I’m not unaware that my “free time” is going to be very limited later this spring once baby arrives and I will then have, by God’s grace, seven (SEVEN!) children to love and train up. Right now I am like a ravenous Bible woman, reading as much as I can and trying to store up the manna for the leaner non-sleep fog I’m heading for.
I thought I’d share one way to dig deeper into the Word if you have a good 20 or 30 minutes in the evening to chip away at it.
For many reasons, the word coming to me in the last years has been “Fear not.” I decided to podcast on that topic, and you can hear it here if you haven’t already. To help me prepare, I did a word study on that phrase, “Fear not”. The first thing I did was plug in those words and then print out every single passage that it was commanded. I used (and use) the very simple KJV Bible search; it’s nothing fancy. That’s why I like it (no bunny trails, no man’s interpretation of “Greek”, and no opinions!).
Then I cut apart all of the strips of verses. I know I could have inquired on other phrases, such as, say, “do not fear”, but I decided to simply focus on the phrase I had been meditating on. I always use the King James Bible; I have confidence none of the verses will be missing.
Then, I read and pondered them all. This usually takes a while, especially if I’m really paying attention (which I ought to be!). It has never failed me: common threads became clear and I started to really see God’s consistent Holy character. Different themes offered themselves, and I began to put together verses that said basically the same things but in different ways. I noticed that the command “Fear not” was usually followed by a reason….and I was able to pile those reasons together in similtude.
Of course, just depending on verses taken out of context is no good. So, once they were in their various groups, I read them in the Word, taking into account the purpose, the people, the time and events. Doing that made those groupings even more clear.
I started writing down what each grouping of verses was basically teaching me. It was pretty hard not to feel like a little kid whose Father was delighting in! He was revealing His Word to me in ways that made me SO excited; it was like putting puzzle pieces together, or having ponderings answered, or talking with Him back and forth and Him hearing me laughing say, “You are AWESOME, God!” or finding me contrite and asking for forgiveness at times. Always, He was (and is) teaching me. But doing this was one way for me to actually pay Him some greater attention, and for Him to tune my ears.
Once I started writing the main points out, it was easy to confirm it all with the Scripture I’d been reading. I thought about posting all of the verses along with my podcast blog post, but, seriously, it was about three pages long! I figured that if anyone listening did not like the sound of what I said, they would seek out the Truth as they ought on their own, anyway.
I am but a frail woman still longing to see God and to know Him face to face (someday!). But when opportunity affords, I delight in taking the time to dig in His Word. I pray that through the trials, I will somehow remember what He taught me, that His Word won’t return void, that I will have good cause in all things to “Fear Not”.
Because of Jesus,