I have to admit, I’m pretty excited about starting this Bible study with you. God has been calling me to read and study scripture more, and I thought, why not do it here, with you? Scripture comes so much more alive for me when I have someone to share it with, and I’m looking forward to seeing how God is working in your lives.
We’ll be reading the Gospel of Matthew one chapter a day. First, take the time to read the chapter through quickly, as a story. Sometimes I read it through a second time historically, looking at the setting and seeing the people as they would have been affected by the events unfolding, trying to see a theme. Before reading the chapter through a final time, I sit still before God. I ask Him to open the eyes of my heart and to reveal to me which verses He wants to bring to my attention. Which verse is my favourite, and why? Which verse(s) challenge me, and why? And what practical steps can I take to live this out? Is there a verse, or a whole section that confuses me? I take the time now to research it a little, then just let it rest in my heart, knowing that even if I don’t understand it now, I may someday in the future. There is plenty that God can speak to me in the verses that I do understand. I take time to meditate on His Word, and contemplate what it means in my life.
In a nutshell, this is a rundown of the steps for reading each chapter. When it comes to sharing it here, I will focus on one verse from each chapter that spoke to me in a special way. And I hope you will do the same. I look forward to reading your comments. Remember, this is what God is speaking to you, and it can be as individual as you are.
For the more adventurous, try this in a small group setting. This method works best when you do one chapter a week, but can be done daily as we are doing. The Gospels work especially well with this format.
Everyone needs to prepare their sharings ahead of time. To start, usually the challenges from the previous week are discussed. How well were they lived out? Next, the verses in the chapter are divided equally among the participants and each person takes a turn reading. Different translations of the Bible make this interesting, sometimes clearing up difficulties right away. Starting with “A” – a title – each person takes a turn sharing. Continue with “B” – best verse, “C” – challenge verse, and, finally, “D” – difficulties, each person taking their turn. If someone is in need of prayers, take the time to pray with them. A snack to start or end the sharing time is appropriate.
Sharing this way builds bonds within the group. It is important to keep all sharings confidential and to listen carefully when someone is speaking. There should be an appointed leader of the group to keep everyone on track.
I’ve seen this format used with groups of couples and groups of women. I’ve even used it with my children. It’s a good way to get them to think about Scripture and learn to implement it in their lives. But of course, you can used this Bible sharing method with any group of people, with a group of 4-6 being the ideal so that everyone gets a chance to share as much as they need to.