Thursday, January 31, 2008

Why I blog so much

I never really intended to blog so much. I have received a variety of comments from people saying that they know me better now than when they saw me more often. I think my first month I declared my intention to blog every day so as to have a place to journal, and process and debrief. But, that habit just kind of stuck and I have noticed that I have written almost every day for the past five months. What gives?

Well, there are many reasons, I think. The first thing is that there is a lot to write about. And when I am thinking about bloggin’, I just am more consciously looking for stuff during the day. I see a crazy thing or hear something or witness something, and I am like, I need to tell someone about that. Some days something happens and I am like I just wish I could convey what I just saw. If they only knew what it was like here… I guess that pushes me on.

I think I process by writing. Some people think and then speak. Others think by speaking. I am the latter. Writing doesn’t drain me like it does other people. I love the journey that the discipline of writing takes me through.

I love to read other people’s blogs. I have a bunch on my google reader which is nice because whenever they are updated, I can read them without having to go and open the page and realize they haven’t written anything for 2 week. I know that those who like blogs would rather read shorter blogs rather than a long, long one, every month or so.

Another reason is simple. We have no TV. We never go out at night. We have more time than before. So, when the kids go to bed, I can reflect back on my day through a blog.

I feel fortunate having the freedom as a missionary to write about the experiences here without having to code my language or censor my speech.

I feel indebted to those who have supported us to be here. I want you to know what you are investing in and in some ways, to get a small return on your investment.

I think the biggest reason I am writing so much which ties most of them together is because I know what it is like to live in a place where the world is mostly out of sight, out of mind… I have honestly lived that for many years and I have been repenting of that now. They, the third world countries and impoverished areas need us just as much as we need them. There is so much to learn about life, perseverance, contentment, faith, sacrifice and simplicity that are so needed in the American church. I long to bridge the gap, so that Africa does not seem so far away, and that those suffering have real names, and hurts and so you can see the results of your prayers and the results of your dollars.

I pray that churches in America would form sister relationships so that they can learn from one another. I pray that the plight of the Africans would change how people spend money and view their trials and rethink their priorities. I pray that our hearts would be linked in good and bad with each other’s good and bad.

I am continually amazed at how little it takes to affect real change. I feel the burden and privilege and responsibility to share their message.

So if the blogging seems a bit excessive, get over it;-) And if not, well, good…

Thanks for your encouragement and support.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Evacuation...

If you remember the flooding I told you about at Kanyama Orphanage, (if you don't, check out the story here!) well, it is has got so bad they had to be evacuated out... Today, Luke is going down to pump it out with a water pump... Please be praying for this school and orphanage!
Thanks!
Steve

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Connecting the dots, Part IV of Inductive Study

Kamryn and Bradyn and Julia love those connect the dot pictures. As long as you can count or know your alphabet, you are on your way to drawing amazing pictures. I love 'em, too. It is as close as I will ever get to drawing something that looks like something. This fourth part of the inductive study is actually a bit like connecting the dots. As you look back over all your answers, it will seem a bit massive and overwhelming. If you leave it all there, you are like the man who looks at his face in a mirror and then walks away forgetting what he looked like. In order to get from information to perspiration, from content to application, you have to go through the painful process of summarizing all that you have just learned into one or two sentences. Much like a concise commentary, summarizing it down makes it manageable and rememerable! But, this is tough, especially when you are trying to summarize many great insights and thoughts. But, especially if you are going to teach, this step is non-negotiable.

So, how do you do it?

I begin by looking back over the verse, first. Reading it through again and again, in light of what I have now learned.

I then look back through my notes on the answers to the questions.

Then taking all the context, and content, and the author's intentions, I do my best to summarize in a couple sentences. It does become a bit of a word smith game, but that is o.k. We are trying to draw out principles and thoughts that sum up the passage, as if you were writing a commentary. And the the most important reason is if you can't explain it, you probably don't understand it. The better you can state it, the the better you will be able to remember it and the more applicable will be the results of the passage.

So, we take the passage we have been working on:
2 Tim. 3:16-17
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, [17] so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.


God's words shape us so that we may be prepared to do good works for God.

If I was preaching a sermon: I may have a something like this be a tite:
God's word lead to God works.

There is no doubt a better way to say it, but it works for me... I remember the key point that will go with me and challenge me and it leads right into my application, which we will talk about tomorrow!

The roar of the crowd and the glory of God.


I remember when I was a walk-on football player at University of Washington back in the glory days. I was often punished by the first team defense, but I had the best seats in the house during games. There are a lot of things that stick out to me about my time there. One of things that stick out to me most was the strange dichotomy that existed in the star athletes. These players reveled in the praise of the crowd and yet regarded individuals with ambivalence. These players had been treated by people as gods for most of their lives because of their athletic ability, and so naturally they considered themselves better than all. They loved the crowd of people, but in reality, most of them didn’t care about any of them.

God has a lot to say about both sides of this dichotomy, and it couldn’t be more opposite that what I observed.

Simply put, we care what people think of us. We think too much of what people think of us. We worry what people think of us. We change because of what people will think of us. It was enough of a problem that Peter got hammered on by Paul because he cared what the Jews thought of him in Galatians 3:11-15.

Paul clearly states in Galatians 1:10 “Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

Truly, when we submit our lives to serve Christ, the opinion of the crowd must be silenced in the light of pleasing God. He becomes our audience of one. I remember in college when I was in a Fellowship of Christian Athletes meeting one time and the speaker talked about this idea of playing only for the glory of God, playing to approve and please Him , alone. I made that practical every day when I came out on the field and looked up to the second level where I imagined Jesus sitting and watching me play. It affected my work ethic, my witness to the players and my morale.

These verses in Colossians have changed my life in so many ways in really boiling down where my motivation for any praise and notoriety should be… Col. 3:23-24-Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, [24] since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

All this to say, this blog is just a reminder to me that while I still struggle with loving the sound of the crowd and ignoring the individual, that when I serve Christ only, these opposites must be rearranged. When I live to please only Christ with my life, the love of pleasing the crowd will become less and less. And, as I live to please Christ, his love for each individual will become mine in increasing depths to the glory of God.

As we strive to live only for the Glory of God, our motivations become more pure and pure. We live for His glory when the crowd is cheering and when the crowd is jeering. Keeping our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, is the only way to overcome the glory of the crowd for the glory of God.

Amen!

Monday, January 28, 2008

Huckazambia...

Just wanted to share a compiled video about Mike Huckabee from ihearthuckabee.com

Thought it was a great compilation of the man running for president...

Answering the Questions - Part III

There is a Chinese proverb: One who asks a question is a fool for five minutes; one who does not ask a question remains a fool forever. That is nice and all, but, I need to warn you that you will feel like a fool much longer than five minutes as you strive and sweat to answer the questions that you have come up with… Where do you start? How do you find them? What resources should you use?

The first thing people reach for is the commentary, but it is actually the fourth step in this inductive study… We need to recount a few verses to set the stage:

Jn 14:26 - But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

1 Jn 2:26-27 - I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray. As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him.

Ps 143:10 - Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.

The similarity in these verses are striking, in that, the Holy Spirit will be our teacher. Now, there are many other verses that balance out what could be a justification into bad doctrine and serious error, but, at least, it should encourage you that God wants to teach YOU!

So, in order to answer questions, there is four step process to help guide you through the questions:

HELP TO FIND YOUR ANSWERS

Content – what do you think? It sounds silly, but having prayed before you started studying, it is good to put on paper, what you think the answer is… We really do learn best writing down what we think, so write down some thoughts and try to get an idea of what it is saying…

Context - What do the verses near say?

This is so important to take into consideration. Each of the letters and the gospels were all written to be intact. So, taking verses out of context is the number one cause of errors. What is the author saying before this? What is the paragraph, chapter book about? Why is this verse there? This will save many from error!

Compare – what do other verses say?

Cross Referencing (the comparing other words and topics in other parts of the Bible) is a breeze now with the software that exists out there. I use Logos Bible Software, but even biblegateway.com and blueletterbible.com are great, free resources. Cross References using the Greek/Hebrew word are especially great because you get to the root of what the word actually means. If you can use a Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, you will be able to see the Greek word numbered and you will see how many times the word you are looking at is in the book you are studying and in the Bible. I also recommend the New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge for getting word by word references to other parts of the Bible. This is very difficult in Africa because 95% do not have a computer and they do not have concordances… So, they are forced to remember by memory. Please do not take this gift you have for granted!

Consult – What do commentaries say? By spending some time in the other three steps, you will then be able to come to the commentary as a contributor, instead of as a leech. You will be able to analyze well, check your thoughts, see things you may not have seen before and also feel like you have seen things the commentator has not.

Now let’s take a question from our previous passage as an example:

We can just take the first few questions:

a. What is scripture?

b. Who wrote the scripture?

c. Why was scripture written?

d. How was it written?

e. Where was it written?

Content: God wrote down words to give to man what they needed to hear and learn to obey Him. The scripture Paul is referring to must be the Old Testament because the New Testament wasn’t really formed yet. It was written by reliable men led by the Holy Spirit.

Context: In the passage before it, Paul wrote this to Timothy:

14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it 15 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.[1]

So, we learn that Paul is indeed talking about scripture to Timothy. (Again, you can use the Collect method to get some key insights: We learn in Scripture which leads to belief. The scripture is sacred and they are writings. The scripture is able to make us wise for salvation. The scriptures lead us to Christ.)

In the passage after it says this:

I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.

We are to only consider the writings sacred and necessary, but we are to preach it in all seasons.

So, just in a few verses, we learn who wrote the scripture and what should be the result of scriptures.

Cross References:

Here are just a few references:

2 Pe 1:20 - Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. 21 For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

This is a key verse: God spoke the word carried along by the Holy Spirit (the same Holy Spirit who wants to teach you!)

Jn 13:18 - “I am not referring to all of you; I know those I have chosen. But this is to fulfill the scripture: ‘He who shares my bread has lifted up his heel against me.’

Jn 19:36 - These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken,”

Ac 1:16 - and said, “Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled which the Holy Spirit spoke long ago through the mouth of David concerning Judas, who served as guide for those who arrested Jesus—

Three verses that use the word “fulfill” meaning that other scripture was written beforehand predicting certain things to come true.

Ro 10:11 - As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.”

This is one of the many quoted Old Testament verses in the new testament.

Jas 2:8 - If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right.

There is a royal law found in scripture that we must obey…

These verses tell us so much about who wrote scripture and how important it is in light of prophecy and commands on how to live.

Also, here is the New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge:

All. 2 S *23:2. Mt 21:42. 22:31, 32, 43. 26:54, 56. Mk *12:24, 36. Jn *10:35. Ac 1:16. 28:25. Ro 3:2. +m15:4. Ga 3:8. He 3:7. m4:12. 2 P m1:19-21

Some of these verses are the same, but there are different ones as well…

Lastly,

Commentary: Here is a selection from Matthew Henry’s commentary which is found free on many websites:

4. The scriptures we are to know are the holy scriptures; they come from the holy God, were delivered by holy men, contain holy precepts, treat of holy things, and were designed to make us holy and to lead us in the way of holiness to happiness; being called the holy scriptures, they are by this distinguished from profane writings of all sorts, and from those that only treat morality, and common justice and honesty, but do not meddle with holiness. If we would know the holy scriptures, we must read and search them daily, as the noble Bereans did, Acts 17:11. They must not lie by us neglected, and seldom or never looked into. Now here observe,

(1.) What is the excellency of the scripture. It is given by inspiration of God (v. 16), and therefore is his word. It is a divine revelation, which we may depend upon as infallibly true. The same Spirit that breathed reason into us breathes revelation among us: For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man, but holy men spoke as they were moved or carried forth by the Holy Ghost, 2 Pt. 1:21. The prophets and apostles did not speak from themselves, but what they received of the Lord that they delivered unto us. That the scripture was given by inspiration of God appears from the majesty of its style,—from the truth, purity, and sublimity, of the doctrines contained in it,—from the harmony of its several parts,—from its power and efficacy on the minds of multitudes that converse with it,—from the accomplishment of many prophecies relating to things beyond all human foresight,—and from the uncontrollable miracles that were wrought in proof of its divine original: God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will, Heb. 2:4.

You will see that it affirms many things we have wrestled with and see, but it doesn’t deal with when the scripture was written and other questions we have…

As you can see, as you work through the four steps it will lead you to the answers you are seeking!

Now, what do you do with all the answers? Tune it tomorrow, for an important conclusion to inductive Bible study!


[1]The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (2 Ti 3:14-15). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

Answering the Questions - Part III

There is a Chinese proverb: One who asks a question is a fool for five minutes; one who does not ask a question remains a fool forever. That is nice and all, but, I need to warn you that you will feel like a fool much longer than five minutes as you strive and sweat to answer the questions that you have come up with… Where do you start? How do you find them? What resources should you use?

The first thing people reach for is the commentary, but it is actually the fourth step in this inductive study… We need to recount a few verses to set the stage:

Jn 14:26 - But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

1 Jn 2:26-27 - I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray. As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him.

Ps 143:10 - Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.

The similarity in these verses are striking, in that, the Holy Spirit will be our teacher. Now, there are many other verses that balance out what could be a justification into bad doctrine and serious error, but, at least, it should encourage you that God wants to teach YOU!

So, in order to answer questions, there is four step process to help guide you through the questions:

HELP TO FIND YOUR ANSWERS

Content – what do you think? It sounds silly, but having prayed before you started studying, it is good to put on paper, what you think the answer is… We really do learn best writing down what we think, so write down some thoughts and try to get an idea of what it is saying…

Context - What do the verses near say?

This is so important to take into consideration. Each of the letters and the gospels were all written to be intact. So, taking verses out of context is the number one cause of errors. What is the author saying before this? What is the paragraph, chapter book about? Why is this verse there? This will save many from error!

Compare – what do other verses say?

Cross Referencing (the comparing other words and topics in other parts of the Bible) is a breeze now with the software that exists out there. I use Logos Bible Software, but even biblegateway.com and blueletterbible.com are great, free resources. Cross References using the Greek/Hebrew word are especially great because you get to the root of what the word actually means. If you can use a Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, you will be able to see the Greek word numbered and you will see how many times the word you are looking at is in the book you are studying and in the Bible. I also recommend the New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge for getting word by word references to other parts of the Bible. This is very difficult in Africa because 95% do not have a computer and they do not have concordances… So, they are forced to remember by memory. Please do not take this gift you have for granted!

Consult – What do commentaries say? By spending some time in the other three steps, you will then be able to come to the commentary as a contributor, instead of as a leech. You will be able to analyze well, check your thoughts, see things you may not have seen before and also feel like you have seen things the commentator has not.

Now let’s take a question from our previous passage as an example:

We can just take the first few questions:

a. What is scripture?

b. Who wrote the scripture?

c. Why was scripture written?

d. How was it written?

e. Where was it written?

Content: God wrote down words to give to man what they needed to hear and learn to obey Him. The scripture Paul is referring to must be the Old Testament because the New Testament wasn’t really formed yet. It was written by reliable men led by the Holy Spirit.

Context: In the passage before it, Paul wrote this to Timothy:

14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it 15 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.[1]

So, we learn that Paul is indeed talking about scripture to Timothy. (Again, you can use the Collect method to get some key insights: We learn in Scripture which leads to belief. The scripture is sacred and they are writings. The scripture is able to make us wise for salvation. The scriptures lead us to Christ.)

In the passage after it says this:

I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.

We are to only consider the writings sacred and necessary, but we are to preach it in all seasons.

So, just in a few verses, we learn who wrote the scripture and what should be the result of scriptures.

Cross References:

Here are just a few references:

2 Pe 1:20 - Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. 21 For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

This is a key verse: God spoke the word carried along by the Holy Spirit (the same Holy Spirit who wants to teach you!)

Jn 13:18 - “I am not referring to all of you; I know those I have chosen. But this is to fulfill the scripture: ‘He who shares my bread has lifted up his heel against me.’

Jn 19:36 - These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken,”

Ac 1:16 - and said, “Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled which the Holy Spirit spoke long ago through the mouth of David concerning Judas, who served as guide for those who arrested Jesus—

Three verses that use the word “fulfill” meaning that other scripture was written beforehand predicting certain things to come true.

Ro 10:11 - As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.”

This is one of the many quoted Old Testament verses in the new testament.

Jas 2:8 - If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right.

There is a royal law found in scripture that we must obey…

These verses tell us so much about who wrote scripture and how important it is in light of prophecy and commands on how to live.

Also, here is the New Treasury of Scripture Knowledge:

All. 2 S *23:2. Mt 21:42. 22:31, 32, 43. 26:54, 56. Mk *12:24, 36. Jn *10:35. Ac 1:16. 28:25. Ro 3:2. +m15:4. Ga 3:8. He 3:7. m4:12. 2 P m1:19-21

Some of these verses are the same, but there are different ones as well…

Lastly,

Commentary: Here is a selection from Matthew Henry’s commentary which is found free on many websites:

4. The scriptures we are to know are the holy scriptures; they come from the holy God, were delivered by holy men, contain holy precepts, treat of holy things, and were designed to make us holy and to lead us in the way of holiness to happiness; being called the holy scriptures, they are by this distinguished from profane writings of all sorts, and from those that only treat morality, and common justice and honesty, but do not meddle with holiness. If we would know the holy scriptures, we must read and search them daily, as the noble Bereans did, Acts 17:11. They must not lie by us neglected, and seldom or never looked into. Now here observe,

(1.) What is the excellency of the scripture. It is given by inspiration of God (v. 16), and therefore is his word. It is a divine revelation, which we may depend upon as infallibly true. The same Spirit that breathed reason into us breathes revelation among us: For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man, but holy men spoke as they were moved or carried forth by the Holy Ghost, 2 Pt. 1:21. The prophets and apostles did not speak from themselves, but what they received of the Lord that they delivered unto us. That the scripture was given by inspiration of God appears from the majesty of its style,—from the truth, purity, and sublimity, of the doctrines contained in it,—from the harmony of its several parts,—from its power and efficacy on the minds of multitudes that converse with it,—from the accomplishment of many prophecies relating to things beyond all human foresight,—and from the uncontrollable miracles that were wrought in proof of its divine original: God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will, Heb. 2:4.

You will see that it affirms many things we have wrestled with and see, but it doesn’t deal with when the scripture was written and other questions we have…

As you can see, as you work through the four steps it will lead you to the answers you are seeking!

Now, what do you do with all the answers? Tune it tomorrow, for an important conclusion to inductive Bible study!



[1]The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (2 Ti 3:14-15). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Questions about Inductive Study, Part II

Part II – Inductive Study

My daughter Kamryn is an inquisitive little girl. She asks questions about questions. What are you talking about daddy? Why is the sky blue? What is the meaning of life? What is heaven like? Why are they not here? When she had the concussion a month ago, it was probably the most frustrated I have ever seen her because she couldn’t figure out what was happening. She must of asked me at least 30 times where she was, why she was here and what happened. And that was just me. She defines that famous slogan, “Enquiring minds want to know!” And though it is a little tiring fielding the assortment of questions, I love it. The more questions she asks, the more she will learn. The more she learns, the more that knowledge can affect how she lives her life. Questions reveal what we need to know and what we don’t know so we can know what we need to know and how to do what we don't know. It is true in life as well as in Bible study, that the only stupid question is the one not asked. As you are about to see, we are about to ask more questions that you ever thought possible for two short verses. Some of these questions will seem very basic and elementary. It doesn’t matter, ask ‘em anyway. Others you won’t know and that is o.k. Still others will be answered in the very next question. The more questions the better. But that is why the previous step is so important. If you do not collect every little fact and truth from the scripture, you will be stunted at the question step.

So here is how it works. Back in elementary school, I still remember the sign that gave me all the question starters: Who? What? Where? When? Why? And How? They five w’s and one H are about to bring new life into your Bible study.

So here we go: the first step is collect. Below is a list of all the truths that I collected from this passage!

2 Tim. 3:16-17 (NIV) All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, [17] so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

1. There is a scripture

2. There is a God

3. God breathes

4. This scripture is God-Breathed

5. All scripture is God-breathed

6. It is useful for teaching

7. It is useful for rebuking

8. It is useful for correcting

9. It is useful for training in righteousness

10. There is a man of God

11. The man of God is to be equipped

12. The man of God is to be thoroughly equipped

13. The man of God is equipped to do good works

14. All scripture equips us to do the works God has for us

15. Without scripture, we will not be equipped to do the works

So, we now ask questions:

Regarding #1: There is a scripture

We ask:

a. What is scripture?

b. Who wrote the scripture?

c. Why was scripture written?

d. How was it written?

e. Where was it written?

Now for every question, you don’t need to ask all the w’s and H questions, but, as you can see here, the more you do ask, the more questions come out of it. Now the questions may seem simple: What is scripture? Scripture is God’s word given to us. You can get that later on, or in many other passages in the Bible. You may know the answers, but if you preach, teach or share your faith, you can bet others don’t know really know the answer to these questions. Asking question not only reveals what you know and don’t know, but it also helps you wrestle the questions to an answer… It helps you be prepared as 1 Peter 3:15-16 states: But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have...

2. There is a God

a. Who is God?

b. Why is there a God?

c. How is there a God?

d. Where is God?

When you ask questions like these, you force yourself into the word to find “proof” for your answers? Where will you go to find out who God is? Genesis? Revelations? Colossians? And questions like, “Why is there a God?” will for no other reason, challenge you to think more broadly about things you might take for granted.

3. God breathes

a. How does God breathe?

b. What did God breathe?

c. Why did God breathe?

This might seem a bit random. It is a true complete sentence. God is the subject and breathe is the verb. It is true. It says that God-breathed scripture. It deserves a little bit of attention.

Not only does God breathe the world into existence, ( Ps 33:6 - By the word of the Lord were the heavens made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth.) but he also gave life to man through his breath (Ge 2:7 - the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.)

God created breathing. Our very ability to breathe is not only sustained by God, but it was originated in Him (Is 57:16 - I will not accuse forever, nor will I always be angry, for then the spirit of man would grow faint before me— the breath of man that I have created.)

God states the obvious when he says that our very existence is because God gives us breath for this moment (Is 42:4-5 - This is what God the Lord says— he who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and all that comes out of it, who gives breath to its people, and life to those who walk on it…)

God’s breath is associated with his power and might to turn bring judgment to sinful generations (Is 11:4, 30:28, 59:19)

Man’s life is compared to a breath (Ps 39:5, Ps 144:4)

And Job says in Job 32:8 - But it is the spirit in a man, the breath of the Almighty, that gives him understanding.

The breath of God gives the world existence, gives man existence, sustains and keep man alive. The breath of God can create and destroy. And God’s breathing has given us understanding to know His thoughts, His will and his plan for us.

See what one simple question can do! Surely this has opened our eyes to not only the glory of God, but also our utter dependence upon Him. This should also increase our gratitude for this amazing gift He given us.

It is of utter importance that you do not answer the questions until you have asked all the questions. I am just trying to help you realize the value of seemingly pointless questions, like
“Why does God breathe?”

4. This scripture is God-Breathed

a. Why did God breathe the scripture?

b. Who did he breathe his scripture for?

c. When did he do this?

d. Where did he breathe scripture?

e. How did he do this?

I remember distinctly during my ordination getting this question. Though it phrased a bit different, it was very similar. Again, some of these are simple and other will require a bit of work.

Now, by this point you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed or discouraged. It is hard work doing inductive study. It is simple, but it requires time and sweat and a bit of perseverance. But the results are sure worth it! And, again, you don’t have to ask every “W” question to get some deep insights into the word that you would not have come up with with a casual reading. And, the goal isn’t quantity as much as quality of study, so don't feel like you need to conquer the bible in on sitting. Let the questions sit for a while!

Now, I will ask few questions for times sake:

1. All scripture is God-breathed

a. What is all of the scripture? Where do I find the all that is being talked about here?

2. It is useful for teaching

a. What does useful mean? What is teaching? Why is teaching useful?

3. It is useful for rebuking

a. What is rebuking? Why is it useful? How does the word rebuke?

4. It is useful for correcting

a. What is correcting? Why is correcting important?

5. It is useful for training in righteousness

a. What is training? What is righteousness? How is righteousness a training event?

6. There is a man of God

a. How is a man of God? What is a man of God? Why is a man of God? When?

7. The man of God is to be equipped

a. What does equipped mean? How do I become equipped? Why?

8. The man of God is to be thoroughly equipped

a. What is thoroughly equipped? What is not thoroughly equipped? How do I get thoroughly equipped? Why do I need to be thoroughly equipped?

9. The man of God is equipped to do good works

a. What are good works? Why do we need to do good works? How does scripture help us do good works?

10. All scripture equips us to do the works God has for us

a. Why does God have good works for us to do? Where in scripture does it help us do good works?

11. Without scripture, we will not be equipped to do the works

a. Why does scripture have such a high priority for our good works?

So, now that you have all the questions written out, you now start over and begin to answer the questions! Tune in tomorrow to find out ways to answer the questions!