Tag Archives: Growth

5 LESSONS TO HELP YOU GROW IN YOUR FAITH

Learning To Ride A Bike

I remember as a young boy trying to learn how to ride a bike without training wheels. Many of the kids that lived in our neighborhood were older than I was and had already made the transition, and I didn’t want to feel like a little kid anymore.

I remember the frustration that I experienced when that bike would fall over. It seemed that I was never going to get it to stay up right so that I could ride more than a few feet. Then one day, just like magic, it happened.

I hopped on a boy’s bike that was older than I.  His bike was taller than mine. When I climbed on, my feet could not touch the ground. To get started, I put my left foot on the pedal and pushed with my right foot, sort of like starting out on a skate board. When the bike began to roll, I hopped up and put my right foot on the pedal and began pumping my legs.

I don’t know how it happened, but away I went.

A Parable Of Jesus

Jesus said something similar one day when he was teaching.

26 And He was saying, “The kingdom of God is like a man who casts seed upon the soil; 27 and he goes to bed at night and gets up by day, and the seed sprouts and grows—how, he himself does not know. 28 The soil produces crops by itself; first the blade, then the head, then the mature grain in the head. 29 But when the crop permits, he immediately puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”

– Mark 4:26-29  New American Standard Bible

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BIBLE STUDY | COMPILING YOUR RESEARCH

Below is the text that we have been working with over the past few weeks.

13 Then they sent some of the Pharisees and Herodians to Him in order to trap Him in a statement. 14 They came and said to Him, “Teacher, we know that You are truthful and defer to no one; for You are not partial to any, but teach the way of God in truth. Is it lawful to pay a poll-tax to Caesar, or not? 15 Shall we pay or shall we not pay?” But He, knowing their hypocrisy, said to them, “Why are you testing Me? Bring Me a denarius to look at.” 16 They brought one. And He said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” And they said to Him, “Caesar’s.” 17 And Jesus said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they were amazed at Him.

– Mark 12:13-17

Early on we discussed the importance of learning to ask questions in these two posts:  Part 1 & Part 2.  Then we talked about evaluating key words and phrases.  If you completed both of those exercises your work should look similar to what is below.

As we said in the beginning, not every question you answer will directly contribute to drawing conclusions about this passage of Scripture, but can and will lead to a deeper understanding of other Scriptures.  Your effort in study will not be wasted.

Work through the questions below.  Does this look similar to your work?  Are the answers in line with yours?

Look at your key words and phrases.  How do they inform the passage?  How do they add clarity or provoke questions?  Continue reading

BIBLE STUDY | EXPLORING INDIVIDUAL WORDS AND SENTENCE STRUCTURE

Formatting The Text

During this part of the process, I usually copy and paste the text into a Word document so that I can begin to mark it up.  I still have some folks in my church, believe it or not, that do not use a computer.  As they were working through this process, they wrote the verse out on a separate sheet of paper.

When I copy and paste I usually format the the text to use double or triple spacing so that I have enough room to make any notations that are needed.  I format custom margins so that the top and bottom are set to 0.5″ and the left and right margins are set to 2.0″.  This gives me the necessary white space on the page to work with.  I also Insert the chapter and verse in the header.  Finally, I use the justify format so that my margins are even and the page looks crisp and clean. Continue reading

BIBLE STUDY | LEARNING TO ASK QUESTIONS: PART 2

If all went well, you have between 15-20 questions that you have put together for Mark 12:13-17.  Below is the passage and a list of questions compiled by a group of students I recently helped walk through this exercise.

13 Then they sent some of the Pharisees and Herodians to Him in order to trap Him in a statement. 14 They came and said to Him, “Teacher, we know that You are truthful and defer to no one; for You are not partial to any, but teach the way of God in truth. Is it lawful to pay a poll-tax to Caesar, or not? 15 Shall we pay or shall we not pay?” But He, knowing their hypocrisy, said to them, “Why are you testing Me? Bring Me a denarius to look at.” 16 They brought one. And He said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” And they said to Him, “Caesar’s.” 17 And Jesus said to them, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they [d]were amazed at Him.

Mark 12:13-17  (NASB)

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BIBLE STUDY | LEARNING TO ASK QUESTIONS: PART 1

Learning to ask questions about a text is one of a few basic skills you can develop, that will help you achieve great strides towards depth of understanding, as you study the bible.

As a reminder, the verse that we have chosen to explore is Mark 12:13-17.

At this point we are trying to remove any bias we may have towards the Scripture.  We want to make as few assumptions as possible.  Our primary concern is to ask questions, to be answered later.  Therefore, do not get hung up on what you think you know or how a question sounds.  Just jot your questions down as quickly as you can. Continue reading