How to study the Bible:
Bible promises about studying the Bible:
- Joshua 1:8: This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
- 2 Timothy 2:15: Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.
- 2 Timothy 3:16-17: All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work
- Hebrews 4:12: 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.
- James 1:22: Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
Questions to ask when getting started:
- When will I read the Bible?
- Where will I read the Bible?
- What will I read in the Bible?
- How long will I read the Bible?
- What do I need to Read the Bible? (devotional, pen, journal, etc.)
Prayer when getting started:
- Pray God illuminates your heart & mind to His truth
- Pray God helps you apply what you read to your life
Step 1: READ
- Start small; read a chapter or between section headings
- Read over it a few times until something sticks out
- Read passages over and over again
Step 2: OBSERVE
Don’t be afraid to mark up your Bible. Write out at least 2 observations in each verse. Keep a Journal of questions & observations.
What does this passage say?
- WHO? Who is writing? To who? Who are the people involved?
- WHAT? What is happening? What is being said? What is main point? What are key words & phrases? What type of literature? What is the context?
- WHEN? Are there time references? Is passage related to past, present or future? Look for words like: until, after, then
- WHERE? Where is passage taking place?
- WHY? Why is this passage important? Why is what is being said important?
- HOW? Is there an explanation of how things are to be done or believed?
Step 3: INTERPRET
If possible read the passage in a Study Bible & read the notes. Write down any truths you find. What does this passage mean?
- Outline the passage in your own words
- Look up Words you don’t understand
- Read passage in other translations
- Read Commentaries on the passage
- Check any cross references
- Write down any questions you have
- Write down your observations
Step 4: APPLY
What I do with this passage?
- Is there commandment to obey?
- Is there a promise I need to claim?
- Is there an attitude I need to adopt?
- Is there a prayer I need to echo?
- Is there a habit I need to begin?
- Is there a sin I need to repent of?
- Is there a verse I need to memorize?
- What is the Lord pressing upon me because of this passage?
Additional study resources:
- Use a study Bible: English Standard Version (ESV), Life Application Bible, MacArthur Study Bible
- Use a concordance to help you find specific words in the Bible
- Use a Bible dictionary to look up names, dates, places, definitions, etc.
- Use a commentary that help you understand the meaning of each passage of the Bible. Commentaries are available on every book of Bible.
- Different translations of the Bible (ESV, NKJV, NIV, NASB, etc.) may help you understand passages better.
- Theology books can help you look up important theological topics in passage.
- Go deeper using Greek study tools. These help you look up words and see what they mean in the original language the New Testament was written in.
- BibleGateway.com – Bible Gateway is a searchable online Bible in more than 200 versions and 70 languages that you can freely read, research, and reference anywhere. With a library of audio Bibles, a mobile app, devotionals, email newsletters, and other free resources, Bible Gateway equips you not only to read the Bible, but to understand it.
- GotQuestions.org – Do you have a question about God, Jesus, the Bible, or theology? Do you need help understanding a Bible verse or passage? Are there any spiritual issues in your life for which you need advice or counsel? With over 5,700 answers to frequently asked Bible questions published online, approximately 80% of the questions asked already have answers available.
- BibleStudyTools.com – Search verses using the translation and version you like with over 29 to choose from. The site’s rich online library includes well known and trusted commentaries including the popular Matthew Henry Commentary, concordances like Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance and Naves Topical Concordance, Bible dictionaries, Biblical encyclopedias and historical Christian and church books including Fox’s Book of Martyrs, free Bible reading plans, Parallel Bible, and many other additional Christian resources. The website also offers Greek and Hebrew Interlinear for the New and Old Testament, lexicons for original Greek and Hebrew reading of Scripture.
- BibleHub.com – Bible Hub Online Parallel Bible, search and study tools including parallel texts, cross references, Treasury of Scripture, and commentaries. This site provides quick access to topical studies, interlinears, sermons, Strong’s and many more resources.
- Bible.org – To help you search and find biblical truths, this site provides free access to over 16,000 articles which represent the finest, most trustworthy biblical truths and materials from pastors and scholars around the country. Bible.org also provides a free Bible study tool called Lumina. This tool has the NET Bible (2nd edition) with its 58,000+ notes, Greek, Hebrew, texts linked to Strongs numbers, and it allows you to search all the translations of the Bible to find your favorite verses.
- Crosswalk.com – The goal at Crosswalk.com is to encourage and challenge you, to help you worship and help you think, to give you practical application of Scripture as well as positive shared testimonies and honest struggles. We strive to provide timely information on everything from Marriage, Parenting and Family issues, to Bible Study, Prayer, Spiritual Growth and Devotionals, to current events and a Christian look at movies, music and popular culture, always within an overarching framework of evangelical Christian orthodoxy.
- PreceptAustin.org – This site allows you to choose a book of the Bible to study with lists of of hundreds of sermons and commentaries on each book. There is also a useful English dictionary search box, which is a superb collection of works which will enable you to hone your prose and preaching with polish and precision. Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Theology is also an excellent resource to help solve theological conundrums.
How to discover and use your spiritual gifts:
What are Spiritual Gifts?
Each of us has a unique design. We all have different gifts, talents, and passions. There is great diversity in the Body of Christ. We need everyone’s unique gifts and abilities to be a fully functional and effect church.
- Spiritual Gifts are special abilities/talents: 1 Corinthians 12:7 – Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.
- Spiritual Gifts are given to us by the Holy Spirit: 1 Corinthians 12:11 – All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.
- Every believer has at least one Spiritual Gift: 1 Peter 4:10 – Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.
- Spiritual Gifts are given to us for the common good: 1 Corinthians 12:7 – Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good.
What are the Spiritual Gifts listed in the Bible?
- I Corinthians 12:8-11 – To one there is given through the Spirit the message of wisdom, to another the message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines.
- I Corinthians 12:28 – And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues
- Romans 12:6-8 – We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.
- Ephesians 4:11 – It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers…
- Exodus 31:3-4 – I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts to make artistic designs for work in gold silver & bronze…
- Psalm 150:3-5 – Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre, praise him with tambourine and dancing, praise him with the strings and flute, praise him with the clash of cymbals, praise him with resounding cymbals…
What Spiritual Gifts do I have?
Ask questions such as: What is my passion? What am I good at?
Use Spiritual Gift assessment tools online:
Additional resources on Spiritual Gifts:
Network: The Right People, in the Right Places, for the Right Reasons (DVD)
by Bruce L. Bugbee, Don Cousins, Bill Hybels
S.H.A.P.E.: Finding and Fulfilling Your Unique Purpose for Life (book)
by Eric Rees
Opportunities for you to serve at DCBC:
- Local evangelism teams
- Visiting shut-ins
- Visiting new guests
Building and Grounds:
- Clean up/work days
- Special projects
- Church picnic
- Fellowship meals
- Serving fellowship meals
- Making meals for families
- Clean up
- Youth Scholarships
- Special events
- Missions trips
- Missions Conference
- Church Picnic
- Fall Festival
- Thanksgiving Day meal
- Church Revival
- Join a small group
- Facilitate a small group
- Teach a small group
- Answering phones
- General administration
- Sunday school
- Jr. Church
- Child care for small groups
- Children’s Choir
- Sunday school class
- Leading a small group
- Local marketing
- Graphic design
- Internet marketing
- Stage Design
- Video editing
- Web development
- Computer maintenance
- Computer networking
- Video editing
- Web development
- Computer maintenance
- Computer networking
- Email prayer chain
- Drive people
- Grocery shopping
- Transportation to church
- Bethesda Mission
- She’s Somebody’s Daughter
- Hope’s Haven
- Release Time
- Leadership development
- Bible studies
- Small groups
Women’s Renew Ministry:
- Mentoring program
- Women’s retreat
- Bible studies
- Small groups
- Worship team
- David’s Service Teams
- Local missions
- Global missions
- Short-term missions trips
- Seasonal decorating
- Stage Design
- New ministry ideas
Resources to increase your desire for God:
Free PDF Resources:
When I Don’t Desire God – free book
When I Don’t Desire God – free study guide
John Piper: When I Don’t Desire God (part 1 of 6)
David Platt: Radical
Francis Chan: Crazy Love (introduction to 10 chapters)
Also watch: Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 7 | Chapter 8 | Chapter 9 | Chapter 10
Resources to help you build a godly marriage:
Love and Respect Ministries:
Mark Gungor: Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage
Resources to help you disciple your children and teens:
Books for Children
The Jesus Storybook Bible
by Sally Lloyd-Jones
Ages: Infant and up
From the Old Testament through the New Testament, The Jesus Storybook Bible invites children to discover for themselves that Jesus is at the center of God’s great story of salvation—and at the center of their story too.
The Ology: Ancient Truths, Ever New
by Marty Machowski
A beautifully illustrated storybook of systematic theology, the kids discover a story of adventure, mystery, and wonder that leads them to the truth about God, themselves, and the world around them. It has built-in adaptations for use with younger or older children, so that entire families can enjoy it together.
What We Believe Book Series (4 Vol)
by John Hay and David Webb
Easy to use for the whole family, a four-part study that introduces young people, ages 6- 14, to the basic truths of the Christian faith. Through engaging stories, creative note- booking, and fun activities, they will come to know and trust our loving God while building an unshakable faith to last a lifetime.
Herein is Love: Commentaries for Children (Genesis-Deuteronomy)
by Nancy Ganz
Herein is Love is a series of Bible commentaries for parents to read to their children. If you want to take your children deeper in their understanding of the beginning of the bible, these are the commentaries for you. Nancy Ganz draws out the beautiful implications of the Old Testament narrative that are foundational for Christian faith. Teacher’s Guides for each book help discuss the lessons with children.
The Stranger on the Road to Emmaus
by John R. Cross
The Stranger on the Road to Emmaus gives a solid overview of the main message of the Bible. It ties together key Old and New Testament stories to reveal the identity of God and the nature of sin, all the time answering two questions: “Who is Jesus?” and “What is the story of the cross and the tomb all about?” It helps a person understand clearly the main message of Bible.
Bible Express Devotions
Available through Lifeway
Bible Express is a 52-page monthly devotional designed for preteens. Bible Express works great as an outreach tool and a reminder that God is their constant companion.
Available through Ontrack Devotions
OTD is a daily devotional tool available in monthly booklet format designed to build the skill and discipline of effective daily Bible study.
Every Young Man’s Battle
By: Stephen Arterburn, Fred Stoeker, Mike Yorkey
Every Young Man’s Battle shows you how to rise above today’s debased, self-seeking culture by examining God’s standard, training your eyes and mind, cleaning up your thought life, and developing a plan.
Do Hard Things
By Alex Harris and Brett Harris
Written when they were 18 years old, Do Hard Things is the Harris twins’ revolutionary message in its purest and most compelling form, giving readers a tangible glimpse of what is possible for teens who actively resist cultural lies that limit their potential.
Mean Girls: Facing Your Beauty Turned Beast
By Hayley DiMarco
This one-of-a-kind book has helped end the cycle of meanness for tens of thousands of girls. Mean Girls is a call to spritual strength. A call to stand firm. It calls girls to face the beasts in their lives.
Books for parents:
The Tech-Wise Family by Andy Crouch
Parenting by Paul Tripp
The Father Connection by Josh McDowell
Bring Up Boys/Bringing Up Girls by James Dobson
Interviewing Your Daughter’s Date by Dennis Rainey
Same Sex Marriage by Sean McDowell & John Stonestreet
Hooked by Joe Mcilhaney, JR and Freda McKissic Bush
Passport to Purity by Dennis & Barbara Rainey
A Refutation of Moral Relativism by Peter Kreeft
Darwin’s Black Box by Michael J. Behe
Extreme Grandparenting by Dr. Tim and Darcy Kimmel
A Practical Guide to Culture by John Stonestreet and Brett Kunkle