As you look to dig into the Scriptures, do you long for some more instructions? Do you wonder where to start or how to make sense of what you are reading? The Bible can be intimidating or overwhelming. It’s not a book you will sit down and read front to back in one sitting. And it’s definitely not something you will only read once. So we can get paralyzed thinking, Where do I start? What do I read? What if I don’t understand it?
There are countless ways to study the Scriptures, and by no means am I saying this is the right way. But I have found it is one of many helpful tools I’ve come across over the years. One thing I appreciate about it is that it works when I’m meditating on a favorite passage, reading an encouraging Psalm, or making sense of a passage I’m not very familiar with. It helps me to dig into any part of the BIble on my own and any time and make sense of what I read! Let me introduce you to the ABC method.
A- Ask: Ask questions about what you are reading.
Here are some questions to get you started:
Who is Saying this?
What was the writer’s intent in saying this to the original audience?
What were the original hearers likely thinking as they heard or read this?
What is the main point of the passage?
B- Best Verse: As you read and ask questions, look for a verse that stands out to you. It doesn’t have to be the theme of the passage, or the summary verse of the chapter. But it should be a verse that stands out to you and is relevant to your life at that time. Two or three people can read the same passage at the same time and all pick a different best verse. It’s YOUR choice 🙂
C- Commit: Choose one area of your life— or some part of your upcoming day– that you can commit to God. What stood out about the “best verse” that you chose? How could you commit that to God today?
Here’s a brief example of how I use this tool as I read Psalm 23.
A- When I read the passage I’m asking- What is it about? When is it written? Who is writing it?
So for Psalm 23 you would see that David is writing and He is describing God as his shepherd
-makes me lie down in green pastures
-leads me beside quiet waters
-he refreshes me
-he guides me along the right paths
Even in hard times (v.4) Through the valley of the shadow of death, David doesn’t fear because God is with him!
In just reading this text, I don’t know when it is written specifically, but I can synthesize it was written when David was facing a challenging time.
B- The Best Verse (remember, this is simply what stands out to me) is v. 4b “I will fear no evil, for you are with me;”
I picked this verse because it’s so easy to look around the world, the sin of others (or myself!) and the needs of my family and get nervous. But in this verse it says, I will fear no evil for YOU ARE WITH ME! I don’t have to be afraid because God is with me!
C- Commit- I’m asking, “What am I going to do about this passage and the truth I learned today?” There are endless options… but for this verse, I chose to memorize it. What a wonderful verse to think about when I’m fearful, “I will fear no evil, for you are with me!”
My favorite part about this tool is that as I use it to apply scripture to my life, I continue to see how the “Word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)
So if you’re up for giving it a try, pick up your Bible or pull out your phone and start reading!
In Joyful Surrender,