Reviewing Our Study Process

Way back in August (seems like a long time ago, doesn’t it?) we started on a journey to study the book of Colossians together. I hope you’ve enjoyed digging into this precious book. Today we come to the final chapter, and before I give you questions to answer for that chapter, I want to review the pattern of study that I gave you way back in the beginning. It’s an approach to studying that is meant to help you “own” a passage. If you missed that post, you can click here to read it, but I’m putting the essential process in the 12 steps I’ve included below.

Let’s don’t dive into chapter four without spending today reading and re-reading the chapter. It would be good to start all the way back in chapter one and read the whole book first and then read chapter four in preparation to answer some questions tomorrow.

Taking time to read a passage repeatedly, or especially memorizing it, meditating on it, and deeply pondering its implications, will provide you with a deep understanding of the text. The goal is not just gaining “knowledge” but understanding. It is like going deeper and deeper into the interior of unknown territory in slow increments. Walking to town rather than riding a car would give us some intimate knowledge of the road that we never gain as we speed our way there in our vehicle.

Working to Own a Passage:

  1. Pray before you begin and ask the Holy Spirit to give you insight and understanding as you read.
  1. Read through a passage multiple times before every pulling out a commentary or reading your Bible’s study notes.
  1. Memorize portions of the passage. The repetitive focus will help you to gain a deeper understanding of the passage.
  1. Let your study focus be on digging for spiritual understanding rather than digging for knowledge.
  1. Write down repetitive words or phrases.
  1. Write down questions that come to mind as you study.
  1. Expect to read things that may confuse you. Don’t let that shut you down. Write down any passages, verses, or words that are confusing or you have questions about. Don’t immediately rush to a commentary to answer those questions, but first look up any cross references, read the surrounding verses carefully and look for clues in answering the question.
  1. Look for “God in action” in the passage and record what you see Him doing.
  1. Look for characteristics of God and record those.
  1. Record things that you personally appreciate about God because of what you see Him doing in this passage.
  1. Ask Him how He would have you personally apply the truths He is showing you in this passage.
  1. Spend some time praying for others that come to mind as you study the passage. Weave study, reading, and prayer together as the Spirit leads you.

Are you hungry to know God more intimately? Dig into the Word He gave us that reveals Himself to us. Soak it up. Will you start by reading Colossians today?

Image courtesy of Naypong/