Written by Ryan Miller- A follow up to his sermon a few weeks ago

 

I realize I’m milking the acronym.

Anyway.

This post is primarily to serve as a follow up to my talk the other Sunday.  I don’t want to, as I said, “drop you on your head” if this method of study is something that could serve you well and play a role in your growing relationship with the Lord and his Word.  And so, this post is meant to serve as a continual reminder on this blog for you to come back to anytime you might need it.

That said, let’s jump into it.

The official method, as previously stated, is called the ‘Inductive Bible Study Method’, or, as I was taught it, the ‘OIA’ method.  O stands for Observe, I stands for Interpret, A stands for Apply.

However, as I put it last weekend, I developed a slightly altered method – primarily for the sake of myself and my struggles to apply a verse in a practical way day after day to my life – but also, I think, to help make the method a little bit easier to teach to the youth to maybe get it to stick in their heads.

So, my method, as you may remember (and via the cheesy title of this post), is called the ‘ROID’ method.  Spiritual steroids.  Our way of feeding ourselves daily with the Word.  They make us stronger…you get the picture.

R – Reflect

O – Observe

I – Interpret

D – Dwell

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Reflect

  • What has God done in my life recently? What is he teaching me?

I recommend keeping a journal by your side and writing as you go.  Or, for the more verbally inclined, perhaps even speak out loud or audio journal what the Lord is doing in your life.

I gave this as my example for Reflect during the sermon:

The Lord is teaching me to surrender.  He teaches me often by cementing key words on my soul for periods of time.  And right now my word is “surrender”.  He’s teaching me to surrender my desires, my wants, my preferences – not for a life less, pleasure-less life – but for a joy filled life.  A life full of Him.  The Holy Spirit has been more real to me in this season than I’ve ever experienced.  Before, the Holy Spirit was more of a concept – a divine part of the Trinity that I didn’t understand or try to understand.  But now, through His grace, I feel that I’m starting to get it – what it looks like to commune daily, hourly, minute-by-minute with the Spirit.  Because, honestly, I don’t feel like I have a choice anymore.  There’s too much the Lord is calling me to do, even currently, for me to do alone.  I need community, yes, and I am incredibly grateful for all of you (spoken to those present during the sermon but including all you who are part of Heritage) and for those who are not present who are my heavenly family and have been invaluable in keeping me sane and encouraging and pushing me towards the Lord.  Y’all who are here and who are not are truly invaluable and I cannot do life without you or others like you.  That said, at the end of the day, I/we are the Lord’s and first and ultimately we need Him.  I love Catherine (my fiancé), and I am incredibly excited to marry her in 20 days Lord willing, but she – like Jeremy said last week – is not my God.  I love my parents, who are here, and am grateful for all they have done and continue to do for me – but they are not my God.  And on and on.

Observe

  • What do I see? Where do I need more understanding?

We looked at Ephesians 2, verses 8 and 9:

For by grace you have been saved through faith.  And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

  • We see that salvation is by grace, through
  • We see that salvation is not our own doing. In fact, it’s completely a gift from God.
  • We see that we did no work for this salvation. Or, rather, we see that the Ephesians, the saints in Ephesus whom Paul is writing to (Ephesians 1:1) – and therefore by default the saints who have followed in their footsteps (ie those of us who have believed as well) – have been freely given this gift of salvation.  Of eternity with God.

Why?

So that no one may boast.

Now, after jotting down what we see, we would ask some questions (if any) that might help us further understand the passage.  For example:

  • What is grace?
  • What is faith?
  • What have we been saved from?
  • Why is it important that no one may boast in salvation?

…to name a few.

The questions are endless here.  This is a time for you and the Lord (and whomever else you might be joining in study) to build your relationship by asking questions.  By going deeper.  By getting to know him more.  And then by being willing to listen.

This is the crux of relationships.

Yes, relationships are heart.  But they are also head.  They also require knowledge in order to hit our hearts deeper.  Relationships require further increasing knowledge in order to further increase our affections.  Knowledge and affection go together.  Time spent, coupled with increase of knowledge, is a formula for a good relationship that hits the heart.

Now, we move on to Interpret.

Interpret

  • Answer the questions that have been asked! (If there are none, we can move on to Dwell)

Answering the questions that have been asked can be done through a variety of methods.

Two tools I highly recommend for answering questions:

  • ESV Study Bible (there are a variety available)
  • Blue Letter Bible (BLB) app – has useful commentaries and even words in the original Greek so that you can no longer say “It’s all Greek to me!”

There are a multitude of other tools that can also be used to help answer questions and go deeper.  These are just two that I have used myself that I find very helpful for growing in my knowledge of – and therefore affection for – the Lord.

Dwell

  • How can I take this passage with me today?

If we aren’t communing with the Lord day-by-day – even moment-by-moment as well as we are able through his power – we lose focus of what is to come, of the eternity waiting for us.  We lose sight of what is most important.

We get bogged down in the menial, in the non-eternal, in the struggles of our present moment and we forget that we have an eternal hope, a glorious purpose that we are called to live in light of every single day.  We can only do this through the Holy Spirit’s power.  We can only do this by learning to speak with him and by learning to listen to him as we work through our days, striving our best to be faithful through his power.

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In summary the method is this:

R – Reflect

  • What has God done in my life recently? What is he teaching me?

O – Observe

  • What do I see? Where do I need more understanding?

I – Interpret

  • Answer the questions (if any) that have been asked!

D – Dwell

  • How can I take this passage with me today? What is the Lord teaching me?

 

I’m thankful for all of you.  I’m deeply grateful for the time that the Lord has given me with Heritage Fellowship and pray that I will have many more opportunities to interact with y’all in the future and stay in touch as we are able.

May we grow in our knowledge of God’s Word and in our affection for him as a result.

Love you all,

Ryan