Bible with Gems in Treasure ChestI read a passage recently and as I read it, I thought “Oh, that might be a good passage to preach at mom’s nursing home on Sunday.” What followed was a particularly busy and hectic week. When Friday evening came around I was worn out and hadn’t started my sermon for Sunday. I knew I had some ideas rolling around in the back of my head, but I hadn’t prayed about it as diligently as I typically would nor had I made any notes or settled on a topic or passage. I knew Saturday was set aside to celebrate our anniversary so I had begun to think that I might read over one or two of the passages that were possibilities and simply preach extemporaneously. That is much less than my normal preparation, but I’ve learned that God extends grace when we are faithful. I had been faithful the previous week to do the unexpected things He’d thrown my way, so I would trust Him to bring a message on Sunday that would meet the needs of the nursing home congregation.

After a short rest, I knew I wanted to decide on a direction for Sunday’s sermon, even if I wasn’t going to do the study I typically do. I returned to the passage that had caught my eye earlier in the week – 2 Corinthians 1. I reread it, and was satisfied that I could preach from it without any notes if necessary. But that’s not my pattern, so I thought I’d make just a few notes in case I was a bit foggy brained when it came time to preach.

I copied the text into my word processing software and I began to make a few notes after each verse. And that’s when the passage came alive to me. I was so blessed to find gems buried just below the surface. They were just waiting for me to spend a little time digging. It didn’t take hours of research and umpteen resources. Just a Bible and a pen and paper – or the modern day equivalent – I use QuickVerse and/or Wordsearch on my computer and Microsoft Word.

So I was again reminded that even a little effort – working through a passage verse by verse and actually making some notes instead of just reading a verse and then moving on to the next – gives the Holy Spirit the opportunity to take us to a deeper level in understanding, receiving and applying God’s Word to our lives. In a short period of time, God had not only assured me that the passage was the perfect passage for Sunday’s message, it was also a message that so many of us need to hear regularly. It was a message to me. And I believe a message for you. I’ll share that message in a few days, but the first message is…

Study your Bible. Just take a passage that piques your interest as you read and begin to write your thoughts about it. Verse by verse. What does it say? What does it mean? Here’s a quick approach to study any passage:

  • Read over the whole passage. A passage might be anything from 1 to 15 verses – there’s no “rule” about it – just a chunk of Scripture that can be digested at one time.
  • If you have more time, read the material before and after the passage to be sure you are reading the passage in context.
  • Now read each verse one by one and make notes about it. Your notes don’t need to be whole sentences. Sometimes it’s just underlining words that grab your attention. Ask questions like:
    • What does the verse say?
    • What does the verse mean?
    • What do the words that grab my attention really mean? (A dictionary is a great companion for studying the Bible, and a Greek-Hebrew dictionary can give you better understanding of the meaning of the word that was translated into English.)
    • How does the verse connect to other verses?
    • Who is doing the talking/writing and who is he talking/writing to?
    • What would your reaction have been if you had been there and heard/read the words?
    • Why has this verse (or this word) caught my attention? What is the application to my life? What is God teaching me?
  • Don’t write non-stop. Pause to hear God’s voice. He may have some comments of His own to add!

Enjoy your Bible! It’s a great place to start a treasure hunt!

One Response to “Enjoying God’s Word – Finding the Treasures”
  1. Bengta says:

    I had to do this all weekend with my one sitesr who “used to be” a Christian, but now is an “atheist”.She likes to make bitter, snide comments at me and about God (it’s just Satan taunting her, I know), but I had to keep forgiving her.She just left me another snide comment on my Face Book, and so I popped over here to see a friendly face and how you were and read this passage.I NEEDED IT!And I did forgive her again.Thank you–Hugs!

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