I’m a big fan of the TV show Gold Rush from the Discovery Channel. It’s one of those “reality” shows that follow a bunch of guys trying to mine for gold in Alaska. It’s cold, there are bears, and almost everything that can go wrong does. But, they know the value of gold and so are willing to endure and make sacrifices to find it.
There is a bit of a parallel between mining for gold and reading the bible. Both yield nuggets, one being expensive metal and the other is truth of inestimable value. Both require that we put in some digging to get to those nuggets. Both require that sacrifices be made. Often to pursue one thing, you will have to give up the pursuit of something else. This is true of mining the words of the living God.
Getting the most out of your DNA group all starts with you spending some time discovering truth in the Bible this week. All of God’s words in the Bible are valuable (the mining analogy breaks down a little here as there is no useless dirt in scripture). We rely on the Holy Spirit to illuminate specific truths to our hearts and minds for the situations of life that we are facing right now. Sometimes we may discover a brand new (to us) thought or concept, other times we savor an old truth that we have been needing to remember. Regardless, discovering what God is speaking to us through these written words is thrilling for both the heart and mind. The eternal, omnipotent, creator-God, is always speaking. We must be trying to listen.
As we do the work of listening, let us also be compelled to action! Gold miners aren’t rock collectors. No, they take their finds and sell them, they put the gold to work. Let’s not be guilty of hoarding truths in our head without ever putting them to work! As we go digging we will discover powerful truth and wisdom for our lives, let’s put them into action. Check out what James (from the bible) says here:
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing. (1:22-25)
Discovering the bible is not something that we have to do so God will be happy with us. Discovering the bible is something that we get to do because we love Jesus and want to be about all that he is about!
We want to help you develop a digging method. Reading the bible should not be approached like reading a textbook, because it is nothing close to one. This is a collection of divinely inspired words that overflow with depth, meaning, and life. Below are 3 great models to help you develop a healthy approach to digging for truth in the bible. Check them out and get started today!
REAP – http://austinstone.org/resources/bible-reading-plan
The Austin Stone in Texas uses REAP (Read, Examine, Apply, Pray). This is a “straightforward way to process what you’re reading, either on your own or with a small group of people.”
SOAP – http://soapstudy.com
S.O.A.P. stands for Scripture, Observation, Application and Prayer. The above is a website that is dedicated to helping you do this better.
PROAPT – http://indianaxa.dropmark.com/150965/2562579
This is a commonly used XA tool to help you study the Bible. Instead skimming over a passage, these steps will help you think about the text and better see how it fits into the story of the bible and your life.