WAVE Study Bible

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FLCR Bible Reading
More on Response

Now is when you can sit back and listen to see what God is saying to you through the passage. You have seen some good Facts, you have identified things you can learn and formed them into questions that Challenge you. Now listen to what God might be saying to you and respond back to Him.

This is just between you and God. He is being honest as He reveals His truth to you. Be sure to return the favor. There is a temptation to tell God what you think He wants to hear. But it will make your walk with God more authentic if you can find a way to tell Him what you really think.

Sometimes it is difficult to tell God what you really think. Maybe He is wanting you to do more than you want to do. At this point it is better if you
not attempt more than you are ready for. For example, if God wants you to feed the poor but you feel nervous around them and unsafe, you might be tempted to promise to feed them but let it skip your mind and forget about it. Instead, tell God you will put some money aside in your wallet and give it to the next person who is asking for money. Then do that. If you do not want to do as much as God might be asking, find a level you would be willing to do, and plan a way to do that.

Every so often God might want something that you have zero interest in. You might even find it distasteful. The way to be honest with God in that situation is to put training wheels on your prayer. Tell God, "I know this is near to your heart and it would be good for me if I desired it, but I am not there. In fact, I don't even want to like this. But since it is important to you, help me with my attitude. Help me
want to want this." This kind of honest communication strengthens your level of trust and confidence in God because you are letting Him inside and are being authentic with Him.

Here is everything we have said about Step 4 and some examples to show you how it works.
#4 - Response (Respond back to God.)
  • Listen to what God might be saying to you through this verse.
  • Write down how you respond to what He is saying.
  • Be honest.
  • If you don't want to do all of what God is asking, find a level that you would be willing to do and begin with that.
  • If you have zero interest in what God is asking, put training wheels on your prayer, "Help me want to want to."

Example (Romans 8:31-32)
When you study passages from the books in the New Testament that are letters, like Ephesians, Philippians, and Romans, often the verses are already stated in the form of principles (and so are already Lessons). In this case the Facts step might seem unnecessary. But I would encourage you to still do all 4-Steps because the steps have different focuses. In the Facts step you are just looking for what is there without the burden of sorting through what it means. This gives you a better chance of not missing things. When you take this approach sometimes you end up with things repeated in the Facts and Lessons sections. That is perfectly OK.
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King James Version (KJV)
(screenshot from
WAVE Parallel Bible)

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New American Standard Bible (NASB)
(screenshot from
WAVE Parallel Bible)

#1 - Facts (What do you see in the verse?)
  • God is for us.
  • Who can stand against us? God is more powerful than any created thing. If He is on our side, who can stand against Him?
  • God is for us so much, He delivered His own Son for our benefit.
  • If God is for us enough to give up His own Son, then He will also freely give us all things.
#2 - Lessons (What can you learn from the verse?)
  • God is on our side.
  • No one of significance can stand against us since God is on our side.
  • God is on our side so much that He freely gives us Christ and all things.
#3 - Challenges (Turn each lesson into a question that challenges you.)
  • Do I believe that the almighty God is on my side?
  • After picking someone who stands against me, how do they compare to God (in strength, etc.)?
  • Is there any greater way God could demonstrate that He is on our side?
#4 - Response (Respond back to God.)
  • Father, it is so easy to forget that You are on our side. And with You on our side all of our trouble fades by comparison. Thank you for giving me Christ and the other things I know about. But also thank you for giving me things I am not even aware of yet ("all things").

Example (Matthew 18:1-4)
This is one of my favorite passages in the Bible. The wise (and sometimes arrogant) disciples come to Jesus asking Him who (among them) is greatest. When Jesus answered this question, He taught a truth about all of Bible study—what God wants you to know in a Bible passage is simple enough for a child to understand it. Sure, you can study it further and compare notes from several Bible commentaries and build a gaggle of information about the passage on several levels. But you don't have to, and you will probably get more spiritual benefit out of the simple information.
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King James Version (KJV)
(screenshot from
WAVE Parallel Bible)

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New American Standard Bible (NASB)
(screenshot from
WAVE Parallel Bible)

#1 - Facts (What do you see in the verse?)
  • The disciples want to know who is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
  • Jesus doesn't answer their question directly, but makes reference to a small child to answer it.
  • Jesus says they need to become like children to enter the kingdom of heaven.
  • Children are humble, innocent, pure, simple, know their limitations, and easily believe what you tell them.
  • Jesus' answer to the question is that the greatest person in the kingdom of heaven is the one who humbles himself like a child.
#2 - Lessons (What can you learn from the verse?)
  • God measures greatness different than we do. We think greatness is flashy, important, and powerful. God thinks greatness is simple humbleness.
  • God values our child-like characteristics like simplicity, innocence, belief, and humbleness.
#3 - Challenges (Turn each lesson into a question that challenges you.)
  • When I look at a child, can I see what is "great" about child-like behavior?
  • Can I get to a place where it makes sense to place more value on humbleness than on accomplishments?
#4 - Response (Respond back to God.)
  • Father, it is so easy to get caught up and focused on accomplishments and not focused on important character developments like the building of humility. Help me to value the character you are developing in me when I come upon obstacles and trouble, rather than focusing on the deadlines that are getting missed.
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