How to Apply a Psalm to Your Situation


If you can’t use the Bible, you don’t really understand it.

It may sound backwards to speak of “using” the Bible: we don’t stand over the Bible, twisting it to our ends; the Bible stands over us and is one major means by which God uses us.

That’s all true, but think of it this way: when I’m tempted, or struggling, or arrogant, or lying, or spiritually lethargic, what am I supposed to do as a Christian? I’m supposed to avail myself of the grace of God, and one major means by which God gives me that grace is my Bible. If my mind is blank of Bible in times of trouble, I’m not using God’s word the way I’m supposed to. To apply a text of Scripture well is to use it with love and faith according to its intended purposes.

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How to Do a Bible Word Study on “Love”

word study agape love

When Jesus is asked to sum up the law, he responds with two commands involving love:


In both commands, the English translation “love” translates the Greek verb agapao. Partly because agape is one of those Greek words that many theologically literate Christians know (along with logos, christos, doulos, and a few others), Bible readers often think that in agape lies the secret key to understanding the love commands.

Assuming that Greek words contain a great depth of meaning hidden by English is a common Bible study mistake. And to show you one reason why: enter Logos Bible Software.

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How to Study a Psalm: 4 Keys to Interpretation

interpret psalms

You and I live in a modern city, but imagine that across the river is another town very different from ours: an ancient one. We drive cars, they ride animals. We chat over coffee at a cafe; they chat over water at the community well. We suffer from a divisive and polarizing political situation; they—well, they do too. Not everything has changed in the last few thousand years. But our two towns are indeed separated by a river of differences in culture, language, and history.

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The Open Secret to Actually Reading the Bible Regularly

bible reading plan

Read your Bible, pray every day, and you’ll grow, grow, grow. It’s practically the first catechism every evangelical child learns.

It’s a simple spiritual discipline, but it’s a difficult one to maintain in our busy, always-connected world. There have been times in my life when, by God’s grace, I submitted to that discipline with regularity. There have also been times at which I struggled to maintain it. “Struggle” is an evangelical euphemism for “I didn’t do it, but I never stopped feeling guilty for not doing it.”

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How to Study a Psalm: Essential Steps for Starting Right


Many Christians are faithful Bible readers, but they feel stuck when it comes to Bible study. After you’ve read a Bible passage once, and then read it again, what do you do to study it? Um, read it again? And then what?

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What Is the Conscience according to the New Testament?


When interpreting Scripture, it’s all too easy to impose our own ideas onto the text, rather than drawing out what the biblical author and the Holy Spirit intended to convey. Sound biblical exegesis is all about getting back to the original author’s intent so we can faithfully apply the text to our lives, and the lives of those we serve.

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What Should You Leave Out When You Teach the Bible?


My most influential mentor always told his charges that Bible teachers come to the text with one of two questions: either 1) “What can I say about this?” Or 2) “What does this say?” He saw these questions as a continental divide, and he urged us to be guided by the latter question. I completely agree.

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J.I. Packer’s Timeless Bible Study Advice

J.I. Packer

Nutritionists everywhere tell us that a well-balanced diet fuels our bodies, yet many of us continue to ignore their advice. The same is true for our Bible study habits.

We know that nourishment for our souls lies in the pages of the Bible, but we are often lazy about maintaining our study routine. However, unlike nutrition, many of us don’t know the key to a well-balanced Bible study diet. Learning the key may be the cure to our problem. Dr. J.I. Packer offers us some pointers.

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How to Highlight a Book Like a Bible Nerd

highlight-like-nerdIn honor of National Read a Book Minute—which, sadly, is dwarfed in popularity by the annual celebration of International Watch TV Year—I want to teach you how to highlight a book.

I went through more years of formal education than is really proper, and no one ever suggested a highlighting method to me. So just in case you are as untutored as I was, I humbly offer my method to you. Hopefully it will help you become a better reader, as I think it’s done for me.

And maybe if we all band together and become better readers, we’ll make reading cool again and the powers that be will expand the reading festivities beyond a minute. Yeah right. That’ll be the hour.

Here are eight tips you could use to get more out of your reading.

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Should We Dumb Down the Bible? Yes. (Sort of.)

I love the Jesus Storybook Bible, because it thrills me to think that my kids might grasp the central storyline of Scripture long before the age at which I did. And the colors and textures are cool. And I like a little whimsy in text and illustration.

As the leader of an outreach ministry which targeted kids in historically underperforming public schools in the deep South, I chose the Jesus Storybook Bible as the curriculum for the primary kids class. The kids seemed to like it. And so did the teachers.

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