By Heather Lailey, Bethany attender
Growing up, our family enjoyed nightly family devotion time after dinner. Adding to that foundation were Pioneer Girls, regular Sunday worship, attending a Christian high school and personal Bible study. As an adult, I struggled at times to get excited and focused when reading my Bible. My mind wandered. I felt I knew all the stories.
I taught them to my children. I’ve enjoyed teaching them in Children’s Ministry for over 10 years. I knew what the Bible had to say. My morning devotions were important but routine, not really searching for a precious treasure. I had discovered The Message which was refreshing and lyrical, but my study lacked an energy and impact on the rest of my day.
That all changed this summer during Bethany week at Camp Mishewah.
In the morning adult Bible study led by Sharon Shantz, we were given a duotang, handouts of Bible passages, questions and twistable Crayolas. I wanted to learn something new and I walked away with far more than I had bargained for. Though my tendency is to often read quickly and skim familiar passages, now we were reading slowly and rereading the verses out loud, focusing on particular phrases and key words, looking for patterns, asking the 5 Ws, making lists of details and examining them for new insights.
This reminded me of the process of preparing for my ARCT piano exam years before. I had been working on my pieces for almost two years when I was able to spend a summer in Toronto studying with one of the examiners. During our first lesson, she told me that for the next several weeks I was to cut everything down to quarter the speed and pay attention to the details I had been glossing over. It made all the difference in my final performance and I was now finding similar results in my Bible study.
I purchased special pens and crayons of my own to mark my Bible, created a legend of symbols to represent key ideas and spent the next month working through Kay Arthur’s Lord Teach Me to Study the Bible in 28 days. I was excited every day to mark and colour and examine Jonah and Jude. That’s five chapters grand total for one month! Though I have to admit I might have groaned when I had to read the same chapter for three days in a row, I loved the look of the page when I was finished with the rainbow of colours, symbols and notes. I learned something each day and applied that to my life with every reading. I will admit I was surprised at my new found excitement and I am currently delving into The New Inductive Study Series focusing on Genesis-Deuteronomy.
So if you like to highlight, colour, make notes and lists; if you’re feeling that you could be getting so much more out of your Bible study; if you’re ready to get so excited that you look forward to reading your Bible each day and sometimes can’t stop at the end of the lesson, then the Precept study method is for you. Check out this amazing tool to help you seek and find this life-giving treasure for yourself.
“And what will be our excuse when we see God face-to-face and give an account for our deeds as Christians (as 2 Corinthians 5:10 says) and tell Him we didn’t have time to study His Word?” Kay Arthur