"I think I have to break the door down," Jack blustered.
"Wait! Surely there is another way," his wife countered. But Jack was determined. He had locked them out of their mobile home and was sure this was their only option.
"I'll go around and see if I can get in some other way," his wife offered. But Jack was busy preparing his assault. After a couple of moments, he decided to let it rip and exploded through the front door.
As he lay on the demolished door, his wife came walking down the hall and said dryly, "The back door was open."
I [N] had to laugh when Jack (changed name) recounted the demise of his front door to a group of us. But it is all too common for Christians to take the same approach toward their Bible reading. When their motivation for reading weakens, they think their only option is to mow down their feelings and force themselves through the activity.
If you address your Bible reading the way Jack addressed his front door, it won't be long before you are lying on a demolished time with God. If you are already there, Denise and I are walking down the hall to tell you God provides a better way.
(You can either read the Lesson or watch the video. To take notes either print out the Lesson, follow along in the book, or use a separate piece of paper to write out the answers to the questions below.)
Motivation for Reading the Bible
It may surprise you, but the motivation that moves you to read the Bible has a big influence on what you get out of it. At the two extremes, you either sit down to read the Bible because you want to (Desire-led), or because you think you should (Discipline-led).
1. There are two approaches to having a time with God:
Healthy Bible reading involves both Desire and Discipline but it is very important which one you lead with.
Bible reading is not the same as doing a homework assignment in school. Usually the objective in school homework is to acquire some information. But the objective in reading the Bible is to enrich your relationship with God and be transformed. Discipline is sufficient motivation to acquire facts, but not to change a heart.
Effective Bible reading begins with your motivation.
Skill Time: Learning to See
There are 4 steps in Bible study, but the 1st one is the most important. The 1st Step in Bible study is Learning to See.
To help you learn to see, I want you to click on the video above and find the Dog House Video Segment. Watch the segment then write down what you see below. Use short phrases. There are no wrong answers. If you see something, write it down.
What do you see in the "Dog House" video?
The next step in learning to see, is to look at the Bible passage below and write down what you see. Again there are no wrong answers. If you see something, write it down.
Mark 2:16 When the scribes of the Pharisees saw that He was eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they said to His disciples, "Why is He eating and drinking with tax collectors and sinners?"
Mark 2:17 And hearing [this,] Jesus said to them, "[It is] not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick; I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners." (NASB)
What do you see in the Bible passage?
Watch the video or check the answers below to compare what you see in the passage with what we get.
Next time, Denise will talk about Desire-led and Discipline-led Bible study and I'll talk about Seeing Things in the Bible, Example 2.
If you are stuck, reply to this email and ask a question.
Desire-led / Discipline-led
Skill Time: Dog House Video (Your list can be different or shorter or longer.)
Wife is angry with her husband
She throws him in the dog house
Dog house is like a dungeon
Only men in the dog house
It is hard to get out of the dog house
One person got out
He bought his wife jewelry
Skill Time: Bible Passage (Your list can be different and shorter. More are presented here to help you get the idea.)
The scribes of the pharisees are talking
The sinners and tax collectors are eating with Jesus
The scribes ask a question
The scribes ask His disciples a question
They don't like Jesus eating with the tax collectors and sinners