Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Proverbs: How to read it

One or two have started this great journey in Proverbs. First some things that you might need.

1. A bible that you are happy to mark up

2. A pen!

3. A concordance (this is a guide to finding verses but you can use biblegateway as an alternative if you are studying online.)

4. A moleskine

What I recommend is an initial read through which will take a couple of hours ( or the equivalent of an Eastenders omnibus ). Mark each verse with a category and these are as good as any. The main category marking up will be from Chapter 10 to the end but mark the first section as appropriate. The end result will be a book full of verses with W for wisdom, A for addiction, H for heart by the side etc.

The Heart

Once this is done then you can look more closely at each theme. I recently looked at the heart. I wrote out each verse with an H by it and meditated on them and thought about their meaning (This article on Soul Care by Dallas Willard might be a help here do take some time to read it).

"The people to whom we minister and speak will not recall 99 percent of what we say to them. But they will never forget the kind of persons we are. This is true of influential ministers in my past. The quality of our souls will indelibly touch others for good or for ill. So we must never forget that the most important thing happening at any moment, in the midst of all our ministerial duties, is the kind of persons we are becoming."

Once I had done this in Proverbs, I looked up 'heart' in my concordance and turned up every reference in the N.T. This is an interesting article that might assist your heart work.

Now I know for some time might not allow this so one friend is working slowly through 'Making life work' chapter by chapter and he is finding it really rewarding. The chapter on discipline even prompted him to go on a bike ride!

I hope this study will be a fruitful one.

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