Friday, July 17, 2015

Three Questions Part Two


Last week I talked about the Three Question method of bible study.  This week I am opening up my personal notebook and going through a passage of scripture so you can see it in action. 


In my quiet time with God, I usually pick a book of the bible and work my way through it verse by verse.  Through the years, I cannot tell you how impactful this has been in my walk with the Lord.  Last year I was working my way through the book of Acts, today I will highlight just one day from my notebook.  Soon I will begin a series of posts from this book, but for today, I want to show this method in action, and how it can benefit anyone.


I like this method of study for many reasons, here are just some of them.


  1. It is a great way to break down the word, and study it.
  2. You can do as few or as many verses you want in a sitting, depending on how much time you have.
  3. If you do this with a friend/accountability partner, you get different perspectives on the same verse.  Iron sharpening iron in action.
  4. Hear God’s voice through His word.
  5. A journal you can use to hold yourself accountable.
    photo by patty

On this particular day, as I had been working my way through Acts, I opened the bible to Acts 10:23b-28, just five and a half verses.


And on the next day he got up and went away with them, and some of the brethren from Joppa accompanied him. 24 On the following day he entered Caesarea. Now Cornelius was waiting for them and had called together his relatives and close friends. 25 When Peter entered, Cornelius met him, and fell at his feet and [t]worshiped him. 26 But Peter raised him up, saying, “Stand up; I too am just a man.” 27 As he talked with him, he entered and *found many people assembled. 28 And he said to them, “You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a man who is a Jew to associate with a foreigner or to visit him; and yet God has shown me that I should not call any man

[u]unholy or unclean. (NASB


photo by patty
To put this in context, the apostle Peter had just had a vision from God of all kinds of unclean foods that Jews were prohibited from eating.  In this vision, God told Peter to eat the food, saying, what He (God) had made clean is now clean.  No sooner did the vision end, and then Cornelius’ men arrived at his gate.  God told Peter to go with them, because they were sent directly from God. 


There were three reasons for this vision. 

  1. Peter was being sent to speak to the Gentile people and he would have to have meals with them.  God is now saying all food is acceptable to eat because he would be in strange lands and not have many food choices. 
  2. The food was a metaphor for the Gentile people God was sending him to.  That it is now ok to associate with non-Jews, and that God is now calling them “clean”. 
  3. Who are we to call someone unclean?  Who God cleans up, they are clean (and whole), who are we to not have a meal with them?


So here we are, Peter has just left his home and now is walking in the Centurion Cornelius’ home, and Cornelius and his whole family were there waiting for Peter.


I am going to go verse by verse so you can see the three questions in action.



What does it say?  Next day, he got up, went with them along with brethren from Jappa

What does it mean?  We are not alone on our journey, righteous people walk along with me.

 What does it mean to me?  Who are those walking with me?  Who can I lean on when I need them?  Who needs to join me on my journey?



What does it say? Following day they entered Caesarea, Cornelius and many others were waiting.

What does it mean?  Cornelius did not just want the good news for himself, he gathered all who meant something to him.  Share the good news of Jesus, don’t keep it to myself, or be afraid to tell others.

What does it mean to me?  Who does God want me to share with today?  Is there someone I am afraid to share with?


25 &26

What does it say?  When Peter entered, Cornelius fell at feet and worshiped him.  Peter raised him up saying “I’m just a man”

What does it mean?  Be careful not to elevate anyone above God.  It does not matter who they are or what they have done, they are only human.

What does it mean to me?  Who am I putting before God?  Who have I put on a pedestal that I have to remember is only human?  Is there someone I am in danger of putting in a position before God?

27 & 28

What does it say?  As they talked, Peter saw many assembled.  “You know it’s unlawful for a Jew to associate with foreigner, yet God has shown me I should not call any man unholy or unclean.

What does it mean?  Peter explained to all that God changed his heart, that God does not call any unholy or unclean and neither should I.  It’s time to tear down old walls.

What does it mean to me?  Who am I calling unholy or unclean?  Is there someone who needs to hear the good news of Jesus that I think is too far gone?  Is there a group of people that I am afraid to approach?

photo by patty
In my live it out part I wrote this prayer…

God I am only human and these who walk on this earth are also only human.  Help me to keep things in perspective and keep you in the place of honor above all else.  Help me to not elevate anyone or anything above you.  I Love You Lord!  God open my eyes to others, help me to see walls that I have built up that need to be torn down.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Three Question Method of Bible Study


I sat with my bible open, devouring the word as if I were starving.  I actually was starving for the word of God.  I was 38 when I asked Jesus to be Lord of my life. I had not known how sweet and satisfying God’s word could be, how much I needed it, and how much I craved it.  At the age of 38 all I could do was read, all I wanted to do was read.  I could not understand everything, but that was ok, I was drinking it all in as a baby drinks milk. 


It wasn’t long though, and I began to really desire understanding.  How could I read the word for myself and truly hear from God?  I knew He had something to tell me though the word, but how could I really know?  Sometimes words seemed to jump off of the page, and I knew it was a message from heaven, just for me, but I wanted to hear from God every day.



It was then that I learned the three question method of bible study. I was fortunate to sit in on several sessions of an Anne Graham Lotz seminar where I work, and through her teaching, my eyes were opened to a whole new world, and my heart was opened to a deeper understanding of the Bible, and relationship with Jesus.


It is a simple method of study, in that you only ask yourself a couple of questions about each verse, but it can be challenging, in that, it makes you think and take time to listen to what God has to say.  It is not something you can rush through, but you can do as little as one verse per day and still hear from God through that one verse. 


So what is the “three question method?”  I also call this the Anne Graham Lotz method, as this is who I learned it from, and on her website, which I will post a link at the end, if you have time, please check it out.  She has a video tutorial on this method


I am providing basic instructions, but please visit Anne’s web site for printed instructions and sample worksheets.  Once you can do this method from a work sheet, it is an easy transition to using a notebook and study on your own any passage of scripture you choose.  This is the only

method I use in my personal study.  I hope you are as blessed by this as I am.


First, read the desired passage then ask yourself the following questions.


1.      What does God’s Word Say?  Be Literal.  Make a verse by verse list of the most obvious facts using the
actual words from the passage itself. Do not paraphrase. Do not get caught up in details.
Ask yourself: Who is speaking? Who is the subject? Where is it taking place? When did it happen?
2.      What does God’s word mean?  Be Spiritual. Look for a spiritual lesson or principle within each fact.
Ask yourself: what are the people in the passage doing that I should be doing?  Is there a command to obey?
A promise I should claim? A warning I should heed? An example I should follow?
3.      What Does God’s Word Mean to Me? Be Personal.  Put the lesson you found in question 2 into the form
of a question you would ask yourself, your spouse, a child, a co-worker, a friend or church member.
As you write out your questions, listen to God communicate to you through His word,  Don’t rush.  Take time
to meditate and discover what God is saying to you.
Final step:  Live it out.  Read your lessons prayerfully, thoughtfully and attentively as you listen to God speak
to you.  He doesn’t always speak in every verse, but if something is speaking to you, record the verse, and
what your response will be.  In this step I hold myself accountable by dating it.



In next week’s post I’ll go through some verses starting in the book of Acts straight from the pages of my notebook so you can see how I do this method of study.