Observe The Word of God
Be FOUND Bible Study Method
Why should we study the Bible?
Not only is the Bible the only book on the planet with a pulse, it was written by God Almighty - Creator, Sustainer, Savior, and Lover of our souls. It is, quite literally, the greatest love story ever told- a metanarrative that shows a merciful God in pursuit of an adulterous, broken people.
And somehow He deems us worthy of redemption through the blood and ultimate sacrifice of His one and only Son… Let that sink in.
One and only.
I have a one and only son and as much as I love you guys I would be hard pressed to give his life for yours. But God did. Because He is God and I am not my limited, finite understanding of His infinite ways does not limit Him in the least.
As a matter of fact, I like to think that God likes to blow our mind from time to time to show us just how much more He has to show us. Knowing God is the ultimate pursuit and worthiest of endeavors!
That is why we are here - to know God. That should be the answer why we should study the Bible.
FOUND is an inductive approach to studying the Bible. “Inductive” is just a way to describe something that leads to something else, so when applied to reasoning it just means you collect information and draw conclusions from what you observe.
If you missed the first few articles in this series, take a few moments to go back HERE and catch up! There are steps you don't want to miss!
This approach will give you tools of observation that will help the black and white become color, the 2D become 3D, as the Word of God, living and active- begins to LEAP off the page!
Lean in a little deeper with me. Listen carefully, this will be the step where you will be able to begin to sync your life to the rhythm of God’s heartbeat as you intentionally begin to look and listen for what He has for you.
We have already touched on the first tool in the acronym “FOUND.”
F is for Frame of Reference
F stands for the Frame of Reference. This step is vital in Bible study for setting the frame around how we see the book, or even the passage, we are studying which is similar to doing a puzzle. Normally one would set the corner pieces in place and then the outer rim pieces of the puzzle, which helps you be able to put all of the other pieces in place easier.
That is what Frame of Reference does for us here! In setting the frame rightly, we discover who the author is and who the original audience is. We study the author’s life and his life up until the point he wrote the book. Look at where he was when he was writing the book. Because who the author was matters and who the audience was matters! Remember- God chose his human hands on purpose, with purpose!
Remember, the best place to set the best frame for a certain book of the bible or passage is with the Bible itself.
O is for Observe
Then we get to one of my favorite steps in Bible study, O, and begin to discover tools to better Observe nuggets of truth that God intentionally put there for us to uncover. The Latin verb “observāre,” means “to attend to.” This actually requires that you pay close attention. It is what I refer to as the squinty eyed approach. Leaning in hard, looking intently.
If a hospital holds you overnight for observation, they want to keep a close, careful eye on your condition. Let this be the step where you allow God to blow your mind, freeing you from the preconceived ideas that held you captive to your own limited perspective of who God is or what He should or shouldn’t do in and through you.
There are many tools we can use under this step, but for this method, we will investigate the Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How.
Who are the pronouns referring to?
What is the function of the conjunction?
When something is compared or contrasted, take note!
Where is the action?
Why is something listed or repeated?
How is God choosing to reveal who He is in this passage, His character?
How is God demonstrating His love for mankind? His pursuit.
The tool we will look at today will be the Who tool. Who are the pronouns referring to in the passage? Pronouns are words that take the place of nouns. By studying the pronouns, we are able to begin to understand who is speaking in the passage and who they are speaking to! We are also able to get a feel for who is the focus of the passage as certain pronouns are repeated over and over, bringing clarity to the cadence of the heartbeat of God towards the people referenced.
Check out the pronouns in this passage:
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.” Ephesians 1:3-10
See how simply highlighting the pronouns helps us to uncover a layer of truth during Bible study that we may not have noticed before! Who is the obvious focus here? GOD.
When Paul is referring to the church, which pronouns does he choose to use? Our. Us. What does that tell you about the heart of God here? Unity. The upbeat focus is on Him, and the downbeat is on unity. Do you feel the calm that brings?
Let the truth of God’s Word begin to sync your life and your heart to the steady cadence of His. Let His truth transform you.
Join me next week to lean in harder and dig a little deeper as we discuss the next tool to the observe step!
Jane is also teaching this series on her YouTube channel - check it out HERE.
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