to rely on reading thoughtfully and thoroughly and diligently each day to try and glean the truths within the book without using a lot of extra sources.  MacArthur suggests that when reading the same passage through day after day, though it will get boring, push through and realize your mind will be taking mental snapshots of God's Word that will linger on in your mind.  You will begin to remember where certain verses are on the page as you mentally visualize God's Word after taking 30 mental pictures during the month.  He also suggested that you use the same Bible (though I know you probably have several on your shelf) at each reading so that the consistency helps you become familiar with the Scripture layout.  Makes a lot of sense to me.

I also will be reading the OT through from Genesis through at least Proverbs.  I began a few years ago reading through The Message and putting a bunch of study notes in the margins and summarizing each page with a short description at the top.  I know The Message is only a paraphrase and there are better, more exact translations, but I also know there are probably more people who will read and understand The Message than say the King James Version.  My goal is to have a bible written in today's English with detailed, theologically correct notes so that the average person may pick up this book, read it easily and have tons of study notes "filling in the gaps" they may have.  I am doing this for the sake of one or a family or a community who, once I am gone and my Bibles and books have been sold in an estate sale or given to goodwill, may run across this book and be encouraged.  They will read and understand about God of the Israelites and how He loved them in spite of themselves and Christ the Savior and King of Kings who came to save His children from themselves.  I want them to read and understand about the covenants and the sacrifice, the pain and the glory, the everyday events that were changed by spectacular miracles and the love of God who gave up His son.  I want this to be an investment in the next generation of believers who will come after me, whoever they may be...  my neighbors, my children, my grandchildren....

... or yours.

I know that there are so many plans out there but I am curious as to what you all use to guide your daily study.  Anybody have one they really like?

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