Choosing the Right Bible Study for You

You’ve made the decision to study the Bible. You have a Bible. But is that all you need? Having a book that helps guide you through a study of the Bible is often what you need to get you going. So how do you go about choosing the study that is right for you? Precept Ministries International has made it easy. They have compiled a list of questions and an overview of each kind of study that they offer to assist you in choosing the right Bible study for you. You can go here to see the questionnaire, browse the different studies, and even download a free sample.

All of Precept Ministries’ studies are great. Find one that meets you where you are right now, order it from their online store, and get started. Most importantly, let the Word of God start changing your life today!


He Gave Us a Valley

You may have heard of Dr. Helen Roseveare before. It could possibly have been when this story about a dying baby, a hot water bottle, a child’s prayer, and a doll landed in your inbox. Perhaps you doubted its veracity and considered it an urban legend as you hit delete. The story is, indeed, true and is one of many amazing answers to prayer during Dr. Roseveare’s twenty years as a missionary in the Congo of Africa.

That particular story is recorded in another of her eleven books.  The book I just finished reading and want to recommend to you today is He Gave Us a Valley. The cover of the older copy I have describes it as “a story of frustrations, failures, and triumphs.” Emphasis on the word frustrations.

At a time in my life where I find myself questioning the value of just about everything I do “for the Lord” – whether it’s worthwhile, meaningful, useful, in His will, etc., etc., etc. – this book seems especially timely. As a doctor, Helen Roseveare spent the vast majority of those 20 years, it seems, entangled in the bureaucratic red tape of a region embroiled in civil war and finding its way after centuries of colonialism. Not to mention the 5 months she spent as a prisoner of rebel forces, enduring horrific abuse. And, oh yeah, the people for whom she poured out her life’s work seemed to not only be completely unappreciative of her efforts on their behalf but they actually forced her resignation from the medical hospital she literally built from the ground up.

Her life, her attitude, her love in spite of all of this – it is utterly overwhelming to me. What an ingrate I am! My prayer has become the same as Helen’s – and the Apostle Paul’s: ” But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death.” (Philippians 3:7-10)

For more books you really “gotta” read, go here.

Key Word Symbol – “relent”

relentThe Hebrew transliteration nacham is translated as the English word “relent” in Jonah 3:9. The word means “to be sorry, console oneself, repent, regret, comfort, be comforted.” Even though nacham is not translated anywhere in the NASB as “yield,” it still makes me think of that word. This symbol comes from the shape of a Yield traffic sign.

Of course, you can mark key words any way you like when you are doing inductive Bible study. But sometimes we get stuck. (At least, I do.) And sometimes it helps to see how someone else marks a word. Then we can move on with marking the text instead of wasting time deliberating over what symbol to use.

Don’t forget that marking the text is one tool of inductive Bible study. Be careful that you don’t get so caught up in using the tool that you forget the true objective: digging out the truth of God’s Word for yourself.

Key Word Symbol – “house of the Lord”

house of the Lord (2)When marking references to God while doing inductive Bible study, I use a purple gel pen to make a triangle and then color it in with a yellow pencil. So this symbol for the “house of the Lord” came naturally from that. I mark references to the “temple” the same way.

For more ideas on how to mark key words, check out the Key Word Marking scans by clicking on Key Word Symbols at the top right of this page. Also, scroll down and check out Key Word Symbols under Categories on the right sidebar of this page.

Feel free to email us your own symbols and we’ll share them with everyone!

New study starting – Join us!


If you’d like to join us in studying Romans (Chapters 12-16) Life as a Living Sacrifice, you can! Even if you can’t join us in person, you can do the study with us online.  All you have to do is click at the top on “Join Our Current Study” and follow the link to order a workbook from Precept Ministries. Once you have your book, go to “Listen Here.”

Each Tuesday afternoon after our morning class, I upload our class discussion to the Listen Here page. As you listen, you will hear our unedited class discussion. It is just like you are sitting in class with us. I would encourage you to use headphones with your computer to listen. It will help you hear the comments of the people in class.

Feel free to email questions at “Contact Us.” I will post the question (anonymously) and we can reason together through posting comments.

Please let us know if you are studying online with us. This new class begins September 22.  Hope to “see” you there!

Lightning Study: Who Pays for Our Sins?

What is Inductive Bible Study, you ask? According to Precept Ministries International (PMI), “This method of Bible study takes you directly to the text so you can discover its life-changing truth for yourself.” The text is the Bible itself instead of books about the Bible. There isn’t necessarily anything wrong with using extra-biblical resources in your study, but you should always start with the Bible and dig there as deeply as you can before turning to other sources. And then, if there is a contradiction between God’s Word and man’s word, then God’s Word must always take precedence.

A good way to get a taste of Inductive Bible Study is by doing a Lightning Study, a quick and easy downloadable study which takes 10-15 minutes to complete. Click here to download and print the Lightning Study entitled “Who Pays for Our Sins and Offers Salvation?”

To download other Lightning Studies, go here.

Fall Women’s Conference

If you’ve never been to a women’s conference at Precept Ministries International, then you truly do not know what you’re missing. Teaching by Kay Arthur and the wonderful (and beautiful) staff, worship led by the indescribable Alicia Williamson Garcia, fellowshiping with women from all over the US. . . What are you waiting for?

I went to my first Women’s Weekend at PMI in October 1998. God spoke to me so personally at that conference. . . and I listened! That is what prompted me to move from Precept student to Precept leader. I have gone every year since then, and each year I am renewed and refreshed.

Trust me on this. You need to go. Maybe I’ll see you there!