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Crown the Sword: Ch. 9 Meaning

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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.

MEANING STAGE

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?

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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.

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ONE PRIMARY TIP: Let it be pure joy!

YOU GOT THIS!

Psalm 91

For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing,  to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things?  For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.
2 Corinthians 2:15-17

Happy Friday Friends! I pray your week has been a time to draw closer to the Lord and even a chance to stop and smell the flowers. The fragrance of God’s goodness is always a pleasing aroma.

In a recent post I encouraged you to meditate and pray over Psalm 91. Many have referenced this passage as an encouragement during this time. It seems to be the “go to” area of God’s word this week for many searching for comfort and a way to cope.

I just wanted to share my approach with you today and let you know I held myself accountable to the task as well.

As you can see, I clarified meaning (words in bold print) as I meditated on the verses. Then I wrote my takeaway throughout the scripture as a means to apply it to my personal life and current circumstances.

May it provide insight to your methods of digesting God Word and assist you in your spiritual walk.

Whoever lives in the protection of the one and only God will take comfort in pursuit of the omnipotent/omnipresent. I will continue to draw near to the Lord and seek His will for my life. I am grateful that He is ever-present and available.  

I will declare of the LORD, “He is my safe haven and my stronghold, my Abba Father, in whom I confide and depend.” I am not ashamed to claim Him as my Lord. I choose His truth and love as my substance. I bring my life under His authority. Help me Lord to be obedient to your word.

Without question he will rescue you from the enemy’s trap and from the terminal virus/pandemic/disease. Through His son, Jesus Christ I have been given life saving grace. The gift of the Holy Spirit has directed my pathway and made me aware of satan’s schemes. His Holy Word provides truth to fight against the poisonous lies and equips me with his freeing power. 

God will guard you with his armor, and under his loving arms will find a safe haven; his dependability will be your shield and barrier. The Lord is my barricade from earthly ways when I seek Him as my protection. He has proven over and over that He is worthy of praise and His word will withstand. His promises are true and will never change.

You will not have concern or anxiety about the fright of the dark world, nor the direct targeted trials that come by day, nor the pestilence that haunts and prowls in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. I will strive to put my trust in God and stay focused upon His goodness regardless. I will recognize the fear and try to remain calm in the storm of life and the panic of the world.

A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will be kept at a distance from you. You will only watch the punishment of the immoral. The Father will take care of His children who humbly surrender to His ways and keep His commandments. Lord, I need you. Strengthen me and let me flea from all unrighteous. Let me pray for my enemies and not fall prey to their evil.

If you say, “The LORD is my refuge,” and you make the Lord of Lords your heart, mind, and soul’s residence, no harm will take you by surprise and engulf you, no disaster will come near your tent. The Lord will not let you endure more than you can stand. Draw strength from His protection and claim it.

For he will instruct his heavenly bodies concerning you to protect you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. I will cry out to my Father for His control and the protection from the spiritual war that rages all around me.

You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent. In God’s timing will the trouble end and His goodness will reign.

“Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will free him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in difficulty, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.” The Father knows my true love and dedication for Him. He is my security and defense because I call upon Him in good times and in bad. Although the pain and suffering on earth may continue, He is always with me. I will embrace His pathway and find security under His authority. I will trust in His timing and wait upon Him for His answers. His promises will remain and He has assured me of an eternal life for His glory.

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