How To Study The Word (Stop 4)

We’ve covered “Why we need to study the Word” and “What we need to start studying the Word” now we’re going to go into a general overview of the STOP study method. It’s ridiculously simple but it aims at big results. Take the last post’s essentials and move forward.

When you drive you do two things: you stop and you go. Sure you turn but that consists of “going” and sure you slow down but that consists of “stopping” . The only difference here is that there’s no rolling through the STOP signs. Wow, that sort of thing is going to get aggravating real quick and I’ll be shouted down as the Rick Warren of the Brethren.

Be that as it may, the STOP method is not something I take credit for: I gleaned a bunch of it from Tom Taylor in Pennsylvania. He didn’t call it the STOP method nor did he mention the fancy acronym but its where I learned it from so there.

First off, you must be Steadfast while using this method. This might sound like the Dedication from the essentials but you’ll see how this is specific to the method as the post goes on since this step is integral to it.

Secondly, you must be Targeted. When using this method you must start off with a purpose that consists of this: I will get something from this text—not Everything. Too often we go into a Bible study thinking that we have to learn every single thing from a passage in one sitting. That’s purely ridiculous. This is the Word of God and as such is living and breathing—don’t think you’ll exhaust ANYTHING you study from it in one sitting. Aim at getting Something instead at understanding Everything lest you miss the whole thing and get absolutely Nothing.

Thirdly, you must be Orderly while using the method. You must follow a contextual system—in other words, verse to verse, chapter to chapter and book to book. As such you won’t be jumping around the Bible studying Romans 11 one day then Genesis 3:15 the next. You must commit yourself to following a study that begins and ends. May I suggest a smaller book like Philippians which is choc-full of goodness. Or start with the Pauline Epistles then do the rest of the epistles then the Old Testament. Or first do Matthew then do Genesis. Or start at Genesis and work your way around. Either way, you must be orderly about the actual method. This is beyond making time…this is in the process of what you’re doing…which will make more sense when I illustrate the method.

Fourthly you must Pop three “GO!” questions into your mind.

  • Question 1) What does this text teach me about God’s Person?” (GO and WRITE IT!)
  • Question 2) What does this text teach me about God’s Plan for His people? (GO and WRITE IT!)
  • Question 3) What does this text teach me about God’s Purposes? (GO and WRITE IT!)

As a general overview the STOP method looks like something you can start to do right away—and it very well is. In the next post I will further illuminate the details of the method.

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