Wednesday, July 27, 2022

IBS-53 Find the Application: God Illuminated


Big Idea: The Holy Spirit sheds light on the Bible to us as we study about God Himself.

God Illuminated

In the Middle Ages (about 500-1500 A.D.) Some could read, but many could not. Churches used memorization such as catechisms and the Lord’s Prayer as teaching tools. Illustrations of Bible stories in the form of paintings, stained glass, and beautiful gold edged drawings in Bible manuscripts shed light on the stories of God. Those golden edged drawings in books were called illuminated texts. In a very real way we need the Bible illuminated. We want light to shine on who God is and what He desires.

Pause and consider: 

God reveals Scripture.

God is revealed in Scripture.

Having studied Bible passages, underlining and listing truths, it is time to step back and ask what it shows you about God. God is not a man we see, limited by time and space. God is spirit and God is light. God is the same yesterday, today and for eternity. He cannot be contained.

Who has seen the wind? Jesus pointed out to Nicodemus in John 3:8 that God is like that. The wind we cannot see, but we can hear it blow through the leaves. We see and feel its effects.

God is revealed from Genesis to Revelation as the Trinity; Father, Son and Spirit. Holy Spirit which means breath, like the wind, moves us. The Holy Spirit moved human beings to communicate the words that became our Bible.

For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. 2 Peter 1:21 ESV

God is revealed to us through the Bible writings. These teachings are in sync from Genesis to Revelation.

Study the Bible asking what is written about God. Some passages may reveal more about the Father, the Son or the Holy Spirit. Having studied the passage, underlining and listing what it says about God. Step back and reflect what it tells you about Him. Some chapters talk about God’s character and others show aspects of His relationships. When I see a verse that mentions all three members of the Trinity I make a triangle in the margin of my Bible to show a Trinity verse. 

One aspect of General Revelation is that all mankind has a conscience. The Holy Spirit speaks to our conscience and we must choose to listen. He reveals truth about God to our heart and mind. He illuminates the Holy Scriptures pinpointing God. Sometimes while reading the Bible a verse can hit hard because it is exactly what is needed. It is like a spotlight goes straight to the heart or makes the path forward really clear. That is the illuminating work of the Holy Spirit and His Holy Word.

Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Psalm 119:105 ESV


This post is fifty-third in a series as a Practical Starter Guide for Inductive Bible Study.

Up next: Find the Application: How does God matter to me?
Previous post: Find the Application: The God Reveal


1. Have you ever lost electricity expectedly and found yourself in the dark? What was hard to do without light? How did you get light again? Have you ever felt like life has left you suddenly in the dark in need of light?

2. Has a passage or verse from the Bible ever given you insight, light on your life that was just what was needed?

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

IBS-52 Find the Application: The God Reveal


Big Idea: God reveals Himself to us through His Word, the Bible.

The God Reveal

Would you pay to see God? What might it take; an app, a portal or a sacred object? God has made a way so that we can know a lot about Him and even know Him personally as a friend.  It is all found in the Bible, the very Word of God.

Gender reveal parties have become so popular, each year new over-the-top stories emerge to announce if an expectant couple will have a boy or girl. Much about the future we can’t see. That may partly why gender reveal parties are so popular! It gives some understanding to the uncertainties of becoming a new parent.

But to know what God is like? He cannot be harnessed or caged any easier than a tornado can be contained. However we can know Him and learn many things about Him. The more one studies the Bible, the more God reveals of Himself.

Humankind is created in God’s image. We are social creatures and we have inherited that from God. God communicates in the Godhead (Trinity) and with His angels. We are in fact the joy of His creation, and His deepest desire is to know and care for us and have us adore Him!

How Does He Do It?

How does He show Himself to the world? Those who study God refer to General Revelation and Special Revelation.

General Revelation

Every human being observing this complex beautiful world and the intricate human body should see an intelligent design that is not random. It is the handiwork of God. Looking at the human conscience, every person has a sense of right and wrong, of morality. These are imprints from God for all to see without the written Word.

Special Revelation

Two outstanding examples are Jesus, God who became man to rescue us from sin, and the Bible, the written Word of God. This Word is revealed to man from God, recorded for all of us to see (2 Peter 1:21). Our focus in Inductive Bible Study is about digging in to the Bible discovering how to apply it to our life.

God Revealed in the Bible

The Bible is all about God and His relationship with mankind. He is revealed in numerous ways.

1. History of God reaching out to people individually and as groups of people.

2. We see what God is like and what He does.

3. We see what He wants, and what He wants from us.

4. We watch His plans unfold for individuals and for humankind over the course of Bible times.

5. We see how others describe God, what they learn about Him.

6. God is quoted. God is observed. God is felt. God is Spirit and the spirit is like the wind. It is not visible but it is felt.

When you get to the application phase of your Bible passage, if you have done the work of observation and interpretation, ask yourself what you’ve observed about God, who He is and what He does. And then ask yourself, how might God matter in my situation today?


This post is fifty-second in a series as a Practical Starter Guide for Inductive Bible Study.

Up next: Find the Application: God Illuminated 
Previous post: Find the Application: Be a Good Example - 4


1. What have you seen either in the human body or the world that makes you marvel? Has anything ever left you feeling that there must be something intelligent out there?

2. What is the most amazing thing about God that you have seen in the Bible? (Examples: His love, His forgiveness, He knows what’s going on)

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

IBS-51 Find the Application: Be a Good Example-4

Big Idea: God as an example for us, especially through the life of Christ, wants us to be a good example to others, too.

Be a Good Example

God constantly shows us His attributes. He models love, mercy and forgiveness. He shows us right from wrong as a father shows his children how to live. He has created us in His image and He wants to influence us to live a better life, looking toward eternity.

Show me your unfailing love in wonderful ways. By your mighty power you rescue those who seek refuge from their enemies. Psalm 17: 7 NLT

The Perfect Example

Jesus walked on earth as God and man. He modeled “God with us” living among the people. He modeled love. He modeled prayer with God the Father. He challenged what is wrong. He modeled servant leadership.

Even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many. Matthew 20: 28 NLT

We can learn a lot about the Christian life studying the Father and the Son. Ask the Holy Spirit for insight. God Himself is our perfect example.

Other Example Categories in the Bible

Parents: The Old Testament especially notes repeatedly how children saw the example of the parents and followed or did not follow. Parents are exhorted to teach their children what is right; To teach God’s ways. This continues in the New Testament too. Parents, Grandparents, big sisters and brothers, you are examples to the children. They are watching.

Teachers/Pastors: In both the Old and New Testaments we see good and bad teachers. Obviously they have a huge influence on many. In the New Testament church leaders and teachers are supposed to show the way to live.

If you are a parent, know your kid is watching you! If you are a teacher or leader in church, know you are being observed and even imitated.

You are to be an example

Paul tells the church at Philippi in Philippians 3:17 to follow his example, and thus be an example to others.

Paul tells Timothy to live as an example to the church even though he is young (1 Tim 4:12)

Titus is called to be an example “Doing good works of every kind.” (Titus 2:7)

Peter tells the elders to lead by good example. (1 Peter 5:3)

Hebrews 6:12 encourages us the follow the example of others who are believers.

Hebrews 11, known as the faith chapter of the Bible, gives lots of examples and says in Hebrews 11:4 that Abel though long dead, is an example to us. So we, through our life, and even after our death, can have a life and legacy for Christ that inspires others to follow Jesus.

Hebrews 13:7 tells us to see the example of those leaders who have taught us the Word of God, and follow their example.

We are examples for good or for bad. As a parent, we are an example to our children. For each Christian around us, we are an example, either good or bad, of what the Christian life can be like. For those at our workplace, or relatives who don’t know Jesus, as they see our faith we are an example to them too. Good or bad. Needless to say, we should strive to be a good example.

The Only Bible Some May Ever Read

A well quoted saying should motivate us to be intentional in the way we live our life, even without words. “You may be the only Bible some may ever read.”

Imagine that!


This post is fifty-first in a series as a Practical Starter Guide for Inductive Bible Study.

Up next: Find the Application: The God Reveal
Previous post: Find the Application: Learn from Good Examples -3


1.What do you admire about Jesus? How can He be an example for you in your life related to this quality?

2. Have you ever thought of yourself as an example to others?

- to those you may teach
- to those new Christians in your life
- to people around you who don’t know Jesus yet

How does that make you feel? Do you think you should change anything about how you act or react?

3. Reflect on the phrase, “You may be the only Bible may ever read.” How can this apply in your life among others?

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

IBS-50 Find the Application: Learn from Good Examples-3

Big Idea: We can apply the Bible to our life studying the good examples in the Bible.

Learn from Good Examples

Most of us have heard a list or two of the funny things little kids say to explain Bible characters such as these:

Who was Noah’s wife?  Wasn't it Joan of Arc?

There are a lot of people mentioned in the Bible. Some are mentioned only once in a genealogy list. Others are major players in the stories of God at work in the world and mentioned through much of the Bible. 

What we can learn through these Biblical stories.

1. We can learn from less than perfect people. 

 The people in Bible stories are just like us, living in a different time and place. They most likely have some not so good qualities they struggle with but many grow as they learn to follow God. We shouldn’t feel we don’t measure up to the Saints who’ve gone before us. We are in the midst of the process getting to know God better and learning to be more like Him. We can learn from many role models in Scripture.

2. Make a Bible Character study chart

Make two columns with a line down the middle of your page. Write Good Examples/Bad Examples.  Candidly look at where they do well and also where they could grow in their life.

3. What is said in the rest of the Bible

If you have time look at what the rest if the Bible has to say about them. You can find this in a concordance, or using the search feature on an online Bible. Some Old Testament characters are explained or praised in the New Testament (especially in Hebrews 11).

4. Review what you've discovered

Look over your good example list and think about what you have learned so far, What do they model exceptionally well? Examples: Prayer. Trust in God. Giving praise. Courage in danger. Strength against despair.

5. Doing life

There is a “Then” and “Now” aspect of reality. How can you learn from someone born into such a different life than yours? But that is the trick. Consider basic characteristics, attitudes or actions that might be a model to you. Human nature is human nature transcending time and place. Seek to see what you have in common.

6. Heroes and Role Models

We pass through different seasons of life. Ask yourself what kind of example you need for this period? Who inspires you? Who gives you inner strength in the midst of trials, illness or parenting problems? There are so many questions you could ask. What are they coping with/dealing with? Why do they respond as they do? How do they put their trust in God and move forward?


This post is fiftieth in a series as a Practical Starter Guide for Inductive Bible Study.

Up next: Find the Application: Be a Good Example-4
Previous post: Find the Application: We can Learn from Bad Examples -2


1.What character traits would you look up to in a Bible character? What qualities do you need to look at this season in your life?

2. For practice, think of a man or woman in the Bible you admire. Find a passage that talks about their life. Use the steps mentioned to think through how they are an example for you.