Music has a powerful way of stirring our affections, and many followers of Christ feel a passion and excitement for God when certain songs are played. While this can be very good and biblical, have you ever stopped to ask: what if we had that level of anticipation and eagerness to hear God’s Word? In this message from the Passion conference in 2023, David Platt points to Nehemiah 8 to highlight the priority we ought to put on God’s Word, and he recites the entirety of Romans 1-8 to demonstrate the powerful effect of Scripture as it is spoken. God’s Word is the final and authoritative truth for who we are and how God sees us. We ought to treasure it like it’s our life—because it is!—and we should long to make it known to those who are apart from Christ.
Observation (What does the passage say?)
- What type of writing is this text?
(Law? Poetry or Wisdom? History? A letter? Narrative? Gospels? Apocalyptic?)
- Are there any clues about the circumstances under which this text was originally written?
- Are there any major sub-sections or breaks in the text that might help the reader understand the focus of the passage?
- Who is involved in the passage and what do you notice about the specific participants?
- What actions and events are taking place? What words or themes stand out to you and why?
- Was there anything about the passage/message that didn’t make sense to you?
Interpretation (What does the passage mean?)
- How does this text relate to other parts of the Scriptures
(e.g., the surrounding chapters, book, Testament, or Bible)?
- What does this passage teach us about God? About Jesus?
- How does this passage relate to the gospel?
- How can we sum up the main truth of this passage in our own words?
- How did this truth impact the hearers in their day?
Application (How can I apply this to passage to my life?)
- What challenged you the most from this week’s passage? What encouraged you the most?
- Head: How does this passage change my understanding of the Lord? (How does this impact what I think?)
- Heart: How does this passage correct my understanding of who I am to the Lord? (How should this impact my affections and what I feel?)
- Hands: How should this change the way I view and relate to others and the world? (How does this impact what I should do?)
- What is one action I can take this week to respond in surrender and obedience to the Lord?
[Note: some questions have been adapted from One to One Bible Reading by David Helm]