Truth Is Our Frame of Reference
Be FOUND Bible Study Method
Basic training begins here…
Basic: forming an essential foundation or starting point. Churches, how did we get this so wrong? We have raised generation after generation of malnourished Christians living half starved, wounded lives and make no mistake- we are to blame. We will be held to account.
Believers are weak and bleeding out on the battlefield because somehow they missed out the most basic of training. They never formed “an essential foundation or starting point.” So, my friends, this is my effort to “leave no man (woman or child) behind.”
Precious pastors, you must be tired of running around the battlefield week after week patching up wounds, putting Band-Aids on bullet holes and having any expectation that the next week will be any less arduous. Your hearts cry must be more than that of a medic!
We must reach these soldiers before they ever set boots on the battlefield. Which is almost impossible on this planet of death that we live on. We practically fall out of our mothers’ womb onto the battlefield.
"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12
“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world…" 2 Cor 10:3
Basic training begins here. The Bible. The souls’ sole source of sustenance. Our most vital manual for foundational truths that can’t help but transform any life it encounters. The only wrong way to read the Bible is to never open it. Let me be clear. The Word of God will do its work in you whether or not you ever do any work in it!
This method is not for the faint of heart. It, like any boot camp, requires a certain level of discipline. But doesn’t any endeavor or worthwhile relationship? One would normally say, “You will get out of it what you put in it.” But no, not here. Not in this space. The mystery is that we will get out of it, what God has put in it. Let that sink in.
When we are in the Word of God, our lives can’t help but collide with the heart and will of God. And when we come face to face and heart to heart with God, we can’t help but be changed.
“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12
Friends, the Bible is the only book on the planet with a pulse! Lean in with me. Let’s sync the whole of our lives to the rhythm of His.
The tools we will learn in this space follow an inductive method of bible study called FOUND. “Inductive” is simply finding meaning through reasoning and observing. As you can probably tell, I am a lover of words. I will periodically take you with me on a journey back to the original meaning of a particular word.
For me, this takes a little black and white world and fills in all the lines with color. Transforming the 2D into 3D! For example, the word “found” itself means having been discovered, something that is collected in its natural state and presented in a new context as part of a work of art or piece of music or poetry.
Further- in regards to shipbuilding- FOUND means to be equipped and supplied. SO! Let’s build a ship here in this space…a relation-SHIP with the Lord."
Let the equipping begin!
As we discover these simple tools, allow the elephant to be the icon image in the back of your mind. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. (but please, don't...) So, on this journey as we learn these tools, give yourselves permission to just use one. You don’t necessarily have to use every tool every time.
As most of us have been existing on baby food, it may take some time to adjust to a richer, meatier, more fulfilling diet. And that is ok! If you are just starting out on this type of journey, give yourself grace enough to keep chewing on that very first full bite!
Don’t get overwhelmed.
Let’s all collectively take a big breath in and now allow ourselves to slowly exhale…. Exhale out any expectation you have for yourself or others may have for you and now inhale with me the simple expectation of just knowing God.
“But to enjoy him we must know him. Seeing is savoring. If he remains a blurry, vague fog, we may be intrigued for a season. But we will not be stunned with joy, as when the fog clears and you find yourself on the brink of some vast precipice.”― John Piper
This method of getting to know God is called FOUND.
First and foremost, pray. Prayer is our walkie talkie with God from the battle field!
"Prayer is not asking. Prayer is putting oneself in the hands of God, at His disposition, and listening to His voice in the depth of our hearts.” "God speaks in the silence of the heart. Listening is the beginning of prayer." - Mother Teresa
"Prayer should not be regarded as a duty which must be performed, but rather as a privilege to be enjoyed, a rare delight that is always revealing some new beauty." - E.M. Bounds
"To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing." - Martin Luther
In seeking to know God, we are seeking the worthiest of all wisdom.
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.” James 1:5
Now, let’s break down the word FOUND:
F - Frame of Reference
O - Observe
U - Understand what it meant to the original audience
N - Now, what does it mean to me?
D - Dwell “Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly” Col 3:16
The first tool we will learn is the Frame of reference. This sets up the frame for how we see the book or even the passage we are studying. When putting a puzzle together, what pieces do you normally set up first? The corner pieces are first and then the edge pieces of the puzzle are next because this actually helps you to be able to put all of the other pieces in place.
That is what our first tool, the Frame of Reference, does for us here! In using this tool, we will discover who the author is. Study his life. Where was he when he was writing the book? Who did he write the book to? Who the author is matters! Who the OG audience is matters!
Remember- God chose his human hands on purpose, with purpose! If I told you that I received a letter from a former teacher, you might think to yourself, “Oh, well, that’s nice.” But! What if I told you that this teacher was the person who introduced me to Jesus, discipled me, and even held my hand as I walked over from eternal death to eternal life. And! That this person was now at this moment in a prison in Asia, simply for continuing to share Jesus with people!
Would that make a difference in how I read his letter? Would that even make a difference to you as I told you about his letter and read his letter to you? Yes! Because who the author is matters! Who the audience is matters! YOU matter! It is important to start any interpretive journey from the very beginning by looking intently at the frame of reference.
“A frame of reference is a complex set of assumptions and attitudes which we use to filter perceptions to create meaning. The frame can include beliefs, schemas, preferences, values, culture and other ways in which we bias our understanding and judgment.... Framing is an important consideration in changing minds as we perceive what we consider to be reality through subconscious frames. Because we see perceptions as real, we believe others must also see them as real. It is as if we are wearing pink spectacles and naturally believe that the world has a pink hue, and consequently that others will see it likewise. A common persuasion method based on framing is reframing. This effectively says 'look at things a different way'. When filters are challenged and loosened so that alternatives are considered, giving new ways of looking at things and so creating new possible meanings. In this way it can act to change beliefs, values and other deep systems.” (changingminds.org/explanations/models/frame_of_reference.htm)
We need to recognize our preconceived ideas about God, the Bible, and Christianity as a whole and then let God “reframe” our brain.
Truth can’t help but change the lens by which we see the world.
Truth should shift the lens by which we see EVERYTHING! Let TRUTH TRANSFORM your lens, your life. This is why it is so important for us to continually be in the Word of God, which is the Source of Truth Himself- as Truth is more than just a common noun- Truth is a person. Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” This Truth is the most basic and fundamental of all the truths we will study.
Join me next week to discover another tool to dig even deeper!
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