Why should I read the Old Testament?
For years I coasted along in my relationship with God based solely off reading the New Testament. I’d basically known all of the Old Testament children’s stories well enough to know how sin entered. So, I knew Jesus saved us from that.
It wasn’t until I disciplined myself to read through the Old Testament, that my relationship with God grew drastically. Many of times before, I read Genesis and flipped through Exodus. It was always Leviticus that I would give up. I avoided the hard parts of the Bible. With that being said, I worked out some study methods that helped push me through Leviticus and also with understanding the text. It was then that I realized things I had been saved from. Genesis introduced sin to me, Exodus introduced it to God’s people through the 10 Commandments. But, Leviticus introduced me to the practices that were done in order to be cleansed from sin.
Another reason I love the Old Testament is that it explains a lot in the New Testament. We hear about lepers and unclean things, but the Old Testament clarifies that. We hear of the festivals celebrated in the New Testament, but the Old Testament tells the reason behind the celebrations in detail. In Numbers I learned how grossly my actions are similar to the Israelites in the desert. In Deuteronomy I saw how important it is to constantly remember all that the Lord has done. It only gets better from there. There are many places that scripture points to Christ in the Old Testament as well. I try and mark these so that I can reflect back. I’m still not finished with the Old Testament. I’m going slowly through each book in order to truly try and comprehend. Meditating on what I’ve learned.
When I look at the New Testament and what Jesus has done for us, I truly want to serve Him with my heart, out of love. I see the hardship that He delivered us from. I truly did not get grace until I started reading through the Old Testament.
THE 5 W’s
The 5 W’s is one of my favorite methods. I’m currently teaching my daughter through this method. She has been learning on Wednesday nights at our church how to study the Bible also. So, she is familiar with the 5 W’s.
As you are probably also familiar with it. I add a little color to mine..of course. I have an index card I have on my desk that list: WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, WHY. Beside each W, I give it an assigned color.
I start by reading the chapter or section I’m currently in. Then I go back and underline with the color pencils all the words that apply to the W’s in their designated color. Again, I’m visual (this is my nice way of saying I have ADHD by the way…so there is that. I need to write a book for just ADHD Christians…called the ADHD Christian..see, I just got off subject…FOCUS!) so when I look back at my scripture reading for the day, I see all my words underlined. Then I can go back to my journal and list what I’ve underlined by WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, WHY. Then I write a conclusion. I then ask, “What does this say about God? His Character? Who He is? This has helped me with knowing who He is and deepening my personal relationship with Him.
*COMPOSITION BOOK OR NOTEBOOKS
Journaling looks different to many people. There is no set way to do it. I will list a few ways I’ve done it and you can go from there!!
-Write out scripture in fun writing
-Draw out the pictures in your head from the passage you’ve read
-Write out genealogies (Just the practice of writing this out makes reading through it less daunting. I like to write down each person’s name. Plus, God had each of their names in there for a reason.)
-Write out characteristics
-Write out laws to understand them better.
-Write out prayers
-This is where a lot of Bible Study notes and deeper study goes for me. When you run out of margin space and have a lot to say or want to write out scripture. A lot of my tips will probably go best in this little gal.
****Keep this in mind guys…if you are focusing more on how beautiful your drawing looks only to Instagram it perfectly..then you aren’t doing it for the right reason. Maybe this isn’t the type of study for you if you are tempted with pride and bragging rights.
I enjoy doing this type of doodling because I’m a visual person and have a problem remembering what I read. Drawing it out leaves the image and story in my mind and helps me recall stories from the bible when I see pictures. We have to be intentional with the “pretty” and “popular” bible study techniques.