Biblical definition of Bible Study:
2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, v17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Character study:
Martha: Luke 10:38-42: John 11:17-45
She was the older sister of Mary and Lazarus and was therefore used to being in control.  The three of them lived in Bethany and they were known for their hospitality. Martha wished to please, serve and do the right thing. She worried about the details, which sometimes kept her from seeing the whole picture.
When Martha approached Jesus about Mary’s lack of cooperation, Jesus gently corrected her attitude and showed her that her priorities, though good, were not the best. Luke 10:40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to Him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to the work by myself? Tell her to help me!
When she heard that Jesus was coming, after her brother Lazarus had been dead for 4 days, she rushed out to meet Jesus and expressed her disappointment. John 11:21 Jesus reassures her that He is the resurrection and the life and that Lazarus would rise again. Jesus asks her whether she believes it. John 11:27 “Yes LORD,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.” Here we see Martha as a woman of deep faith.

Mary: Matthew 26:6-13; Mark 14:3-9; Luke 10:38-42; John 11:17-45; 12:1-11
For Mary, the younger sister of Martha and Lazarus hospitality meant giving more attention to the guest Himself than to the needs He might have. Matthew 26:12 When she poured this perfume on my body, she did it to prepare me for burial.
v13 Truly I tell you, wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told,  in memory of her.
The first time we meet Mary, was during a visit Jesus paid to their home. She simply sat at His feet and listened. Luke 10:39. After Martha had spoken to Jesus she goes back and calls Mary informing her that Jesus was there. Mary asks the same question as Martha.John11:32-44 When Jesus saw her weeping; we see many of Jesus’ emotions – compassion, indignation, sorrow and even frustration.
Mary was the one that anointed Jesus’ feet with perfume made from the essence of nard and wiped His feet with her hair. The house was filled with fragrance. John 12:3

What the Bible teaches about Bible Study:
Old Testament:
Joshua 1:6-8 Before leading the Israelites into the land God is giving them, God instructs Joshua to be:
1) Strong and courageous;
2) To obey all the instructions Moses had given him;
3) To keep “the Book of the Law on his lips”, meditating on it day and night, so that he will always be careful to do what is written in it. By being obedient to this, he will prosper and succeed in all he does.
In Ezra 7:8-10 we read that Ezra was a scribe. He was also well-versed in the Law of Moses. He was determined to study and obey and thereafter teach the decrees and regulations to the people of Israel.
In Nehemiah 8:1-18 we read that when the exiled Israelites returned, Nehemiah, Ezra and the Levites, read to them from the Book of the Law. They were told not to mourn, but to go, eat and drink, sending portions of food to those who do not have and to celebrate with great joy.
Psalm 119:11 I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. We can “hide” God’s Word in our hearts by memorizing Scripture. This way we put God’s Word to work in our lives, guiding us in everything we do.

New Testament:
John 5:31-47 Jesus was addressing the religious leaders of His day; they knew the Scriptures but did not recognize Jesus as the Messiah.
In Acts 17:11, 12 Paul was preaching in Berea. He commended the Berean Jews who received the message eagerly and examined the Scriptures daily to see whether Paul’s preaching was true.
A good practice is to when you listen to a sermon being preached by a preacher; pastor etc. compare what you heard with what the Bible says.
1 Timothy 4:6-13 We read that Paul instructed Timothy to publicly preach and teach Scripture. It is good to note that his preaching and teaching were from the Old Testament. (The New Testament had not yet been written.) Today we can study both the Old Testament and the New Testament.
James 1:19-25 In this passage James gives his readers three exhortations to follow:
v19b Everyone should be quick to listen; slow to speak; slow to become angry. V22 says it is important to listen to what God’s Word says, but it is more important to be obedient to what He says. Doing Bible study affects our behaviour and attitude towards others.

There is more than one way to study the Bible. With this Bible Study Journal, we will be doing a combination of different studies.
The question of how to interpret the Bible is not a minor issue. If Satan has a list of what he does not want us to do, Bible study is at the top, along with prayer and worship. Through the study of Scripture, we learn who Jesus is and this enables us to become more like Him. How can we become like Him, if we do not know what He is like? Devotional studies are important, but they must result from a serious study of Scripture.

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

Responding in Prayer:
Read Psalm 33 – Hoping in the Word.
In this Psalm, David meditates on God as Creator, Lord, Saviour, and Deliverer and also on the powerful Word of God. Because of God’s faithfulness and His Word that “is right and true” we can rejoice, sing, praise and give thanks.
We put our hope in the Lord knowing He is our help and our shield. Our hearts rejoice, we trust in His holy name. We can ask the Lord that His unfailing love surround us because our hope is in Him!

Journal – Scripture/Prayer/Thoughts:

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