Repetition is Key

Be FOUND Bible Study Method - Part 9

Working out takes work. It is a deliberate endeavor that leaves you sore and worn. It takes intentionality. People don’t accidentally get fit, physically or spiritually. 

I went back to the gym this week. I only made it two days. Why? Because it hurts. My entire body feels broken and bruised because it is. Lifting heavy weights at low reps actually breaks down muscle fibers, but it does this so that the body can then build muscle and increase muscle mass by repairing those broken fibers. 

Think about that.  

We can only be built up when we have been broken down. When we increase our muscle mass, our metabolism gets boosted, which helps our body continue to burn calories even after our workout has been long since completed. 

Bone density can also be strengthened by lifting weights, which can actually reduce the risk of breaks and fractures in the future. So, there is a future benefit as well as many present day benefits. Your brain even benefits! Lifting heavy weights quite literally increases the production of new brain cells and improves cognitive function. Your muscles are stronger, your bones are better, your brain is clearer, your metabolism is boosted. 

I have just talked myself into going back to the gym tomorrow. Anyone want to join me?

Accountability. A vital component to total health: mind, body, and soul. We were made to live in unity in community!  People need people. We really are better together. 

Imagine with me, a battlefield. The brutal battle is raging around you, yet you stand alone. The worst part of the story is that you chose to be alone. It is most assuredly a choice. The enemy is crafty at setting the stage for the illusion of forced isolation by abandonment. The only thing that can shatter this illusion and his every other form of deception is by simply knowing Truth. 

Truth is more than a common noun.  Truth is a person.  

Jesus says of Himself, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” (John 14:6) We are so easily deceived by a well crafted lie because we just don’t know Truth. That is actually how the enemy deceived Eve in the Garden of Eden.  He whispered, “Did God really say…” Satan knew he could get them with what they did not know

She hemmed and hawed and stumbled through a response that solidified to Satan that his assumption was right. She didn’t actually know what God had actually said. This is the crucial point in the battle that we have come to. Victory lies within your reach. Knowing Truth is the only way the enemy and his strategy can be exposed.

Lean in with me and find Truth:  learn it, live it, love it, and let it change you. 

The only wrong way to read the bible is to never open it!  When you open it, because it is alive, it will do it’s work in you whether or not you ever do any extra work in it.  However, just as any worthwhile relationship or endeavor, any effort you put in will be well worth it!  

Remember, your bible study time should not replace your personal quiet time. It will, most certainly influence and enhance your devotional time but should not take the place of it.  You should initially set aside an hour a week for bible study, but then you would want to gradually work up to one hour, three times a week. 

In keeping with the workout comparison, the more you workout- the hungrier you are. You begin to crave carbs like never before! This is also true when studying the Word of God! The more you know, the more you want to know. Once you have tasted His goodness, you can’t help but crave more!

“Taste and see that the Lord is good.” (Psalm 34:8)  

“Your words were found and I ate them and they were to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart…” (Jeremiah 15:16

To satisfy our holy hunger, we will be using an inductive approach to studying the Bible, the Found Method. Inductive is really just finding meaning through reasoning.

We are still in the O! The tools to OBSERVE help us to lean in with a close eye to pay close attention and intentionally look for certain things that highlight Truth.  This step is where the black and white becomes color and the 2D becomes 3D, as the Word of God, living and active- begins to LEAP off the page making you want to lean in a little deeper and listen carefully, as this will be the step where you will actually be able to begin to sync your life to the rhythm of His heartbeat and allow His steady cadence to direct your steps in finding rest for your soul as you are lulled to a place of peace to the sound of Him singing His lost lullaby over you.

We will pause today to consider the significance of highlighting things that are repeated. The bible has a recurring theme of repetition and remembering. Those of you who have been around children for any length of time know that you will be repeating yourself constantly.  Repetition leads to retention and can also be a literary tool that is used for emphasis and is another way that the Lord can get our attention. 

So, repetition leads to retention as a way to help us remember and get our attention!

2 Corinthians 1:3-7 

The F.O.R (Frame of Reference) is Paul as the author, writing to the church in Corinth.  He gives them his traditional greeting here as well in the first three verses and then says, 

“3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.6 If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. 7 Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.

I discovered many of the tools I use in the book, Grasping God’s Word. The authors of that book are two of the best teachers I have ever had! In their book, they ask these questions:  

How many times does the word comfort occur in that first sentence alone? Four times. 

These verses obviously have something to do with comfort right?  

What makes it obvious? 

How can you tell that this is where God chose to put emphasis?  

He chooses to repeat the word 10 times in only 7 verses!  Lean in and dissect even more with me. Where is the word “comfort” used as a noun and where is it used as a verb? Who is the one comforting and who is the one receiving the comfort? What else is repeated? What can you glean from the other repeated words or phrases? Who is the one suffering? What is the connection to suffering and comfort?  

How can knowing the answer to that question help you today? How can it help you help someone else?  How can knowing these truths help you to know Truth? On this battlefield, is anyone alone in their suffering? Can you begin to hear the heart of God as it beats in unity, love, and comfort, so much comfort?  Have you been comforted by this truth today? 

Take now what you have received and go and share it with someone else who needs comfort, which is just about every other person on the planet.  Big sigh. I am breathing in a big sigh of surrender, as I feel the weighted blanket of Christ’s comfort envelop me, completely. 

Join me next week as we talk about the tool of looking at lists!  I am a lister, God is too!

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About the author

Jane is a Jesus lover, wife, and mother of four. Her husband and children are the greatest blessings of her life. She has a heart to help people understand Scripture and uncover all the mysteries that lay within. She has a Bachelors degree in Christian Ministries from Ouachita Baptist University in with an emphasis in Missions and Cross Cultural Studies. She believes her greatest mission by far is to help people discover their God given, God crafted, God purposed life by equipping them to be able to dive into the depths of the Word of God themselves. She is currently developing an inductive approach to studying the Bible in an effort to realize this mission. If “man does not live on bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God,” then let’s lean in and study every word!