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Application from Ruth

Posted by on Jul 20, 2017 in Bible study | 0 comments

At last we are covering the final piece of inductive Bible study- APPLICATION. We have by no means exhausted this wonderful subject, but as my intent has been to expose you to this practical way of purposefully reading  and studying Scripture I hope that it has been a good run with Ruth for you.

This last piece of the inductive method doesn’t ever happen all at once at the end. And perhaps I should have said that to you earlier. But if you have been hanging in there doing the assignments over the last few weeks, you have most likely already had application occur in your thoughts or in your prayers. Maybe in your actions, as well.

Application asks the question, “What does this mean to me?” Or better yet, “How does what I read change me or turn my focus towards God?” Here’s another way of phrasing what application encompasses in a question form, “How am I inspired to live out the gospel of Christ after having read this book/chapter/verse?” Here’s another one, “What am I dying to share with someone that God has taught me from studying this?”

What happens at the end is when you leave your words on paper answering those application questions above touching pen to paper for posterity. In application it is so important to take our head knowledge from all that observation and interpretation and put some muscle on it of the physical kind and live out what God has stirred in our souls.

Go get your Bible and open up to Ruth. Grab your paper and pen and sit down with a cup of something warm or iced, depending on where you live and what time of day it is for you. Here’s your assignment:

  • Read all of Ruth
  • As you are reading, jot down those things that the Holy Spirit uses to strike an application with you, whether they are convictions or affirmations. 
  • Now, take that list and pray thanking God for his word, for this special little book, and how he has used it to change you.
  • Get up and go about your life changed for God’s glory.

I am sad this has come to an end, but honestly, it’s not the end. Rather, it’s a jumping off point of decision for you. What are you going to do with these tools you’ve learned and put to practice?

Furthermore, I would love, love, love to hear from you as to how God has spoken to you through your time in Ruth. Leave a public comment on this post or send me a private comment if you like, using the form on this post.

I’m going to take a break for a week and then I’m coming back to take this inductive method a step further by showing you how to use a bullet journal concept and some creativity to study your Bible. So, get ready!

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Interpreting More in Ruth

Posted by on Jul 14, 2017 in Blog Posts | 0 comments

Hi friends, how are you doing with studying Ruth? Feeling behind? That is okay. Honestly, we would do a whole lot better if we were showing up and being accountable to each other weekly, but without you having to be present it is easy to skip it and then just drop it. I know. I’ve been there.

Belonging to a solid group Bible study is a great way to connect and certainly to discuss what you are learning, but that may not always work either so although I encourage you to be part of one some time in your life, my purpose in helping you appreciate the inductive study method in these blog posts is so that YOU can be alone in the Bible with helpful tools and try to make some headway in getting a grasp on the how-to of it all.

So, let’s get cracking. We are still in the interpretation portion of inductive study and if you missed any earlier posts, click on the “Bible study” tab at the top of the page and then search for Ruth.

We could wrap up Ruth today with some application, but I would be remiss if I didn’t remind you that in reading all of Scripture we are to keep the BIG picture of God redeeming a people for himself at the center of it all.

Today, I want you to read all of Ruth (again? yes, again!). As you are reading it, think about anything in this narrative that reminds you of Jesus coming to save his people. Do you see any picture or type of Christ?

Let me define “type” – In Webster’s dictionary, type is defined as “to figure, to represent by a model or symbol beforehand.” In studying the Bible a type is a person, place, thing, or event that is a foreshadowing of a future person or event.

With that understanding in mind, go back and answer that question up there again, about a picture/type of Christ to come. Thinking along those lines, is there anything in your reading of Ruth that prompts you to think about a coming event that has already happened in history after Ruth was written and is there anything that still remains to happen in the future of mankind according to Scripture that you are reminded of in your reading of Ruth? 

In last week’s lesson, I had you do a little digging for news about how widows and sojourners in Israel were to be treated. I hope you found out some things.

Then I had you do a bit of research on your own regarding how a widow could be redeemed by a relative if she had no one else in her immediate family to assist her. Lots of cultural/historical background to grasp, but not get bogged down in because at the heart of it all was the need for a relative to redeem her, a relative to carry on the family line and name.

Here are a couple of key words (relative and redeem, redeemer, redemption) in Ruth. Remember back in observation mode I had you list some key words? Well, I hope these stood out to you, especially in light of the meta-narrative of Scripture.

Read back through Ruth and mark those words if you didn’t already and make some lists about those words and what they shine light on in Ruth. Then, in a Bible dictionary seek information on redeem by looking at cross-references, or go to a Bible encyclopedia for that information. Take some notes. If commentary assists you more, then go ahead and read that resource.

Lastly, for this week, make a list about God and how he was at work in redemption of you in this story. Also, what attributes of his or characteristics did you see? Jot those down. How did he provide? Go crazy seeing him in the midst of this.

Then, offer up a prayer to him as he moves your heart through this story.

I’ll see you back next week when we move into the third part of inductive study – application.

[If you missed it, I was on Grace in Color’s Facebook Live episode this past Tuesday sharing how to use more creativity in inductive study. Although there is an echo at first, it improves. My mouth and sound don’t quite match up and for those of you like me who are bothered by that, just look away and listen. Mainly, be encouraged to be in the Word. You can see that here.] NOTE: This will probably be the subject of an upcoming blog series on Bible study, so stay tuned.

{An update on our dads: my dad is still in a rehab facility trying to regain his strength to be able to stand and walk. His appetite is poor, so please pray for him to be hungry and the food to be yummy while you also pray for the therapies to work as he is able to work. Rob’s dad fell July 4, and broke his shoulder so he needs your prayers for healing and good sleep. Both our moms are well and tending to our dads greatly, but your prayers for their stamina would be fabulous.Thank you.}

As always, if you have any questions about what I have shared in today’s post regarding Bible study, shoot me a question via this contact form and I will respond to you.

 

 

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Grace In Color Facebook Live Event Tomorrow

Posted by on Jul 10, 2017 in Bible study | 0 comments

Participate in tomorrow’s Facebook Live event with Grace In Color

Happy Monday, all! I hope your time in Ruth is proving to be a blessing rather than a curse as you learn and practice the inductive study method of Bible study.

Something you may be interested in, if you are a visual learner, especially, is an opportunity to tune in to Grace In Color’s Facebook Live event tomorrow from 1:00-1:30 PM (EST). It will be recorded, so you can certainly watch it later at your convenience if you cannot attend while we are LIVE and taking questions.

In the time with my friend Jennifer Evangelista, I’ll have the opportunity to show you a more creative way to do Bible study using the inductive study method that you may like and prefer, or at least you’ll get some tips for doing so.

I hope you’ll tune in, but in the meantime, enjoy reading Ruth to the glory of God.

XOXO,

Amy

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Second Part of Inductive Bible Study – Interpretation

Posted by on Jul 7, 2017 in Bible study | 0 comments

Welcome back to Ruth!

Now, let’s move into the second part of inductive Bible study – INTERPRETATION.

Remember how observation asks the question, “What does this say?” Interpretation asks, “What does this mean?”

At this point, I want you to go back to each chapter and rather than relying on what your Bible may say give your own title to each chapter of Ruth.

In doing this, you review the key events, people, and places in each chapter and base your title for each on the main thing using words from that chapter.

Another thing, I would like for you to do is to pick a key verse from each chapter. This verse should relay the pivotal moment or highlight a major event in the lives of the key people, or it can expound upon an attribute of God. This may be when you get to exercise a bit of license here as your key verse, may be different from that of your neighbor. Usually, the key verse for a chapter goes along with the title you’ve given a chapter. Give it a try.

I understand, this may be a bit uncomfortable for you, because you are not accustomed to doing this. But let me tell you, if you will get in the practice of doing this in the future, the books you read in the Bible will begin to stick better in your mind and you’ll be building up biblical addresses in your memory. It’s a neat thing! Even as I type this I am smiling thinking about inductive studies I’ve done in the past and how they are better sealed in my heart and mind because of doing these things.

Something else that is important to do in this interpretation period is to get a better grasp more of the cultural context in this narrative (or any book in Scripture).

In the case of Ruth, you would do this by understanding what the Bible says about how foreigners (sojourners) were to be treated among God’s people, how widows were to be cared for, what the laws were for settling an estate when a woman was bereft of any male remaining in her lineage. So much pertaining to these very things can be found in the books leading up to Ruth. So go ahead and read all 7 if you don’t mind. I’ll wait…

Silly you, don’t be ridiculous. If you have prior knowledge to these things then draw from your memory bank and make some notes. Otherwise, go to a reliable Bible encyclopedia or look at the cross-references in a Bible that has them. You’ll find more information in commentary, but don’t read too much past those topics above as it will spoil the discovery of other things for you.

Because I like to know meanings of names, I often grab my Bible dictionary for indulging. So go ahead, and look up the meanings of the names of the main people in Ruth. Next, look up the meaning of the key places in Ruth.

As you get to work on these things, pray first. Remember to engage with God in prayer before setting out to study.

Don’t be frustrated that this may be more involved than you are accustomed to regarding studying the greatest words ever penned. What a privilege you and I have to even be able to study them! Share your delight with God in this and share your exhaustion of it, too. Tell him your heart’s desire for even studying the Bible. Ask for his help through the power of that resident tutor Holy Spirit that indwells every Christian. Ask for time to study it and ask him to help you remember it. Ask him to move knowledge from your head to your heart to your hands to live it out.

Until next week, be blessed in your time in the Word. If you have any specific questions, as always, contact me via the form at the end of today’s post.

In summary, your assignments for this week are:

  • Pray as you begin your time of studying and note making each day this week. Secure your necessary resources for the week. If you missed my resource recommendation post, here it is.
  • Assign a title to each chapter of Ruth using words from the chapters
  • Pick a key verse from each chapter of Ruth
  • Get a better grasp on what Scripture says about cultural situations found in Ruth by looking at other books in the Bible using the cross-references next to specific verses, looking at your Bible’s concordance on topics, seeing a Bible encyclopedia, or reading commentary in a study Bible or a commentary on Ruth.
  • Look up meanings of the names of key people and key places in Ruth by doing a biblical word study if you know how, or looking at a Bible dictionary, or an English dictionary.
  • Send any questions you may have by using the contact form below. If you need a phone call to help you, leave your phone number in the message of the contact form, and I will call you.

An update on my dad: he was moved to a physical therapy rehab facility last night. So that’s good! Please pray that he will do the therapy required to regain lost strength and to be able to resume his normal activities at home at the conclusion of therapy’s duration. Please continue to keep him and my mother in your prayers as he is at this facility.

 

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Observing Observation with Ruth

Posted by on Jul 3, 2017 in Bible study | 0 comments

Here we are back at inductive Bible study using Ruth as our book in helping us learn the basics of this helpful and purposeful method of reading biblical text slowly.

But first, a few words about the object of studying the Bible. I posted this note on Instagram last week and wanted to share the text with you here:

“O B S E R V A T I ON is the first step in inductive study. It’s where you’ll spend the bulk of your time in studying Scripture. 
Most want to rush through or forego this part yearning to find the application for self as their main purpose in studying. Well…that makes little of God and much of self. Another fallacy in studying the Bible is the attempt to find passages of scripture to fit one’s own needs, a snatch and patch approach, so to speak. This causes the reader to ignore context and again makes little of God and much of self. Lastly, we are part of a world that yearns for quick everything, even quick Bible study among the body of Christ. So please take your time to invest in slowly and methodically reading Ruth with me as I share the basics of inductive Bible study at Gracious Goodness.” 

Observation takes time and effort. But it is time well spent. I encourage you to make the reading of Scripture a priority as you set out to better understand the Word, but more importantly, as you nurture the need to worship God.

As we once again open Ruth for this week’s assignments, I encourage you to pray that God would open the eyes of your understanding even in a small historical narrative that doesn’t seem to have much to say about God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

I hope that you went through the weekend opening Ruth and finding answers to the observation questions from Friday’s post.

You should have the key people, places, and happenings firmly in your mind. But not so firmly that you don’t see God at work.

Know that we are not done with this first part of inductive study. Now, we set out to further observe each chapter more closely paying better attention to the WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, WHY. We’ll pick up on the HOW later.

Grab your text, your pencils, a pen, and notepaper. Participate in the following prompts answering as directed:

  • Who are the main people in this chapter? (Hint, they remain through all 4 chapters.) Mark these in different ways (underlining or circling each in different colors is fine, or at least be aware of them and don’t worry about marking them). Make a list of things you learn about them on that notebook paper or in the margins of the text.
  • Is God mentioned at all in this chapter? If so, in what capacity? If you learn anything about him, jot it down.
  • What are the highlights and low points in the lives of the main people in this chapter?
  • What situations do they face/confront?
  • Write down in a bullet list the sequence of events in this chapter.
  • Underline in green the names of  geographical locations.
  • Jot down some details about the historical context of Ruth as found in chapter 1 (the general time when this is occurring) and in finding out more about the history during the days of the judges using a commentary or watching the video below.

In the midst of cycling days of obedience, disobedience, God’s judgment, appointing judges, and repentance, then a repeat of it all over and over, is a story tucked into the timeline of the days of the judges telling of a family in the days of famine looking over the fence at greener grass far away.

Get busy on chapter 1 of Ruth. As we read chapter by chapter,  observation is more specific. Read that chapter and pay special attention to the Who, What, When, Where, and Why.

These are the basics of observation in a nutshell, especially when reading historical narrative.

You now have in your hands (or on this screen, at least) how to complete the other 3 chapters of Ruth from the standpoint of observation. So go ahead and do that with each of those remaining chapters.

In addition, note any other words that are key to the storyline of Ruth. I’ll give you one:redeemer“. When you come across that word, mark it with a circle or underline it in a specific color consistently. Do the same with any other words you believe to key. In Ruth, there shouldn’t be too many so as to not clutter up your text with too much color and to help you succeed at practicing this method.

I’ll be back Friday with the next component of inductive study – Interpretation which asks the question, “What does this mean?”

Shoot me a question if you have one in the comment section below.

PS – Pray for my Daddy (Mr. Dickson) as he continues to recuperate in hospital from surgery June 26. My family and I covet your prayers for his appetite to improve and strength to return via various therapies. Thank you.

 

 

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