Hello and Happy Spring! I hope you are seeing signs of warmer weather and a few daffodils sprinkled throughout your day. My full extent of Spring is defined by newness and Easter (my favorite holiday). I love seeing the violas and tulips displayed around town. It is exciting to watch the buds begin to form on the rosebushes and trees in the yard. These signs bring the meaning of hope to mind for me and help me better understand the purpose of winter.
REVIEW: ATTENTION STAGE
Today we are discussing the “M” stage of AMPS: Meaning. However, I feel I need to revisit and clarify the first step, Attention, before moving forward. The Attention stage is the breadth of Bible Intake, a time to simply read and/or listen to God’s Word by engaging in at least one chapter at a time. It is crafted to give you an overview and allow the Holy Spirit to point out areas.
This is a stage where you are reading the Bible with the knowledge that all Scripture points to Christ. Think of this type of Bible intake as basic reading and/or listening for the broadness and entirety of God’s Word. The basic points are 1) Pause, pray, and posture your heart to hear God every time you approach His Word; 2) Read and/or listen to full chapters at a time (safeguards from cherry picking); 3) Think about how the chapter/s point to the full story of Christ; 4) Allow the Holy Spirit to highlight words, phrases, verse/s for you (be in tune to hear the active-living Word).
Please, if you have any questions or concerns about the Attention steps of AMPS, ask me. Remember, this is a skeleton framework for you to build your own Bible study methods and techniques. There is nothing more or nothing less to the Attention stage than the four basic points listed above. Now, the way you respond to those or what you do with your Attention experience can vary.
Let’s move into the Meaning stage. In this aspect of Bible intake, this stage can be referred to as the depth step. Why? Because it is where you have to consume God’s Word through discovering its original implication and importance in history. It equips us to intensify our Scripture knowledge and invest in the Lord’s meaning.
Where do I begin? How do I start? What does this entail? I know, I have had those very same questions. So, let me try to share what I have discovered through three basic areas.
3 MEANING FAQs
Where to begin: I would encourage you to study one chapter at a time. Maybe read/listen to a chapter for your attention stage and then study it in depth for several days. AMPS is not designed to be carried out daily. (I would love to do go through the entire process every day!) Want a suggestion? Start with John.
Another suggestion would be to study the background of the entire book you are reading. The main take away is for you to go deeper into understanding and comprehension of what you are reading.
When I first began, my primary purpose was to achieve and establish true clarity for the Scripture that seized my attention when reading a chapter at a time, listening to a sermon, reading a devotional, etc. It was my starting point and it gave me “spot knowledge” so to speak. Since then, I would have to say I have found it essential to continually concern myself with the meaning of all biblical text to obtain the distinctness and focus of God’s words. With that being said, please understand studying the “attention” areas or highlighted portions after reading/listening is a great beginning.
Start where you are!
How to start: Study Bibles are extremely helpful when digesting Scripture. It gives some insight to true understanding and even the context in which it was written. Pay attention to the subheadings. They are tools to help our minds “chunk” the information and attach it to similar knowledge in our schema. There are many Bible commentaries online you can reference as well. Let Scripture define Scripture–so, you may want to invest time into reading some of the cross reference verses provided. My favorite technique is to read my “attention” verses in various translations.
Getting started is basically taking a step to deeper understanding! Please don’t make it complicated. It can merely be one thing that deepens your understanding. This is an ongoing adventure to strength your relationship with the most important person in your life, GOD! Try several strategies and research more to incorporate throughout your journey.
Start where you are!
What meaning entails: I might define meaning as anything that helps you dig into the context and build a firm foundation of knowledge according to God’s connotation. The primary goal is for you to open your Bible in confidence by knowing God will provide you with complete comprehension if you are willing to do a little extra work.
Here are a few things you could include:
Write down your questions.
Reread God’s Word in several versions (NIV, ESV, NLT, TPT, …)
Use commentaries, reference other Scripture, and read resources such as Bible book summaries
Cultivate an interrogative mindset (author, author’s background, historical setting & culture, original recipients of the message, events)
5Ws & H: (historical references)
Who wrote it? Who are the people?
When was it written?
Where are they? Where does the passage fit in the unfolding of Scripture?
What is occurring? What is being said? What is the author’s intended meaning?
Why was this written? Why is this part of God’s Word?
How was this applicable then? And now?
Identify keywords: Maybe use a Bible dictionary (language concordance) & find the Greek/Hebrew meaning
Deal with reproof & new revelations: Did you discover a flaw in your past comprehension/application?
WOW! I know…it may be overwhelming but remember… Start where you are!
PRIMARY GOAL: Discovering the Full Meaning of God’s Word by growing in relationship with the LORD.
ONE PRIMARY TIP: Let it be pure joy!
YOU GOT THIS!