Sunday morning’s sermon is on II Timothy 1:1-7. Have you read it over? Are you thinking about what it means and how it relates to your life and ours as a church? When you study a text you are seeing details of a text and seeking meaning from the details. Seeing and seeking is all that study is made up of.
When you see the details of the text, you’re:
1. Observing words (long words, unusual words, and repeated words).
2. Observing relationships in the grammar, logic, times and places involved, context to the text, book, or whole Bible, and the kind of literature the text is found in.
When you seek meaning from the details of the text, you’re asking and answering questions, and analyzing and applying answers. Ask questions for words and for how the words are related to the passage. Ask questions of the background, the facts in the text, the why questions of meaning, and the how questions of application.
Then analyze your answers so that you are not misinterpreting, missing the full meaning, or making the passage more significant that it might be intended.
When you apply your answers, you want to understand how the author intended the original audience to apply the passage and then how you today are intended to apply it as a New Covenant believer.
Are you getting transformed in the text?
If the text isn’t transforming and changing you degree by degree as you see the glory of Christ in it, then you’re just reading words and not the living word. As you approach the text, I think the acrostic I. O. U. S. is helpful to pray as you come to the Word:
· I. Incline my heart to your testimonies. Psalm 119:36 (Since my heart is inclined to sleep and to work and to lots of things other than the Bible.)
· O. Open my eyes to see wonders in your word. Psalm 119:18 (Since my heart is so often dull and blind to the wonders of the word.)
· U. Unite my heart to fear your name. Psalm 86:11 (Since my heart is often divided and distracted in many directions)
· S. Satisfy me with your steadfast love. Psalm 90:14 (Since my heart is so tempted to be satisfied in other things.)