my gold nuggets

Recently I read this line in the preface of a John Piper book: . . . I learned how to dig for gold rather than rake for leaves when I take up the Scriptures.

For the most part of my life, I’ve been raking leaves. I’ve been collecting leaves, jumping in them, burying myself in them, and maybe if I just dare to admit it, burning leaves.

But then last year, I was involved in a few things that changed my perspective on studying God’s Word. First, I started studying Joshua at an informal Bible study. It was during this study that I learned to slow down. I’m always in such a hurry, feeling as if I have wasted so much time in my walk with my God. I learned to read, then read again, then read it over and over again.  I started feverishly writing in my Bible and putting questions in a journal.  Then last spring I took a hermeneutics class. Instead of focusing on the Bible as a self help book to fix all my problems, I began looking at the repeating themes that God reveals through his Word. I learned of the importance in understanding the language, culture, context, etc. When I do the work myself, the Bible comes alive to me in ways I never knew it would.  I started digging for gold.

Now what do I do with all the nuggets I’ve been diggin’ up.   I don’t meditate. I don’t ponder. I dig and dig and dig.  I look at what I’ve worked out, sometimes have a eureka moment, but move on to the next eureka moment. But without the meditating, the pondering, the chewing, how do I apply it in my life?

Any ideas out there? How do you ponder? How do you meditate? How do you apply the truths? I feel as though I’m carrying around a backpack full of gold nuggets, and it is starting to weigh me down.

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2 thoughts on “my gold nuggets

  1. Kelly, I know exactly what you mean. The thing that helped me the most is Anne Graham Lotz’s method of Bible study. I’ll try to explain it, but you’d probably get a better explanation from her website (annegrahamlotz.com). First, you start with the passage of scipture you’re studying. It can be 2 or 3 verses or it can be a whole chapter. The fewer the verses, though, the easier it is to work through it. Then you read verse by verse and write down the facts using only the words in that verse. Here’s an example from my own Bible study.

    Ezra 1:2 “This is what Cyrus king of Persia says:
    ” ‘The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah.”

    Facts: Cyrus spoke: The Lord has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and has appointed me to build a temple for Him.

    Then you find a lesson in those facts. My lesson from this verse (and everyone has a different lesson) was that God appoints people to do His work at certain times.

    Then you ask yourself questions based on that/those lesson(s). And actually, that’s misleading, you THINK you’re coming up with the questions, but really God is giving you the question you need to answer. Sometimes this can be really deep and painful, other times it’s something you just know you should do or not do and He’s just reminding you. My question from this lesson was “What has God appointed me to do right now?”

    Last you ANSWER your question. No YES or NO questions here! This is where the applying of your “nuggets” comes in. You need to be truthful and listen to God for the answer He wants you to have. This particular verse was not a deep, hard lesson for me, except that it clarified for me what I am supposed to be doing right now. My answers were: raising my kids, supporting my husband and taking care of my mom. These are things that I AM doing, but sometimes I feel like I should be doing something more “important”. By gleaning the facts, learning a lesson and applying the lesson to my own life in a very personal way, I can rest in knowing that this is the “work” he has for me right now. Sure, I do other things in the church, but these things are IMPORTANT and they are what I am appointed to do today.

    I hope this helps. You don’t need to be in another Bible study group to do this. It works just as well on your own. In fact, I did it by myself when I couldn’t attend our church’s women’s study. Hey…I know everyone has their own church activities on Wednesday nights, but if you could ever get away sometime, come to my Bible study! You’ll see it in action and it is so awesome. No pressure!

    Anyway, I hope you look up the website and get a clearer explanation. It’s hard to explain but easy to do. Once you get into the habit of it, you’ll find you do it in your head when you’re not actually working on a “study”. God has a way of putting questions in my head when I least expect them (and sometimes don’t want them!!).

  2. I learned at Northland to make everything I learned personal. I used to always think, what does this scripture tell me to do. Well, God has since changed my mindset. That attitude creates a spirit of doing, and not enjoying. Now, as I study, I look for God. Who He is, how each verse shows Him. I then start praying. I pray through what I have just learned. I pray that God would show me how to live in my new learning and study, how to respond because of who He is. I journal as well. A teacher in college, my Romans class, has us read the book of Romans every two weeks, and journal at least two thought with each chapter. Sometimes I think we feel like if we read the book once we learn, and eventually we come back to the book a year or so later, but we then have forgotten some of what we previously learned. Sometimes we need to spend a couple of months reading, and rereading the same thing. The biggest thing I have learned is prayer, and then praying that God would make the truth personal to my own life.

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