Showing posts with label Application. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Application. Show all posts

Thursday, October 5, 2023

1 - Devotional Bible Study Method

Big Idea: A Bible study method based on application is practical for daily living.

Series note: The next 12 weeks will feature summaries of the 12 Bible Study Methods featured in the book by Rick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life.

The Bible Applied to Daily Life

My mother and I were working in the garden on a hot day in North Dakota. I was about 8 years old, probably doing more playing than helping. She asked me to bring her a cup of cold water. Remember what the Bible says, she quoted.

And if you give even a cup of cold water to one of the least of my followers, you will surely be rewarded. Matthew 10:42 NLT

It was the Bible, applied to daily life. It began to shape my life on the importance of service before self.


The Bible is not just words  

The Devotional Bible Study Method, according to Rick Warren, shows how to prayerfully meditate on the Bible and apply to our daily experiences.

He states that you don’t really know and absorb the Word of God unless you apply it. Otherwise it is just words.

Additionally, the Bible can actually be dangerous if you study it but do not apply it. One example he gives is that you could get arrogant and just brag about what you know, without living it (I Cor. 8:1). 

Application is hard work

Rick Warren gives us three reasons why applying the Bible to daily life takes hard work.

1. It requires serious thinking.
2. Satan fights against it viciously.
3. We naturally resist change.

Four steps to practical application

Every chapter of Warren’s book is practical. He provides charts and templates for personal study. Here are four practical steps he gives on studying from an application point of view, which are the 4 sections of his template on the Devotional Method.

1. Pray for insight on how to apply the passage you have chosen.
2. Meditate on the verse or verses.
3. Write out applications you see from that passage.
4. Memorize a key verse.

Suggested passages 

Psalm 15
Psalm 34
Romans 12
1 Thessalonians 5:12-22
1 John 4

Warren’s summary

The Ultimate test by which we study and apply Scripture is the person of Jesus Christ. We have to ask, “Does this application help me become more like Jesus?”

If we do not apply the biblical insights God gives us, we become spiritually dull to the convicting work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Application of God’s Word is vitally necessary to our spiritual health and our growth in Christian maturity.

Resource: charts for every method

Here is an online PDF of the book by Rick Warren, Bible Study Methods: 12 ways you can unlock God's Word


Previous: “Three Versions” Bible Reading
Up next: The Chapter Summary Method of Bible Study



1. Take a moment of reflection on your life. Can you think of an example when you were aware that the Bible was relevant to, and helpful to, a life experience?

2. In all honesty, when you read the Bible are you mindful to apply it to your life situation today? Was there moment when you came to realize the importance of application?

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

IBS-56 Find the Application: The Yield

Big Idea: What yielding to God looks like as we apply the Bible to our lives.

The Yield

A traffic yield sign means to look carefully both ways to let oncoming cars past first. Though it seems a polite suggestion, an accident because of failure to yield would result in a traffic ticket and may cause serious harm.

Curiously, most occurrences of the word “yield” in the English Bible are about the amount of produce from a crop. Farmers today discuss the yield of a crop. Bankers talk about the yield of a particular fund.

The word "yield" is rarely use in the Bible regarding yielding to God, but various words describe submitting to Him. We talk about it as surrender and making Him Lord of our life, and giving our cares over to God. 

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3: 5-6 NIV

“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? Luke: 6:46 ESV

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:1-2 ESV

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20 ESV

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4: 7 NIV

An Etymology of "Yield"

The background to the old English word for yield comes from the word gold, and the implication was to pay over or give over what you have, or show an attitude of servitude, sacrifice or worship. The Greek word the Apostle Paul used (paristemi) in Romans 6:13 (yield) and 12:1 (present, offer) was rarely used in the New Testament but was commonly used in the ancient Greek world. It was used to mean to “give over” or “bring over” for the emperor or person of power to show worship or homage. This makes perfect sense in Romans 12:1 when he states to “offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God.”

As we study God’s Word learning more about God Himself, we must apply it to our lives. We do that by yielding, presenting ourselves completely to Him. He is mighty and majestic and yet loving with a longing for a personal living relationship with each of us.

Yield to God as you discover more about Him and  His desire for you from your careful study in the Bible. Apply what you learn daily. He is worthy of all our trust and everything we have to offer.


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

Up next: Conclusion
Previous post: Find the Application: God Matters


1. What is an example of yielding of something or to someone. What might it look like in your life to yield to God?

2. Reflect and pray about an area in your life that you need to give over to God.

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

IBS-55 Find the Application: God Matters

Big Idea: Getting to know God via the Bible matters in your life today.

God Matters

A great resource for life and marriage called the Five Love Languages (author Gary Chapman) explains ways people give and receive love. If my husband is having a bad day, getting him a cup of coffee or offering to do something on his to-do list is immensely appreciated. I learned that “Acts of Service” is his love language. It is useful. It can change an entire relationship by understanding what speaks to someone’s heart. Knowing God can be a bit like that. Knowing what delights and pleases Him strengthens our relationship with Him.

Growing in our knowledge of God shows us how to live better (2 Peter 1:2). The Bible is our primary source. In serious Bible study the first question should be, “What does this tell me about God?” followed by “How does this matter in my life?”

Treasure my commands…Then you will understand what it means to fear the Lord, and you will gain knowledge of God. Proverbs 4: 1b, 5 NLT

We as Christians look forward to living forever with God. Nevertheless His help in our daily life makes all the difference in this life; His presence, His comfort, His wisdom and guidance in darkness and confusion.

A few specific examples

God’s love: “We love because He loved us first.” (I John 4:19 NLT).  How does His love impact life today? Are you feeling down on yourself? Alone? Does a family member or close friend need to be reminded of His love? Could this help you love someone unlovable in your life?

God’s faithfulness: “I will never fail you. I will not abandon you.” (Hebrews 13:5 NLT). Do you feel abandoned by everyone? Walking through a rough valley? Going to a dreaded meeting today where you really need His help?

God’s holiness: “Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.” (Ephesians 4: 24 NLT). Do you focus on God’s holiness or treat it lightly? Examine yourself. Do the right thing today. Confess what is not right in your life. Let Him guide you in being a better person to those around you. 

These are a couple of examples of observing God in the Bible, asking how it matters today. Ask yourself how it guides the way you interact with others. Ask how it strengthens your core being today.

I have not stopped thanking God for you. I pray for you constantly, asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God. Ephesians 1:16-17 NLT


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

Up next: Find the Application: Yield
Previous post: Find the Application: Get to know God


1. Are you intentional to study and apply the Bible specifically looking at God? Is there something fresh you examined about God recently?

2. Do you ever think about how God impacts your daily life? How might you have done this in the past? What can you do to think intentionally of God in your life today?

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

IBS-54 Find the Application: Get to know God

Big Idea: Studying the Bible we can get to know God better like getting to know another person.

Get to Know God

How do you get to know God? The best source is to study the Bible. In my inductive studies I read a Bible passage highlighting God with yellow; often differentiating Father, Son and Holy Spirit. When you study a passage, noting God is a good place to begin. It is also a great way to quickly see where God shows up and what it tells us about Him.

Think God

A sermon I heard recently asked some powerful questions about God.
  • How often do you think of God? Is He the first thing you think of?
  • When you go to God what picture do you have of Him?
  • What do you think when you start to pray?
  • What do you expect of God?
  • What do you know of God?

Think God. Get used to Him being in your thoughts. Ask what a Bible passage shows you. Some places in the Bible God is not obvious, such as in the book of Esther, or tabernacle instructions in the book of Leviticus. It is important to know that every book is in the Bible for a reason, and God is behind that reason. Where is His influence evident?

Getting to know someone

Getting to know someone means talking with them and asking questions. Find out their likes and dislikes, their hopes, dreams and fears. What is the essence of their character? What makes them happy, sad or angry? How do they interact in relationships and in community? What is their reason for being? Their work ethic?

Think of getting to know God like that through the Word. Does God have likes and dislikes? The Bible shows what pleases Him and what doesn’t please Him. He has hopes and dreams. He has plans, always looking at the future with an eternal perspective. He is a relational God who delights in people and He delights interacting as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He expresses happiness, sadness and anger through the Bible. As we spend time in the Word we learn more and more who God is.

A single passage may show you just one aspect of His character. Ask yourself these questions as you study:
  • What is His character? What traits are revealed?
  • What do I learn about His nature? About the Trinity?
  • Does God’s personality show through? Does He reveal happiness, sadness, or anger?
  • Does it show God, or does it tell you something about Him?
  • What are His plans? What does He think of my plans?
Getting to know God, like with people, takes quality time. Give Him that honor.


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

Up next: Find the Application: Yield
Previous post: Find the Application: God Illuminated


1. How often do you think about God in a day? Do you think of Him first when you are troubled? When you are hopeful?

2. Have you ever felt that excitement and ease with God like the song states “Getting to know you”? Are you in the Word? Are you learning new things about Him day by day?

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.

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

IBS-49 Find the Application: Learn from Bad Examples -2

Big Idea: We can learn from bad examples in the Bible.

We Can Learn from Bad Examples

Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself. Eleanor Roosevelt

There are a lot of stories throughout the Bible. One would think a body of religious works would showcase the good examples; the way to live right. But one reason I believe the Bible is an authentic, true book and not fabricated fairy tales is because everyone is not a hero or a goody-two-shoes. Many people make mistakes and some of them are make them over and over again! And yet remarkably, God loves these people and wants their friendship and wants to bless and use them.

A favorite Bible study series that I have taught multiple times is “Bad Girls of the Bible,” and “Really Bad Girls of the Bible,” by Liz Curtis Higgs. Each class is always popular. It is interesting to see people mess up, and what God does about it. The author points out that anyone can find something in common with these bad girls: A controlling spirit, jealousy, brokenness over disease... We relate to these characters because we sometimes have messed up lives too.

So as we look for applications in the Bible, look carefully at the bad examples. Do a character study exploring why they did what they did and how they got that way. 

How Bad Examples Teach Us

1. Learn from the mistakes of others. (Ananias and Saphira) Acts 5:1-10

2. Understand that in spite of our mistakes, when we turn to God He will bless those who follow Him. (Moses the murderer, King David the murderer)

3. No matter how bad you have been, you can still come to God for a fresh start. (Paul the murderer)1 Timothy 1:15-16

4. Bad examples show us the consequences of stubborn rebellion. 2 Peter 2:6

5. Even ungodly characters can teach us life illustrations. (The bad judge) Luke 18:1-7

Every story and lesson in the Bible has a purpose. It is there for our understanding of God and personal growth as a Christian. 

 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 2 Timothy 3:16 NLT

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

Up next: Find the Application: Learn from Good Examples-3
Previous post: Find the Application: Live the Good Examples -1


1. If you wrote the Bible for people to know God would you have put all those bad examples in there?

2. Do you have a special bad boy or bad girl of the Bible that intrigues you? Why do you find them interesting? What do you learn from them?

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

IBS-48 Find the Application: Live the good example - 1

The Big Idea: It is important that we study and learn from the examples found in Scripture.

Live the Good Example

When my husband was on assignment at the Army Post at Fort Benning, GA, we constantly saw the infantry motto, “Follow me!” It was everywhere! Every time I saw it, it reminded me that the Bible teaches us to be both followers and leaders for His sake.

Everyone needs good role models and heroes; those who show us the way to be. It is important for young children and youth. It is useful for training workers. It is good for all of us to have someone in our life that shows us a way to live better. Here are a few reasons why.

  • They show us how to live, and in sickness and death, how to die well
  • They show us how to make mistakes and to learn from them
  • They show us how to walk through darkness and difficulty
  • They teach us better ways to act, interact and respond to our world0
  • They give us inspiration and courage

“Follow me” - Jesus

In the Bible you have probably heard Jesus’ phrase, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Matthew 4:19 ESV

Sometimes the disciples and others following Jesus were called followers. In the book of Acts many were called this as well. Christianity was referred to as “The Way.” Jesus said He was the Way to God and used this phrase about Himself. It stuck. They followed the Way.

Following or imitating someone worthy of being followed is important. In the animal kingdom, the momma imprints on the babies as to how to behave. It is important for baby Christians to have a fellow  Christian show them how to live too.

Examples from the Word


Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God. Ephesians 5:2 NLT

For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps. I Peter 2:21 NLT

The Apostle Paul

Dear brothers and sisters, pattern your lives after mine, and learn from those who follow our example. Philippians 3:17 NLT

For I became your father in Christ Jesus when I preached the Good News to you. 16 So I urge you to imitate me. I Corinthians 4:15b-16 NLT

You should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ. 1 Corinthians 11:1

If it ever happens that you do not have very good examples of Christianity around you (and Christians have their blind spots like anyone else) know you can turn to the examples of Jesus and the Apostle Paul. Read the Bible and look for examples how to live as God would want us to live.


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

Up next: Find the Application: What we can Learn from Bad Examples 2
Previous post: Find the Application: Practice with Psalm 23



1. Who has been a positive role model in your life? In what ways have you learned from them?

2. Think about the life of Jesus in the Gospels. What is something you appreciate or admire about how He lived or how He handled people? Think about how that might be helpful to you in your walk with God.

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Application: Principles Exercise for Psalm 23

The Big Idea: How we can apply the Bible by looking for principles in Psalm 23.

Finding the Principles

Foundational truths that guide our faith leading us to be more like Jesus are valuable principles found throughout the Bible. Last week we looked at steps to find those principles. Let’s put it to the test in Psalm 23.

Finding the Biblical Principles in Psalm 23

1. Identify the theme of the passage (the book, the chapter) The book theme: worship

The chapter theme: God cares for us

2. What is it about? What is the subject? What is happening?

The chapter is about God and how He acts toward us as individuals and how He cares for His children down to their very needs.

The action taking place is an example of how a shepherd takes care of sheep. It has inspired many painters to create an image of the Good Shepherd.

3. What do you think the author/speaker is trying to show or tell his audience? What is the intent? Why is this included in the Bible?

This is an illustration common to the Old Testament times where shepherds were plentiful and took responsibility for their sheep. He shows us God’s intimate type of care over us. This is in the Bible to illustrate this very personal God interested in our daily life. Many deities and heads of religion have platonic nice sounding ideas but the concept of a personal God who is like a parent, friend or caretaker vested in their charge is a critical difference for the God of the Bible.

4. Is it told or shown in the narrative (story telling)? Is there a cause and effect? Are there contrasts in what should and should not be done? 

This passage is a narrative. It is not specific to a person but we can imagine the author David, who was a shepherd boy for his father’s flocks, knew from personal experience how to care for his sheep.

There is a sense of cause and effect because as the shepherd cares for the sheep they know Him. His care is not only adequate, it is abundant.

5. Is there a natural list of qualities and/or actions? Let’s look at the benefits of Psalm 23. See note.

6. How might it be relevant to the culture of its time? How might it be applicable today?

As shepherds were common in the Old Testament it was recognized as a humble and responsible way of caring for their charge. God is like that.

A modern illustration may be like how people are tender and loving caring for their dog or cat. We see doggie strollers and ice cream cones for dogs. It is people’s delight to be tender and caring toward them.

My husband added that perhaps we can take note from the recent baby formulae shortage. We heard stories how mothers would drive up to a couple hours away in the hopes of finding formulae for their babies.

7. Generalize what is being said. What is the main point? Write the principle in one sentence. State it clearly. 

We should find and grasp the main point in order to go deep! God gives exceptional care to me because He loves me.

8. What is the take-away from the identified principle(s) of your passage? How can you use this knowledge for your life? 

It is such a powerful picture of God’s presence, His comfort and His loving care.

  • God gives me what I need (not necessarily what I want). It overflows.
  • He renews me and refreshes me.
  • He guides me
  • I do not need to be afraid because He is with me. He protects and comforts.
  • His love is for every day of my life now and eternally in the future.


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

Up next: Find the Application: Live the Good Example
Previous post: Find the Application: Principles Followed



1. Read over the take-aways of number 8. Is there at time when you sense His care over you in this way?

2. Sing to yourself the song,”Jesus Loves Me”or listen to it here, reflecting on the truth of it for your life.

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Application: Principles that Guide

The Big Idea: How we can apply the Bible by looking for principles in a passage.

Principles That Guide

Biblical principles are foundational truths that guide our faith and our beliefs, directing how we act. Essentially, they lead us to be more like Jesus.

Why we need Biblical Principles

  • They ground us in what is true and right
  • They guide how we think
  • They guide how we act
  • They guide our decision making
  • They guide how we treat others

How to find the Biblical Principle in a passage

1. Identify the theme of the passage (the book, the chapter, the paragraph, or all three)

2. What is it about? What is the subject? What is happening?

3. What do you think the author/speaker is trying to show or tell his audience? What is the intent? Why is this included in the Bible?

4. Is it told or shown in the narrative (story telling)? Is there a cause and effect? Are there contrasts in what should and should not be done?

5. Is there a natural list of qualities (like the fruit of the Spirit Galatians 5:22-23) and/or actions? Of what to do and what not to do? Of how we should behave?

6. How might the passage relate to the culture of its time? How might it be applicable today?

7. Generalize what is being said. What is the main point? Write the principle in one sentence. State it clearly. We should find and grasp the main point in order to go deep!

8. What is the take-away from the identified principle(s) of your passage? How can you use this knowledge for your life?

  • How does this help you train your brain to think what is good and right and true?
  • What is the right thing for you to do? Is there a way to adjust how you act?
  • Does this passage shed light on how you treat people and interact with them?
  • Is there a decision that could use insight from this principle?
  • How might this passage help you to act in a more Christ-like manner?

The book of Galatians presents guidelines for godly living. In Galatians 6:16 the word used can mean a measuring rod, or guideline for what is right. This same word, “canon,” was used of the books the Apostles and early church leaders chose to be included in the Bible. They followed a principle or guide, and this Word of God guides us.

What counts is whether we have been transformed into a new creation. May God’s peace and mercy be upon all who live by this principle; they are the new people of God. Galatians 6:15b-16 NLT


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

Up next: Find the Application: Principle Followed – Practice with Psalm 23
Previous post: Find the Application: Promise Claimed-4 – Practice with Psalm 23



1. How would you explain the word “principle” in our secular academic world, and in the context of the Bible?

2. What would you say are some general principles of the Bible? What are some principles that guide your walk with God? Can you think of Bible passages that support it?

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Promise Exercise for Psalm 23

The Big Idea: How to examine the familiar Psalm 23 from the perspective of the promises of God.

Promises In Psalm 23

How can we determine God’s promises keeping true to the Bible? Here is how I have examined Psalm 23.

My 10-step approach to finding the promises in Psalm 23

1. Every time I opened the passage I prayed for God to guide me.

2. I had a notebook and pen/pencil handy.

3. I read the whole chapter a couple of times in a couple of translations.

4. I checked who wrote it. Could I legitimately claim the author wrote it not just for himself but also for the people of God.

5. I listed the attributes and actions of God evident in the verses.

6. I researched if the attributes and actions are in sync with the rest of the Bible citing some references to other passages.

7. I noted the benefits.

8. I looked at conditions and/or circumstances for the recipient.

9. Since this Psalm did not exhibit direct Words of God I wondered what would constitute a promise? The author speaks about God. How does that function as a promise?

10. Lastly I checked other authors online on Promises in Psalm 23.  I worked the passage first. Then I checked for other Christians to verify I was in sync with them. We share the Holy Spirit. This prevents error.

Diane’s Notes

1. Pray.

2. Pencil and paper. 

3. Psalm 23 completely read in NLT, ESV, NIV. 

4. David wrote Psalm 23. He probably initially wrote it for himself, but it was included in the Psalms, a book of worship for believers. I believe he was thinking of building up and teaching others about God when God inspired David to write this. Yes, it can be for me.

5. Going through Psalm 23 I listed attributes and actions. This is a photo of my slip of paper I brought with me to a park using the Bible on my iphone. See how simple it can be?

6. Are these attributes in sync with the rest of the Bible? I list only verses 1-2 for space sake.

  • Shepherd – even Jesus identified Himself as our Shepherd. Isaiah 40:11, John 10. Other places
  • He leads us – Proverbs 15:24, Isaiah 40:11, 2 Corinthians 2:14
  • He provides rest – Joshua multiple times, 1 Chronicles 23:25, Matthew 11:28, Hebrews 4:9
  • He restores – Deuteronomy 30:20, Psalm 51:12, 1 Peter 5;10

7. Benefits to the recipient

Needs fulfilled (v1), rest (v2), quiet (v2), refreshing (v3), lead/direction (v3), no fear (v4), not alone (v4), comfort (v4), provision (v5) abundance (v5), goodness and love (v6), my whole life and forever (v6)

8. Conditions to all this abundance and goodness. Yes. I know God is MY shepherd (v1). I allow God to do all these things for me. One can be invited to eat at a table and refuse to come. God benefits those who want His help and seek Him.

9. How do we understand Bible promises where God is not talking?

Promise – n. a declaration or assurance that one will do a particular thing or that a particular thing will happen. Oxford Dictionary

We examine His character and the way He consistently acts. While promises are not negotiable, they may be contingent on our engagement with Him. In Psalm 23, we see declaration after declaration of God’s intent and His ability to help those who seek Him.

10. Online looking for promises of Psalm 23, there are numerous posts that mention Jesus as the Good Shepherd. Some lists are very detailed about who God is to us. The site ties it with Psalm 22 quoted by Jesus at the cross. 

Some of the promises I determined:

  • God provides for my needs; Not my wants, but my needs.
  • God leads me, just like a guide through difficult terrain.
  • God provides rest and restoration in His time.
  • God is with me. I do not need to be fearful, even when I go through difficult circumstances He is with me through them.
  • God is my protector especially as I use His Word (rod and staff)
  • God has my entire life and my eternity in view. It is ultimately for good, not evil. Everything is in His time.
Put on your Promise Filter to find God’s promises for YOU!

Enjoy this worship Psalm based on Psalm 23, I am Not Alone


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

Up next: Find the Application: Principle Followed
Previous post: Find the Application: Promise Claimed-3 The Promise Filter



1. Which of my last list resonates with your need for today?

2. Are you seeking Him? Is He your shepherd always? Do you want Him to restore you? If not, what stands in your way?

3. Consider anything you should tell God right now.

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Application: The Promise Filter

The Big Idea: Practical advice toward finding God’s promises in a Bible passage using a series of steps as a filter.

The Promise Filter

Not every verse or chapter in the Bible reveals a promise of God, even though God’s Word is all about God and His relationship with people. We must always keep alert for His character and nature to be revealed to us. As we have that radar on, we find how He treats people, and His promises emerge.

It is a valuable skill to be a promise finder. There are many books, articles and charts online and at Christian book sites about the promises in the Bible. But you can find them for yourself as well. As we study the Bible inductively, we should hone the craft to find promises with the Holy Spirit’s help.

Applying the Promise Filter

1. Pray first. Ask the Holy Spirit to teach you through the Word.

2. Practice by reading books of the Bible with a higher concentration of promises. Books like the Psalms, Isaiah, and the many Epistles of the New Testament.

3. Read the Bible looking for God’s character.

4. Read the Bible observing how He interacts with people.

a. Check for promises to those who love Him and are committed to Him.

b. Observe those who don’t follow God. We see both God’s patience desiring they turn to Him and His judgment after He has given them many chances and they won’t change or He needs to establish boundaries. (See Romans 5:8-10)

5. Record God’s relationship with people, especially those who love Him. Note what He says through the Biblical writers.

6. Observe to whom God makes promises. The Psalms often present promises to the people of God. The Apostle Paul writes to the people of God. We can appropriate these.

7. Check for conditions or qualifications. Many are promises to those who live a life of Faith. Examine yourself too.

Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires. Psalm 37:4 NLT

8. If you love a phrase or a single verse, read the paragraph or chapter around it, recognizing the context. It is dangerous to base your understanding of God on one phrase.

Put on your Promise Filter to find God’s promises for YOU!


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

Up next: Find the Application: Promises Claimed-4 Practice with Psalm 23
Previous post: Find the Application: Promise Claimed-2 Trust God's Character



1. Do you have a favorite promise of God? Why is it special to you?

2. If you have a favorite book or chapter in the Bible, take a look at it and think about promises that might come out of that. Try it out prayerfully.

3. Next week we will look together at gleaning promises from the well known Psalm 23. Look at it this week and see if your observations line up with mine!

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Application: God's Promises are Based on Trust

The Big Idea: This mini-series is about finding practical applications in a Bible passage; God’s promises are based on His character, which we can trust.

God's Pomises are based on Trust

One of Aesop’s Fables is about the boy who cried wolf. The shepherd boy teased the villagers that a wolf was attacking their sheep and watched with glee as they dropped everything to protect the sheep. After numerous jokes the people stopped listening. He lost their trust. His word was worthless.

God is worth our trust because of who He is. He has revealed Himself to us through His Word, the Bible, which also includes stories of people in Bible times who discovered who He claims to be is true. Christians through the ages recount their own stories of the same.

We can trust God

The many attributes of God make Him worthy of complete trust. Here are a few.

  • He does not change. (Numbers 27:19, Malachi 3:6, Hebrews 13:8)
  • He knows everything and is infinitely wise. (Psalm 147:5, 1 John 3:20)
  • He cannot lie. All He says is true. (Numbers 23:19, Titus 1:2, Hebrews 6:18)
  • He is all powerful. (Jeremiah 32:17, Hebrews 1:3) He can do everything He said He will do. (Ezekiel 24:14, Psalm 52:9)
  • He is good. (Psalm 145:9, James 1:17) There is no dark side with God. (1 John 1:5)
  • He will make everything right someday. (Ecclesiastes 3:11, 2 Peter 3:13, Revelation 21:1-5) He is st. (Luke 18:7)

Samples of promises based on His character

In this list, there are promises made to individuals who lived in a very different setting than ours. Many of the examples of God’s love and faithfulness are from the Old Testament. Many are made with the contingency that you love God and follow Him; that you are His children. We can observe God’s nature and actions through those promises not made to us. The most important things we need to know about God and His relationship to us are in the Bible.

These verses are samples. This is not a comprehensive list!

Some characteristics: God is everywhere. God knows everything.

  • God is always with me. (Deut 31:8 Joshua 1:19, Psalm 23:14)
  • God sees me. He sees my dreams, my confusion, my pain. (Genesis 16:13, Psalm 139:13)
  • God is watching over me. (Genesis 28:15, 2 Chronicles 16:9a)
  • God can coach me/give me counsel (Psalm 32:8, John 16:1)
  • God gives wisdom (Proverbs 2:6, James 1:5)
  • God is bigger than the troubles of this world. (John 16:33)

More characteristics: God is all powerful. God is good. God holds all resources in His hands.

  • God gives strength. (Isaiah 40:29, Ephesians 3:16)
  • God can meet my needs ( Philippians 4:19)
  • God has the power to rescue me. (Psalm 50:5, Proverbs 3:5-6, Psalm 107:13)
  • God can free me from darkness, bondage. (John 8:3-6)
  • God is good to His children (Psalm 103:2-5, Matthew 7:9-11)
  • God will make all things right, ultimate judgment over evil. (Revelation 12: 9-11)
  • God is the ultimate giver of eternal life. (John 11:25-26, 1 John 2:24-25)

What to look for

These samplings suggest what to look for as you read through Bible passages. Always ask:

What do I learn about God’s character here?

How can God be at work in my life right now? What does He want from me?

Put on your Promise Filter to find God’s promises for YOU!


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

Up next: Find the Application: Promise Claimed -3 Promise Filter
Previous post: Find the Application: Promise Claimed-1 Not every promise is mine



1. What attribute of God do you appreciate the most? Why do you think it is special to you?

2. What is a promise He has made to someone in the Bible that you could use today? How might you remember this verse and lean on it?

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Application: Not Every Promise is Mine

The Big Idea: This mini-series is about finding practical applications in a Bible passage; A few guidelines help sort through God’s many promises.

How Many Promises in the Bible?

It’s easy to make promises. It’s hard work to keep them.~ Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of England.

How do you feel about promises? Our perception is experience-based on how dependable the promise maker proves to be. 

God is true to all His promises and He has made many to His people. The word “promise” occurs over 100 times in the Bible in almost any translation you check. He is trustworthy.

God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it? Numbers 23:19 ESV

For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory. 2 Corinthians 1:20 ESV

Not every promise in the Bible is mine

A Canadian schoolteacher took a year and a half to examine how many promises were in the Bible. He concluded there were almost 9000 of them! Some were from one person to another, God the Father to God the Son, man to God and other combinations, but well over 7000 were promises from God to man.

Use caution claiming all the promises of God as your own. Throughout the Old Testament many were made to individuals and even more were made to the Israelites in a specific situation. God promised judgment on specific kings and peoples. His old covenant promises were fulfilled in the New Testament. This doesn’t mean they are not useful or meaningful. We can learn much about God’s nature and His relationship with man through the promises He has made.

Some guidelines

1. Many promises of God are conditional. Look for the “if.” (Psalm 37:4) God’s love is unconditional but there are consequences to bad choices and rebellion.

2. Recognize God’s promises have a purpose. They work out His will and work in the world in us. How does God want to do His work in you? Promises provide His assurance and guidance in our lives. 

3. Don’t manipulate or limit God. God is not a galactic vending machine dispensing whims. God loves us and wants the best for us. However life works best when we submit to Him. Expecting Him to submit to our bidding is preposterous! We cannot know exactly when a promise will be fulfilled by Him, either.

4. Ask these questions when reading promises in the Bible.
  • Who was speaking? Was it God? Was it a prophet or Apostle?
  • Who was the promise for? Was it an individual or a group?
  • Was it specific to a situation or a general statement given?
  • Was there a condition, and what was the expected benefit?

Next we will explore some very precious promises that are ours because of who He is!

Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock. Isaiah 26:4 ESV


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

Up next: Find the Application: Promise Claimed- 2 Trust God's Character

Previous post: Find the Application! Admit Sin



1. Has someone you loved broken a promise? Do you find that affects how you feel about the promises of God or not?

2. Is there a favorite promise you appreciate and hold on to from the Bible? What is it? Do you know where it is found in the Bible?

3. What aspects of God’s character make Him the best promise keeper?

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Application: Admit Sin

The Big Idea: This series is about finding practical applications in a Bible passage; this post addresses sin and our response to it. 

It's Hard to Admit Sin

Sin takes serious humility to admit, and it is even harder to address. Our excuses make it sounds better in our head.

“My weakness.”

“It’s not my fault…”

“The devil made me do it.”

“Others do it all the time.”

“I’m pretty much a good person.”

“But I had good intentions.”

Sin seems harmless but it is powerful; tremendously powerful. It holds power over us and gives us power over others. Sin is sticky, grabbing us and making it hard to let go.

Sin is easy. Sin is complicated. Sin is beautiful. Sin is ugly. Sin is fun. Sin is mean.

Teaching us about Sin

Use Bible passages to learn some of the following: Not all of these will apply to each passage but this gives you a start reflecting on what a passage might be telling you about sin. 

  • What does God thinks of sin. What is His holiness like and how does it affect others? Why is sin so bad?
  • Where does sin comes from? (Satan. Worldliness. Our sinful fleshly nature). What is the nature of sin?
  • When did the situation turn into sin? How can that be avoided?
  • What are consequences that result from sin. What did it do to the people involved?
  • How did God make a way for us to be pardoned? How does Jesus’ act on the cross erase our sin?
  • What does the Bible teach about forgiveness? God toward us, and us toward others?
  • How is a Christian to live in a sinful world? What is holiness and how we can live free from sin? What helps us?
  • How can we combat against temptation and sin?

The Bible has a lot of examples on what not to do. Stories show us bad examples, how not to live and even how the good guys can mess up. Moses had sinful mistakes. He killed a man and then tried to hide it. So did David. Ask yourself, where did they mess up and how do I mess up?

The Bible: Written to Help us with Sin

1. The Bible exposes sin.

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Heb 4:12 ESV

2. The Bible is for self-examination and training to live right.

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness. 2 Timothy 3:16 ESV


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

Up next: Find the Application: Promises part 1

Previous post: Find the Application!



1. How would you complete this three word sentence? Sin is _________________.

2. Has a verse or passage of the Bible convicted you of something wrong in your life? Did it surprise you? How did you respond?

3. What is something you have earned from the Bible about sin? How is this helpful to you.