God’s Word is packed with power, potential, and provision. But how do you read, understand and consistently apply the Bible?
The following is a simple method, that when done with dependence on the Holy Spirit, can produce robust results. It is geared around the acronym DNA:
D: Discover The Meaning
N: Nurture The Seed
A: Apply It In Your Life
D: Discover The Meaning:
Whether you are a novice or a biblical expert, whether you are studying a single passage of Scripture or an entire book, our starting point is seeking to discover the meaning. Because the Scriptures were written long ago, to a particular people in a specific time, it can take some work for us to grasp what it truly says. After taking the time to read the passage or book for yourself, take some time to learn from a Bible commentary or two to help shape your understanding of what the text means.
The Bible Project is a great place to get started in looking at commentaries. The site and accompanying resources are free and accessible to beginners and seasoned saints alike. For each book, there is an overview video, an infographic and recommended resources to go deeper.
You will want to write down, either in a journal or something like Evernote, what you learn as you discover the meaning. Over the coming weeks and years, these journals become resources for you to look back on.
Nurture The Seed:
In Luke 8, Jesus tells us that God’s word is a seed that gets sown in our lives and has the potential to bear tremendous fruit. In that same teaching, we see that we have a responsibility to nurture the seed of God’s word in our lives. For thousands of years disciples of Jesus have utilized meditation on Scripture as a way to nurture the seed of God’s word (Psalm 1).
To meditate on Scripture spend time slowly reflecting on the Word. You can do this by reading it slowly, savoring each word. You can do this by praying the Scripture back to the Lord. You can do this by signing the word (Ephesians 5). At this time you are not so much feeding your mind, as feeding your spirit.
Apply It In Your Life
Jesus taught that those who apply His word to their lives are like wise builders, who build their lives on a firm foundation. Based on what you read, how does this speak to how you need to respond? Sometimes the application is a promise you need to believe, other times the application is an action you need to do. Trust the Holy Spirit to show you how you need to apply the Word. It also helps to talk it through with a trusted Christian mentor or friend.