We used to live in a very old neighborhood, and in the summer I couldn’t wait to put on tennis shoes every day and go for a walk. The exercise was a good idea, but it was the artistry of the old homes that I enjoyed the most.
It was my habit to purposefully look at something different in the architecture every day, because this was no cookie-cutter subdivision.
On Monday… I looked at the windows –don’t you love the odd shapes and surprising placement of windows in old houses?
On Tuesday… I enjoyed the front porches.
On Wednesday… I compared roof lines.
On Thursday… I studied fish scale siding.
On Friday… I observed the uniqueness of front doors.
This habit led to delightful discoveries every day, which is why we should carry the same habit into our Bible reading.
To see more in the Bible, we should slowly walk through the same Scripture several times, each time purposefully looking for something new.
In a few weeks, our church will begin a study on the book of James, and I can hardly wait to grab a notebook, pen, Bible, and cup of coffee (Bible study and coffee should always go together, eh?) and sit down to “take some walks” through the book of James.
On each pass through, I’ll make a list in my notebook of what I find.
Your Bible OBSERVATION GUIDE:
- Walk #1: Make a list of everything you learn about the author.
- Walk #2: Make a list of everything you learn about the recipients of the book (if there are recipients).
- Walk #3: Make a list of what seem to be the really important repeated words in the book. (Maybe split this up and do a separate walk for each word –listing what you learn about each as you go along.)
- Walk #4: Make a list of every command in the book.
Have you ever walked past something a bajillion times and never really looked at it? We do that with the Bible all the time. But when we come to the Bible like it’s a warm summer day, and there’s no place else we’d rather be than meandering through truth, then we start to see things we’ve never noticed before. And just like on a walk, if we come across something really breathtaking, we should stop and take it in. No hurry, is there?
This exercise may seem very tedious and time consuming. (It is.) But try it once? When you experience the benefits, you’ll start to look forward to the labor.
Anybody want to join me in observing the book of James?