A1 The problem
B1 Many have been noticing the difficulty of Christians in living and knowing the Christian life.
B2 Professors and teachers have also seen a great decline in Bible knowledge in their students and have to teach basic facts before advancing into deeper studies.
B3 Surveys have shown an increase in the lack of Bible knowledge and facts.
C1 The State of the Bible 2014, research conducted among US adults
A2 The reason
B1 Low priority
B2 The Bible is boring
B3 It takes too much time
B4 It was written by a bunch of ignorant ancient people
B5 I know it all
B6 The Bible is not relevant in today's society
B7 I don't understand it
B8 The reverend/priest is supposed to do that
B9 I'm too busy
B10 There are too many contradictions
B11 The Bible is confusing
B12 Reading makes me sleepy
B13 The main reason, however, is that they do not want to read/study the Bible.
A3 The Bible speaks of this, too.
B1 "Behold, the days are coming," says the Lord GOD, "That I will send a famine on the land, Not a famine of bread, Nor a thirst for water, But of hearing the words of the LORD." (Amos 8:11, NKJV)
B2 "But since I speak the truth you do not believe me." (John 8:45, WPNT)
B3 "Because the time will come when they will not tolerate the sound doctrine; rather, they will accumulate for themselves a great many teachers who will tickle their ears according to their lusts —yes, they will turn their ears away from the Truth and be turned aside to fables. " (2 Timothy 4:3-4, WPNT)
A4 The problem
B2 Sometimes we get discouraged because we don't understand the Bible. ("And Phillip, running up to it, heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, and said, "Do you understand what you are reading?" And he said, "How can I, unless someone helps me?" And he urged Philip to come up and sit with him." (Acts 8:30-31, EMTV)
A5 The solution
B1 Determine to make it a daily goal. We determine that we are going to eat food, sleep, or go shopping, so determine to read and study the Bible.
B2 Do this early in the morning or sometime when there are less people, distractions, and activities to lure you away from Bible study.
B3 Ask for God's help.
C1 Praying to God for help in preventing distractions.
C2 Pray to understand.
B4 Have some basic principles to study the Bible. ("Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who doesn't need to be ashamed, correctly teaching the word of truth." (2 Timothy 2:15, HCSB)
C1 The Bible is to be read in its plain, normal sense. Even passages as in Revelation. We may not understand or give perfect interpretation, but what is recorded by John the Apostle is what he saw and then wrote.
C2 Context. The 20/20 method is a very generalized help. It is to read the 20 verses prior and the 20 verses following the one you are studying.
B5 Have a good method.
D1 Read/study the Bible in its plain, normal sense.
D2 Read the context.
F1 This is scripture interpreting scripture. (An example can be found here)
F2 Find parallel verses.
F3 Find same/similar topics as the verse in question
F1 The verses preceding the one being studied.
F2 The verses following.
D3 Find and consider the historical background.
D4 Pay attention to grammar.
D5 Know definitions.
C2 Study methods
D1 Some on-line resources
E1 Basic Principles by Dr. Cooper Abrams (this is a .doc file)
D2 Godly meditation
E1 It is not going into the silence or by passing your brain or seeing visions, etc.
E2 It is actively thinking. It is thinking about each. Emphasize it as you think about it. For example
F1 "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. " (John 3:16, EMTV)
F2 For God
F3 so loved
F4 Continue for each main word or phrase
B6 Some free Bible software
C1 The Word
B7 On-line Bible study (there are many)
C1 Step Bible
B8 Some ways to not study the Bible
C1 Seek your spirit guide.
C2 Go into the Silence.
C3 Read only commentaries or listen to videos.
A6 The need
B1 Our body needs food to live.
B2 Our soul needs food to live.
C1 "For indeed, although you ought to be teachers by this time, again you have need for someone to teach you what are the elements of the beginning of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unacquainted with the word of righteousness, for he is an infant." (Hebrews 5:12-13, EMTV)
C2 "...as newborn babes, desire the genuine milk of the word, that by it you may grow," (1 Peter 2:2, EMTV)
B3 It really is that simple.
A7 Jesus's thoughts
B1 "Jesus said to him, "'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.'" (Matthew 22:37, EMTV)
D1 The Greek word is agapao
D2 This is the highest, greatest form of love.
D3 It is the love of choice.
D4 It is not the love of passion, sex, friendship, or kinship.
D5 It is the love of loyalty, consistency, steadfast, and never ending. Read 1 Corinthians 13
D6 A few parallel passages where the same word is used.
E1 "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor, and you shall hate your enemy.' But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who mistreat you and persecute you," (Matthew 5:43-44, EMTV)
E2 "For this reason My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it up again." (John 10:17, EMTV)
E3 "So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he that loves his own wife loves himself. "
(Ephesians 5:28, EMTV)
D1 The Greek word is kardia
D2 It refers to the physical heart (the pumping machine inside our chest), the deepest thoughts, desires, and motives.
D3 Some parallel verses where the same word is used.
E1 'These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and they honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far away from Me." (Matthew 15:8, EMTV)
E2 "But because I have spoken these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart." (John 16:6, EMTV)
D1 The Greek word is psuche
D2 It means literally "breath" but is used mainly in the sense of our feelings and emotions.
D3 Some other verses
E1 "And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." (Matthew 10:28, EMTV)
E2 "Behold, My Servant whom I have chosen, My Beloved in whom My soul is well pleased! I will put My Spirit upon Him, and He will announce justice to the Gentiles." (Matthew 12:18, EMTV)
E3 "Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Thessalonians 5:23, EMTV)
D1 The Greek word is dianoia
D2 It means deep thought or the place of our intellect
D3 We are to use our intellect, our reason, for Bible study or a Biblical life
D4 Some other verses
E1 "This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, having been darkened in understanding, being estranged from the life of God, because of the ignorance which is in them, because of the hardness of their heart;" (Ephesians 4:17-18, EMTV)
E2 "And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled"
(Colossians 1:21, EMTV)
E3 "And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us an understanding, that we may know Him that is true; and we are in Him that is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life." (1 John 5:20, EMTV)
A8 Some sources of Bible reading and Bible study
B1 Bible reading (There are many).
C3 ESV plans
B2 Bible study
C1 Daily Bible Study from InterVarsity. (I'm not a great fan of IV, but the Bible study might be of some use. The study link is for 10 July 15.
C2 After searching for over an hour, I can't find any more. I think this is a need for some of us to fill. Praying.