Applying God’s Word

The most important aspect of Bible study is to apply God’s principles to your own life. There two kinds
of application: vertical (God and me) and horizontal (others and me). Here is how to apply God’s word:

1. Study to find out how you can please God. What does God want you to do? How does He want
you to relate to Him? How does He want you to relate to other people? When you find
something that pleases God, put it into practice in your life. Pray and ask God for opportunities to
please Him.

2. Study to find answers to personal problems. As you have a personal need or concern, look for
guidance in the Bible. Try to find Bible characters that suffered from the same problem you have
and discover how they handled the problem with God’s help. Ask God to help you find the
answers you need.

3. Study to find examples that you can follow. This is a biographical study. The experiences of Bible
characters provide excellent examples to follow or not to follow. Look for people who exhibited
great faith. Look for people with leadership qualities. Study how people used their specific
talents and abilities in God’s service. Find out which people God blessed and why, and try to
follow their examples. He will bless you, too. Look for mistakes that people in the Bible made,
and try to avoid making those same mistakes in your life.

4. Study to claim promises. God has made some incredible promises to you as His child. You have
to claim those promises to be richly blessed by Him. Study to discover the wonderful gifts He
offers to you, such as His “saving grace” and “peace that passes understanding.” When you
discover one of His promises, thank Him for what He will surely do for you. Then study to learn
what you must do to claim the promise.

5. Study the Bible as you would read and reread a love letter from a loved one. Read God’s Word
with love; read it with passion; read it with an open heart; read it with expectation and read it
often. It is from your faithful Father, your best Friend—the God of life, who loves you so much
He was willing to die for you.

6. Study the Bible with appreciation. It is a miraculous book because of its Author, its transmission,
its growth into a single book, its survival and its influence. It is a manual for living. It is Spirit to
spirit communication that tells us of our Maker, our present life and our destiny. It is manna for
strength.

7. Study the Bible for response. All Bible study by a Christian, whether it is of a devotional or
analytical nature, demands a personal response. We are to practice what we read and reflect
upon. This is the will in action. We should always be looking for examples to follow, errors to
avoid, sins to confess, duties to perform, promises to claim, and prayers to echo. We are to
respond to the Bible’s message with confession, in faith, and by obedience.

8. Study the Bible with your mind in gear. Always be sure you are really reading it. Alert your eyes
to see (Read); stir your mind to consider (Reflect); write down your observations (Record); and
practice what you read (Respond).

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