Welcome to our Bible study methods. I’ve entitled this course, the life changing, transforming power of daily Bible study. You can see on the slide in front of you, that I’m talking about how to unleash God into our lives. Now you already know that my one of my favorite verses is Jeremiah 15:16, and I want to read that to you. I hope verse. Can encourage you to memorize this first. This is one of those early verses, that when I was discipled 50 years ago, 55 years ago; I was taught that this verse is at the core of our daily time with the Lord.
It says this, Jeremiah 15:16, “Your words were found, and I ate them, and Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; For I am called by Your name, O LORD God of hosts.”
You also know that Jesus said in Matthew 4:4? That “man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word […] of God.” The only way to live life, the way God intended, is for us to spend time; for Him changing our lives; transforming us by His power, through interacting with His word; and that produces supernatural joy within us.
Let’s pray as we begin.
Father, I pray in these few short minutes that every one of the students taking this for credit, and those who are just joining us because they want to, know you more. They want to have that endless supply of divine joy and power. The assurance that they’re called by your name. Whatever purpose they’re watching this video, I pray that you would be at work supernaturally right this moment, as we gather and study in Jesus’ name, Amen.
The elements of this course: one is your own copy of the Bible. I would strongly encourage you, though electronic copies of the Bible are great, for personal Bible study a paper copy of the word of God. This is my Bible duct taped up because it wears out. Highlighted. Written in. By the way, I do have a separate course right here, how to mark your Bible. What I’ve learned over the years of ways to do a textual study of the actual word of God is you mark it in your Bible and remind yourself. We’ll be talking about that.
This is just one of my journals. I have a pile of them. It’s just a plain old mole skin. I attached a pen to it here on the outside. I do this devotional method of Bible study. I put a title for every one of my chapters that I study. Then, I jot down lessons. And then, at the bottom I write a prayer. I did that in Matthew 11 and here’s just an example.
I said, the power of unbelief. That’s chapter 11 of Matthew. That’s my title. I said, two thirds of Jesus’ miracles take place around this chapter of Matthew 11. The people were invited to follow Him, and they could be yoked to Christ. Matthew 11:28. So, I just made a bunch of observations and lessons that were in there. Then, I wrote a prayer. Lord, I believe. And repent of any unbelief. I want your yoke today. I want you to rest in my soul as I follow your lead. Let me learn more of you. Very simple. 20 minutes. Read a chapter. Spend enough time until you can find the lessons. And apply it. We’re going to learn that today.
For some of you taking this, watching this video, taking this course, this is because you are actually not just wanting a life altering, transforming power of devotional Bible study. You also are taking a course. So, I’m going to cover this course project.
Especially if you are one of those who are enrolled in our distance learning with educational partners, these are the current courses we have; Psalms, Proverbs, Minor Prophets, 1 & 2 Samuel, Isaiah, Revelation, Gospel by Mark, 1 & 2 Thessalonians, Hebrews, and Leviticus. Most recently, some of you were in the Revelation course. For that course you need to produce a typed out, turned in, devotional method Bible study according to your assignment sheet. Just the details, it has to be a minimum of a half a page. Now, minimum. And I know some of you like that minimum. That means you can get by with just that much. I’ve had many, many students turn in little, tiny half page pieces. I understand, the Lord understands, if you’re pressed for time, you just want to get it done. That’s great but if you want the life-changing transforming power of daily Bible study, what’ll happen is even though you can get by with the minimum, 60% of your grade, half page… some of them will grow as I’ll show you today.
Now, what are the long-term blessings of doing this? The first thing is, my Bible slowly gets marked up. It gets so marked up; it actually has pages that start falling out. I noticed today as I was reading somewhere here, oh right there it is, this page actually is just hanging on by a thread. But you’ll start marking your Bible. Then, you’ll have to copy it over. That’s what I’m doing right now. I’ve got another Bible. I’m going to copy over the best of everything I’ve found in this Bible into a new one. But guess what? In the front of this Bible, I have down that this is the ninth Bible I’ve copied. All my notes from my first Bible I ever studied through, to my second Bible I ever studied through. I don’t copy all the notes, just the cream, the best. What happens is, it turns into, every time I see the notes of my past studies all of those reminders trigger my memory. I can remember, often, even the place where I was when I studied that. That’s the benefit of using a paper Bible. I don’t want to harp on it, but wearing out a Bible; when you see someone whose Bible is falling apart, usually their life is not falling apart. They are sewn together by the word of God.
One last benefit, you see on that slide, every day in the word stirs all I’ve ever learned in a lifetime of study. I’ll be flipping to a passage, and I’ll look, and bingo. Something I learned 20, 30, 40 years ago becomes just like it was the same day I learned it. So, I would encourage you to do that, the devotional method project.
This is right from your assignment sheet, those of you taking it for credit. Our course project is picking chapters to spiritually digest using the method called the devotional Bible study method. You should write a half page summary right here as you do each chapter. Every one of them should have these three parts. Title, that’s your title. For example, we’re going to do this today, my devotions this morning. What I read at 5:45 this morning and titled to Revelation 1; God sent me a letter.
You say, where’d you get that title? I made it up after I read the chapter. I thought that’s what this chapter is about, God sent me a letter. I’ll show you what I mean. I did cautions too. Also, how to walk in Christ. Then, I found lessons from one, two, three, four, five, six, seven verses in Revelation. Now, there are 20 in that chapter, this isn’t to be exhausting or exhausted. This is part of a lifelong, life transforming study. This day, this morning reading and praying, these are the verses that just came right off the page. Now, you notice Colossians came a lot more off the page. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, 10, 11, 12 different lessons I learned.
So, formulate a title, jot down those lessons. A lesson, a truth, an attribute of God, a doctrine, example to follow. It’s just you finding some treasures there. Then, finally write out a prayer. Now, most people when they study the Bible, and I’ve led Bible studies. I’ve led over 300 small group Bible studies over the years in ministry. Often, I’ll be with people in Bible study and they’ll go, oh I know my wife needs to hear that, or my husband, or my children, or my friend, or my parents need that verse. The purpose of this kind of Bible study is for my life to change. For me to experience the transforming power. For me to have the joy and rejoicing in my heart. It’s very, very powerful to change my life.
So, you write out a prayer. I recently was with a group of men. We were doing a Bible study. I was launching them as we were studying. I said, okay, we’re going to read this chapter. We did all the lessons. I said, now let’s pick out truths that we’re going to ask the Lord to do in our lives. It got really quiet. I looked around. One of the men said out loud? I said, Uh huh. He said, today? I said uh huh. He said, in front of everybody? I said, uh huh. He said, I don’t want to do that. See most men, women as well but I know men, most men don’t like to ever talk about areas of weakness. Areas of need. Areas of struggle. So, that’s what this Bible study does, it helps me to use the Bible like a mirror. When I am shaving, I have to look in the mirror and I have to see so I do it right. This is the mirror for us to see how God can transform and alter lives. To be right according to His word.
Let’s do the Bible study. Chapter 1 of Revelation, I’ve got a marker there. You get your Bible. So, I was reading along this morning and after reading the chapter I wrote this title. God sent me a letter. Revelation 1. Then, now let me just go through the lessons one by one, God has a message He wants me to know about. So, in verse 1 it says, “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants, the things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it…” This is a letter that God sent to me, as His servant. So, that’s just a truth I found.
Look at verse 3. “Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.” Now, look on the screen, God promised a blessing to those who read, hear, and keep this word. Many people say that’s so obvious. Do you know what Bible study is? It’s looking at the obvious. It’s not trying to find something that nobody else has ever seen before. That’s why most people, they get so caught up in finding something new. Do you know what the Bible says in Jeremiah 1? Seek out the old paths and you’ll find rest for your souls.
Here’s another one I got down to verse 5. Let me turn the page. “And from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the Earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood…” Look what I wrote. Jesus loves us and washes us from our sins with His own blood. This is just a repetition of a truth that’s in there.
The next one is the same, verse 9. “I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island…” What is John saying? God’s servants suffer because of the gospel. I remember when I went to Michigan State University. I remember when I was in my very first class at Michigan State University in the seventies, I was sitting in the back row. They had us in reverse alphabetical order. The professor came out and said, my goal in this course at Michigan State University, English Literature, is to prove the Bible is mythology. I raised my hand. I was in the back row. He looked up at me and said, son… speak up. I said, the Bible is not mythology, the Bible is the word of God, and I believe the Bible. I sat down. He of course mocked me. There was snickering in the class. Did you know, at the end of that class, there were 600 students, 50 of them went against the flow to the top row and gathered around me like a huddle and said, when can we start a Bible study? We’re Christians and we didn’t know what to say. We want to know how to stand for the Lord. Did you know, God’s servants suffer because of the gospel, but God wants to give us boldness.
Look at verse 10, “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day.” Look what I wrote, John was in the Spirit, even though he was in prison. By the way, Jesus knew right where he was. Think about that. He didn’t let the persecution, getting depressed and distant from the Lord, he was in the Spirit. Walking in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day and the Lord came and spoke to him.
Next, in verse 14, see how easy this is? Do you know what the blessings of doing this for every chapter of the Bible is? Now, some of them are hard. You get in some chapters in Leviticus, you get it in some of the Minor Prophets, it’s hard. You might not have 10 or 11 or 12, but you’ll find a blessing in every one.
Look at verse 14, “His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire.” Jesus has eyes, these piercing, laser like eyes. They can see everything.
Number seven, verse 17. “And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, ‘Do not be afraid.’ “ Look at what I wrote, Jesus touched John when he collapsed with fear.
So, I have a title. I read the chapter through, and I found seven things. How many can you find? As many as you want to. How much do you want to know about the Lord? How much do you want to be changed? How much do you want to be transformed? How much do you want to have join rejoicing, and feed your soul? As many as you want, there’s no limit.
Now, let me show you this. We’ve got our title. We got our lessons. But let’s turn the lessons into prayer requests.
Number one, God has a message He wants me to know about as a servant. Look, what I wrote, it’s in red. This is actually what I have written in my journal. That’s why this and the whole pile of them become a treasure. Lord, stir my heart to want to get into Your word and understand the message You have for me. Now, you know that for years I counseled couples as a pastor. They come in with struggles and they’d both come in and you could tell there’s tension between them. They had marriage problems and they wouldn’t even sit close. I’d say, hey, push your chairs together and they’d very unwillingly pushed their chairs, so they were sitting some somewhat semi-close to each other. I’d say, what’s the problem? Most often the wife would say, he doesn’t love me anymore. The husband would just sit like this, because he didn’t even want to be in my office. I’d say, well, let’s settle that one right now. Tell her you love her. Do you know what the husband always said? She knows I love her. The wife would go, see. I’d say, well say it out loud and the husband would not even look at his wife. He’d look past her and look at me and say, she knows I love her. I said, say it to her out loud and he would obfuscate, and he would say no. I’d say, we’re not going to leave. You’re stuck here in my office until you say it. One last time he protests and say, she knows. I said, tell her. So, finally that husband would turn and look at his wife and say, I love you. A lot of times you wouldn’t say it like that. He’d go, I love you, no emotion. Did you know? God wants us to repeat truth about Him. Lord stir my heart, to want to get into your word and understand the message you have for me. I want to find your words. I want to eat your words. I want your words to be the joy and rejoicing my heart. I can’t live without your word. All that’s true, but I say it to the Lord in my prayer that I read aloud to Him.
Number two, God promised blessing to those who read. There’s my prayer in red. Would you please pour out Your blessing on me as I read, hearing your voice, so wanting to obey what you have for me to do.
When a child is grateful, the parents say here’s a cookie. A grateful child in their heart says thank you. But the parent doesn’t know, until what? They say it out loud. Prayer is what God already knows, but we agree with Him and declare it back to Him and say, would you please pour out these promised blessings on me?
Next, number three, so here’s my prayer. Lord, stir my heart. I want to get into your word. I want to understand the message for me. Would you please pour out your blessing on me as I read and hear your voice and want to obey you. Now, look at number three. Jesus loves and washes us from our sin. Look what I added as the next line of my prayer. Thank you for loving me so much that You died in my place. Your blood was shed for me to forgive me, cleanse me, and buy me as Your child. Do you see how all of a sudden, Revelation 1 is totally different? It’s not just a letter got sent. God sent it to me. I found His truth and I am by faith, repeating that truth back to Him.
Next one, the fourth. God’s servants suffer. Look what I wrote. I know that all who are godly will suffer, so give me boldness to serve you without fear. Watch. That’s what I did at Michigan State University 40 years ago. I believe the Bible, even though the professor scoffed, even though 90% of the students snickered. Now, why did I do that? No human reason. I am shy by nature. I don’t like groups, crowds. I don’t like attention. It was the Holy Spirit. The righteous are as bold as a lion. Lord, give me boldness to serve you without fear.
Number five, John was in the Spirit. Even in prison, and Jesus knew right where he was. Verse 10. Keep me full of your Spirit, is my prayer. I wrote, walking in His way because I know you are with me always, even to the end, just like You promised. What’s one of those verses we should all know. Jesus said, “lo, I am with you always, even to the end…” John knew it on Patmos. I knew it this morning. Do you see? We aren’t supposed to be spectators looking at the Bible. We’re not supposed to just be students. We’re supposed to be experiencing the truth of God and letting it come into our heart by faith and let God change us as we write this prayer where we ask Him to do that.
The next one, Jesus has eyes like a flame of fire. I wrote, keep reminding me that you see me all the time, help me to live like you’re watching everything I do and say each day. Did you know workers change when they realize that there are security cameras and someone’s actually watching them? They sit up, and they work, and they do, according to the rules. Did you know humanly, if we know we’re being watched by someone we alter our behavior? The life changing, transforming power of daily Bible study is realizing You, see me, God. Help me to live that way.
Number seven, the last thing I learned this morning in Revelation 1 is, Jesus touched John when he collapses with fear, verse 17. This was what I ended my prayer with, thank you for reminding me through John, that when I fear you always reach out and comfort me. By the way I already know, because I did this every chapter study through the gospels, that the most often way Jesus communicated with people is His touch. He touched lepers. He touched dead people. He touched sick people. He touched people that were in need. So, I wrote, thank you for reminding me through John that when I fear you always reach out and comfort me. Thank you for loving me. For knowing that I am weak. Remind me You are strongest when I’m weakest. Remember Paul said that? When we’re weak He’s strong.
Then I wrote, in Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
Now, I would encourage you, if you do this, if you ever want to have a small group study. You know what one of the best things to do was? Study the same chapter. Title that chapter. Share it with each other. Sharing your lessons. Then, close by you praying around that application prayer. You’ll bless every person in that room, and you will be blessed as you see the power of God.
Let’s go to Colossians 2. Same thing. Now, remember we can do this, those of you taking the Minor Prophet courses, you’re going to go through and do this in every one of the minor prophets. The 66 chapters of Isaiah. The 22 chapters of Revelation. You can do this anywhere, but this morning am just showing you the two I did. I did Colossians this morning also.
Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians chapter 2. Now look, chapter 2 has 23 verses, you notice that I don’t even start my lessons until 6, and I really do every one until 15, and then I lumped them together. So, see… there’s no one way to do this. The minimum is, just take the space of a title, the lessons and prayer, type it out and turn it in. To those of you that are in our education partners doing this for credit, the minimum. But for all the rest of us, why don’t you invest. When Barnes and Noble opens after COVID sheltering in place, just get one of these mole skins, find a pen, and start. I usually in my journal do two pages. Two pages and this becomes, the joy and rejoicing of my heart. Let’s do Colossians 2 starting in verse 1.
“I want you to know what a great conflict I have for you and for those in Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face…” Paul’s writing to Colossi where he never went. They’d never met him. I didn’t write that down. That’s another truth you could put. “That their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, and attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”
Now, look at how to walk in Christ. “In whom are hidden all the treasures”, everything we need to know about life and godliness.
So, you say, how did you get that title? It’s just what I thought of this morning. You’ll have a different title. In fact, if I go back to my journals, I hardly ever titled the same way, any chapter. It’s deepening. It’s enriching.
I’ll start now in verse 6. You can already see on this slide, what I’ve found. “As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him.” Now, you see where I got this title. It wasn’t until verse 6 that it really crystallized what the chapter is about, how to walk in Christ, in Him.
This is what I wrote down. We are saved by grace through faith. We heard. Were convicted by God. Responded to God’s drawing. Trusted His word. Acted upon the truth that we were lost sinners. Saw Christ as our only hope. Cried out to Him. He saved us. Now, we follow the same path for the rest of our lives. Look what it says in verse 6. As you “received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him.” The same way you got saved, is the same way as the rest of your Christian life. So, I just wrote down all my observations in verse 6 about how I got saved and what that means.
So those are my lessons. Now, look at verse 7. God’s truth needs to penetrate my life. Verse 7 says, “rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you had been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.” Look what I wrote, we need to invite God’s truth to come into our lives, to get way below the surface. We need to seek to know, experience, talk, and respond to Jesus like a close friend that we text with.
Now, when I text to my wonderful wife, she might not be in the room. She might not be in the house. She might not even be in the same state, but I am so close to her I feel like I’m right there talking with her. That’s how our Christian life is, it’s like our best friend texting with us. We know they’re there, even if we don’t see them right that moment.
Number one, salvation came by faith. That’s in verse 6.
Number two, God’s truth needs to penetrate my life.
That’s the lesson that I’ve gotten from each one of these beautiful promises in chapter 2. Okay, how to walk in Christ. God’s truth needs to penetrate my life. My salvation comes by faith.
Now, as we turn to the next slide see verse 8. So, I read verse 8. “Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.” This is what I wrote down in my journal; I will be aware of tainted ideas. I listen. I let people share anything they want. I read constantly. I have 7,000 books surrounding me in my library. But I’m always guarding, verse 8, against anyone cheating me through tainted ideas. Ideas get into our mind; ideas can pollute us worse than COVID-19. That only affects your body, ideas affect our soul. So, I wrote this, we must always be on guard for the world’s intrusion into, and tainting of God’s truth. The world is always devising ways to counterfeit what God offers, so that pleasures, peace, and happiness can be had without God. See, that’s what Satan’s trying to do. He’s trying to make you think, like he did Eve, that God’s keeping something from you. He wants you to doubt God and not believe His truth.
Number four, I got to verse 9 and this is what I read. “For in Him dwells all the fullness…” by the way, in this course how to mark your Bible, I show you how to look for words that are repeated. I actually daisy chain them. I go like this; I find them in my Bible. This verse, here’s the word and the same words here, and the same words here, and the same words here. After I find them, I go like this, to remind myself that the Holy Spirit’s supernaturally engineered the Bible. This actually I read to you, I can live full of Christ presence, verse 9. That’s what I wrote as my lesson. I can live full of Christ presence.
Then I continued, because it was early, and I was excited being in the word. Christ is my link to all of God. In Him, God can overflow every dimension of my life. Paul is guided by the Spirit to use the word plēroō seven times. Whoa. I went to an online Bible study help and I searched what that word was. I saw how many times it was used and found that seven times. I Daisy chain them all the way through Colossians. I wrote them in your notes there to illustrate the life, the benefits of a life overflowing with Christ. 1:9, 1:19, 1:25, 2:9, 2:10, 4:12, 4:17. So, all the way through the book of Colossians I Daisy chained those, so I can live a life full of Christ presence.
Next, I got to verse 11, here’s what it says. “In Him you were circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ.” Look what I wrote, I can live full of confidence. We have a heart that’s new. He circumcised our heart. God did spiritual surgery. So, I wrote Christ makes me complete. Even if I’m missing a wife, a husband, a child. Even if I’m missing my job, or money, or home. Even if I’m missing health, or mobility, or comfort. See, He is able to complete us. We are plēroō. Plēroō is the Greek word for overflowing.
Then I wrote, if I have Christ, I already have the very best life that is possible. Do you really believe that? I really believe that, because God’s word says that. See, I found that lesson, that I can live full of confidence.
Now listen, Paul described to early believers of the first century that they could live as slaves, as citizens of an occupied land, as outcasts in society, and yet have the joy, confidence of the son or daughter of a king. Remember, “Thy words were found, and I ate them, and Your word was for me the joy and rejoicing of my heart.” Why? Because “I’m called by Your name.” I am the son or daughter of the King. I can live full of confidence.
It’s going to be an all day study if I don’t hurry up. Verse 11, look what it says. Oh, I’m sorry. I read verse 11 for verse 10. I keep pointing to it, but in verse 10 you are complete in Him. That’s what we just talked about. Verse 11, you were circumcised, that’s the new heart. Now look what I wrote. I have a heart that is new. God has given me the ultimate, never needing to be upgraded, operating system. Now look, here’s my smartphone. This is just a very expensive piece of glass and aluminum without the operating system. You and I have an operating system that’s brand new. A heart that’s new, God gave us. I wrote another one of those great verses down in my notes. Ezekiel 36:26-27.
Then I got to verse 12. So, I get this new heart. I’m circumcised verse 11. Verse 12 says, I’m “buried with Him in baptism.” So, this is the declaration of what happens when we’re baptized. Baptism is a declaration of something that’s already happened. To me, I already have verse 11, gotten a new heart. Verse 12, I have been through faith in Christ, buried with Him. “In which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead.”
Look what I wrote. This one might be the best point, don’t miss it. I have a past that is buried. Then I wrote, God says my sins are forever gone. I thought of some cross-references. Psalm 103:12, John 8:11. John 8:11 Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn thee.” Never forget that. I have a past that’s buried.
Verse 13, “and you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive…” I wrote down, I have a fresh new beginning when I was born again. I was like a baby. I have no past just a future with God. I thought of verses right away, 2 Corinthians 5:17. “If anyone is in Christ, he’s” what? “A new creation; old things have passed away” and the new is come.
Verse 14, and I love this. “Having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.” Wow.
Now, can you see my Bible? If you could zero in on that, this got so good. I wrote in the margin:
Verse 11, I have a heart that’s new.
Verse 12, my past is buried forever, gone.
Verse 13, fresh new beginning.
Verse 14, end of guilt. All my sins are on Jesus. See what I wrote in my journal? I have the end of all guilt.
Then I kept writing, Jesus took the guilt of punishment and pain for my sins. My sins have been nailed to Christ’s cross. I don’t need to punish myself for what Christ has already been punished for. In Genesis 41 verses 51 and 52, Joseph testified that 20 years of horrible abuse were transformed by God. He was no longer able to be crippled by that past abuse, God dealt with it all. Do you understand? I have the end of all guilt. I don’t have to live like someone else’s abuse has crippled me for life.
Two more I found, right there:
Verse 15, I have nothing to fear. It says, “having disarmed principalities and powers…” 2:15 “…triumphing over them…” So, I have nothing to fear. Jesus disarmed the power of Satan to ever destroy me. Only Christ can protect me. All I have to do is trust Him.
One last thing, starting in verse 16, all the way to 23. What I wrote down is, I have a life that’s freed. Let no one judge you. Verse 18, “Let no one cheat you.” Verse 21 and “do not touch, do not taste…” Do you see all these rules that people want to put on us that try and bring us into bondage? I have a life that is freed from now on. I know Christ is my life. His word is my guide. I can now resist all those who try and lay hurtful barbs, and guilts, and crippling control on my heart and mind. Christ has set me free.
Now remember, three parts. So, we have two… A title, God sent me a letter, we already saw in Revelation 1. How to walk in Christ, we just saw in Colossians 2. So, we write down our title and now we make lessons into prayer requests.
Number one, my salvation came by faith. This is what I prayed. Lord, thank you for saving me by your grace. You are my only hope. I want to follow you all my days.
The next lesson, please penetrate my life with your truth deeply. See, God’s truth needs to penetrate my life. Verse 7. So, I asked Him to do that. I want you to penetrate my life with your truth, deeply. I want to live out your truth. I want to share your truth. I want to experience all your plans for me. Isn’t that exciting to think? This is me. First God talks to me as I read His word. Prayer is when I talked back to Him. But you know what’s powerful? When I say back to Him, what He says. He’s told me what He’s promised, and I see that’s what I want.
Number three, guard me from Satan’s lies. Fill my mind with your truth, so I can spot error.
From verse 9, I can live full of Christ presence. This is what I prayed… overflow my life as your word describes, so I am aware of your presence all day long. There’s a book by Brother Lawrence, Practicing the Presence of God. That’s what we’re supposed to do, become so aware of His presence at work, at school, no matter what we’re doing.
Number five from verse 10, I can live full of confidence. I wrote Lord, help me to believe that you have promised I am complete. Even if I don’t have a wife, or a husband, or a child. Even if I’m missing my job, or money, or home, or health, or mobility, comfort. Help me to know if I have Christ, I have the best life that is possible.
When Bonnie and I ate breakfast as newlyweds we read the Bible. Our waiter came up to us and asked us what drug we were on. He had seen us day after day in that same Los Angeles diner. We went there for months, every morning. When people see a life full of confidence, most people aren’t, and they wonder what substance is making us feel that way. We know, and we believe, and we declare it’s Christ, the best life possible.
Verse 11. I have a heart that’s new. Thanks for giving me a new heart that responds to you, I wrote as my prayer. I have a pass that’s varied. You have promised my past is buried and forever gone, to deliver me from the evil ones accusations. Satan’s called the accuser. He wants to remind us of our sins. He wants us to think that we’ve got to somehow work them off.
Number eight. I wrote down, I have a fresh new beginning. My prayer is, thanks for my fresh new start each day. I am never condemned by you. I love you Lord.
Verse 14. I have the end of guilt. I wrote, Jesus since you took my guilt, my punishment, my pain for all my sins keeps me from trying to punish myself for what Christ has already been punished for. Many believers are into this beating themselves up for their decisions, and mistakes, and sins, and weaknesses.
Number 10, I have nothing to fear. Help me to trust you in that fear. Here’s the ending, I have a life that is freed.
This is how it concluded my prayer. I believe you, that from now on Christ is my life, His word is my guide. I can from now on resist those who try to lay their hurtful barbs and guilt, and crippling control on my heart. Thanks for setting me free. In Jesus name, Amen.
I just did two. These take about 20 minutes for each one. By the time you read the chapter, as you’re reading, you find these little lessons. You don’t have to write them out fully. You should see my journal. It’s a lot of phrases and finding stuff.
The next slide says, we all need our lives surrounded by accountability to G.R.O.W. Hebrews 10:24-25 tells us why this can be the most powerful tool for my personal life altering and powerful life changing study, but also for other people.
- G – is get into the word every day. On a daily basis.
- R – is reach out for the power of the Spirit by faith. That’s this prayer part.
- O – is opened my life to the sanctifying work of the Spirit. That means that after you’ve done this, you think about it all day long and say God, you wrote a letter to me, and you want to bless me. You’ve cleansed me. Lord, I’m going to suffer but you’ve promised you know right where I am. These thoughts just build in our hearts all day.
- Then the W of GROW. The O is open my life to the sanctifying work, but the W – is willingly opened the word to others.
You might know of a brother/sister that’s not having time in the word. Once you get done with your course, don’t stop this. Just go through life armed with your Bible, your notebook, and find these truths. Then, challenge friends of yours and say, do you know what I found in the word of God? Do you know what God’s doing in my life? Do you know how He is altering me, changing me, and giving me joy and rejoicing? They will go, No. I just binged on Netflix. This sheltering is driving me crazy and I’m depressed. Say, it’s a boon from my Bible Study. Say, let me share with you what the Lord is doing.
There’s another class you can find on YouTube. How to mark your Bible. There are just some pages from my Bible. I’m showing you the daisy chains and word studies.
This is probably the best series we’ve ever done. This series we’re actually right now in the process of filming, it’s called the 52 greatest chapters of the Bible. If you were to take all 1,189 chapters of the Bible, that’s how many there are in the Bible; 1,189. If you study 52 of them, you actually can get a grasp of every key doctrine in the Bible, mark it, know what it is. In every key one, one of the 20 plus attributes of God. Know the entire plan of salvation that you have found in the scriptures. Defend inspiration. Know about the work of Christ. Understand eschatology, future things. Pneumatology, that’s the Holy Spirit. And have a complete grasp of the word of God. Now this is a yearlong, daily study. It’s like going to Bible college from home. It’s called the 52 greatest chapters in the Bible.
I show you; we use a systematic theology. Don’t be afraid, we just use it as resource. We use a study Bible, actually the MacArthur Study Bible. Then of course, this devotional method. So, you combine this devotional Bible study method with a study Bible and of theological framework, it’s wonderful.
This is another series, we have. A personal biblical framework: how to understand that we’re to be an evangelist, we believe in the inerrancy of scripture, cessationism, imputation, creationism, catastrophism…that’s the flood, maximalist… that’s letting the maximum word of God affect us, and understanding dispensational theology.
I always throw that in because sitting out there running this camera in this virtual classroom, is my wonderful wife. That’s our prayer card. Bonnie and I, when we’re not COVID-19 captured in the house, travel to where you see on that card. We actually teach in Bible institutes, and seminaries, and Bible colleges in Europe, in Middle East, in Asia, in South America, and in several here, in the United States.
So, for those of you that are taking the course for credit, your course project is 60% of your grade. Doing a minimum of a half page. Each one has to have a title, the lessons… where you found them with the verse number, and application prayer. I will say that this is transforming when you get done with the course. Just never stop. Try and do all 1,189 chapters.
Let’s bow for a word of prayer.
Father, thank you for letting us go through this course. Prep for some but for all of us a challenge for life, to find your word every day, to eat your word every day, and to find that you give to us joy and rejoicing in our hearts because we’re called by your name, oh Lord God of hosts. That’s what we want. Powerful life transforming, life-changing Bible study devoted to you. In Jesus name we pray. And all God’s people said, Amen.
Check Out All The Sermons In The Series
You can find all the sermons and short clips from this series, 52 Greatest Chapters Of The Bible here.
Looking To Study The Bible Like Dr. Barnett?
Dr. Barnett has curated an Amazon page with a large collection of resources he uses in his study of God’s Word. You can check it out here.