Hampton Roads Church begins its series of back to basics during midweek meetings on "How To Have A QT on..." Lessons will target quiet time Bible devotional readings in the Law, Prophets, Psalms, Narratives, Proverbs, Gospels, Acts, and NT Letters.
Take the challenge! Read through the Bible in 2014! If you choose to read through this attached reading plan, also drop by this forum (see the entries below that discuss each day's Bible reading) to share your thoughts on what you read each day.
Also, here's a downloadable bookmark to help you remember the basic elements of a solid time of Bible study.
Lesson One: HOW2QT: Daily (How To Have a Solid Daily Quiet Time)
- Psalm 139:23–24 (NIV) Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
- Psalm 119:18 (NIV) Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.
- Psalm 119:120 (NIV) My flesh trembles in fear of you; I stand in awe of your laws.
- Expect the Holy Spirit to shape you by what you read.
Become an active, engaged reader. Look for great truths, points of conviction, even questions that need resolution. "Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care." 1 Peter 1:10.
1 Timothy 4:15 (NIV) Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. Diligent, Wholehearted, Progress!
- Psalm 119:27 (NIV) Cause me to understand the way of your precepts, that I may meditate on your wonderful deeds.
- Picture it
- Paraphrase it
- Personalize it
- Pray it
- Promise to Claim
- Command to Obey
- Sin to Avoid/Confess
- Example to Imitate
- Truth to Believe
- Question to Resolve
- Change to Embrace
- James 1:22–25 (NIV) Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.
- Proverbs 22:17–19 (NIV) Pay attention and turn your ear to the sayings of the wise; apply your heart to what I teach, for it is pleasing when you keep them in your heart and have all of them ready on your lips. So that your trust may be in the Lord, I teach you today, even you.
- Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication
- Praise, Confess, Thank, Request
- Matthew 6:9-13
Lesson Two: HOW2QT: Sabbath (How To Have a "Sabbath" Quiet Time)
Principles & Practices for Deeper Bible Study
1. Survey the Text
Read, Re-Read, Repeat!!! Take notes to craft a preliminary thesis or “Big Idea” for the passage. Think of yourself like a detective looking for clues to the text’s general idea or theme, alert for anything that will make it clearer. Use at least three to four good translations (ESV, NASB, NIV, NET) as you repeatedly read the text.
2. Investigate Context
- Historical Context. In what historical, social, and cultural situation was the passage written? Use a good Bible Dictionary (an important tool), such as the ISBE (International Standard Bible Encyclopedia) or the Anchor Bible Dictionary. Start by looking up the name of the book (e.g. “Luke”) in the dictionary/encyclopedia and reading the introductory material which will provide rich details on the historical context.
- Literary Context. How does the passage relate to what precedes and follows it? How does it relate to the overall book? Why THIS and why HERE? Is there an overarching argument or proposition in which THIS section of text plays a role? If so, what is THIS text trying to DO to the original reader?
3. Detail the Content
What kinds of sentences are used? What are the major components of each sentence? What verbal actions or states appear in these sentences, and what subjects are associated with them?
Does the text include appeals to tradition or Scripture, such as stories, beliefs, laws, and well-known historical figures? If so, how doe these appeals function?
Does the text appear to use any other earlier sources, whether written or oral? If so, how do these appeals to tradition function?
If the text is a narrative, what elements of setting, plot (conflict, suspense, resolution), and character development does each part of the text convey?
Which elements of the text work, individually or together, to instruct, delight, convict, or move the reader?
What is the tone, or mood, of the passage, and what elements convey that tone?How do the various parts of the passage reflect and/or address the situation of the readers?
How does each part of the passage relate to the other parts? How does each Part contribute to the whole? How does my emerging understanding of the whole affect the meaning of the parts?
Does the author use any technical terms? (TDNT or “little Kittel” or EDNT is a great help here for detailed definitions of Greek terms)
If I enter the narrative world of this text, what do I see and hear and feel? If I join the community that is receiving this letter, what am I being urged to do? If I join the psalmist in prayer/song, what are we imagining about God? If I am among this crowd encountering Jesus, how do I view Him?
4. Summarize it All
- Nehemiah 8:8,12
- Make it clear, capture the big idea, the conviction, and the application
What is the main point of each part of the text?
- Why do you think the passage was included in this biblical book? For what main function?
- What claims did the text make upon its original hearers or readers? What response might the author have desired from the readers?
- What is the main idea that the author talking about? (Subject)
- What is he saying about what he is talking about? (Complements)
- What is the big idea of this passage – stated in a single sentence?
- NOW... Read the passage again using your findings to place you empathetically among the recipients of the original audience
- XP: What do they most need to know from this passage, and why do they need to know it? What else can they know and why?
- XP: What do they need to do from this passage, and why do they need to do it?
5. Apply it
- Hebrews 5:14
- THE BASIC RULE: A text can’t now mean what it never could have meant!
: THE SECOND RULEWhen we share comparable life situations with the 1st century setting, God’s word is the same for us, too
Do not merely listen to the Word and so deceive yourselves, do what it says!
Lesson Three: HOW2QT: Topic (How To Have a Quiet Time on a Biblical Topic)
Lesson Four: HOW2QT: Bio (How To Have a Quiet Time on a Character Study)
Lesson Five: HOW2QT: OT Narrative (How To Have a Quiet Time in OT Narrative)
- Look at the simple story; avoid the temptation to allegorize parts of the story
- Enjoy the story; look for the plot and its twists
- Identify the main characters and why they are important
- Take note of details included in the story; try to imagine the details and why they important enough to be given in such detail
- Keep looking at the small parts of the story as they fit into the bigger story (contextualize)
- Ask the big questions (what, how, when, where, and WHY)
- How does this story fit into the BIG Story (that is, in God's plan to redeem people that have rejected Him)
HOW2QT: Psalms (How to Have an Effective Quiet Time in the Psalms)
- Psalm = Pluck (musical)
- Most quoted book of OT in NT: 92 times vs 83 times for Isaiah
- Earliest Psalms by Moses (Exodus 15, Deuteronomy 32-33, Psalm 90); most by David
- We gain much in our study of the Psalms
- Romans 15:4, 1Corinthians 10:11, 2Tim 3:14-17
- Ephesians 5:19, Colossians 3:16, James 5:13
- Israel's Hymnal
- Israel's Prayer Book
- Training Guide for the Heart and Head on God's character, wise living, messianic prophecies, passion for God
- Parallelism! "Thought Rhyme" by placing two profound thoughts next to each other. Hebrew poetry is less about word rhyme and rhythm (meter) and more about laying down related thoughts next to each other.
- Synonymous Parallelism (or Same Thoughts Combined)
Psalm 24:1–2 (NIV) The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; 2 for he founded it on the seas and established it on the waters.
- Antithetical Parallelism (or Opposite Thoughts Contrasted)
Psalm 1:6 (NIV) For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked leads to destruction.
- Synthetic Parallelism (or If-Then Statements Developed)
Psalm 119:11 (NIV) I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.
- Progressive Parallelism (or Increased Intensity of Examples Provided)
Psalm 1:1 (NIV) Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers,
HOW2QT Proverbs (and Wisdom Literature)
Scrub the video to 0:36:36 below to begin the section on Proverbs (and skip the material on Psalms if you have already viewed the video on Psalms above).