O had one of those "ah-ha" moments today while I was watching a video that a guy by the name of Mark Barnes created illustrating how he uses Logos 4 to help him prepare sermons. I was interested in understanding how others use the software for Bible Study since it is complex and very powerful. What really caught my attention was the fact that he still uses a paper method of breaking down the important areas of the text. I am not sure I will go back to a paper method even after watching his video; however, I did find it intriguing.
What really struck me as interesting was the fact that using the paper method slowed him down. I use the software so I can use a greater amount of resources in a shorter amount of time. Why would anyone want to slow their technique down? The answer to that question is very important. He said it is like getting an airplane ticket from the east coast of the states to the west coast of the states. How long would it take to get from point A to point B? Not too many hours if you are fortunate. Now compare that amount of time with the time it would take to drive the same distance. Driving would take a person days!
Everyone wants to get from point A to point B as quickly as possible; however, we must ask if speed is always the best. What does a person lose by taking the plane? The answer is the details of the countryside. These details would include the towns, the sights, and the people. If you drive you will gain a lot more information about the route of travel.
Let's apply this principle to Bible study. Do you have a plan to read through the Bible in a year? If so, good for you. However, does this method create any problems for understanding Scripture? I would have to answer that question with a yes. Too often we get caught up in reading the text and not studying the text. Studying the text takes time. Sometimes I get into a few verses and spend a couple of hours trying to understand them.
If you are on a reading plan be sure to take time to go through it. Using a plan is not about "checking off" the Bible reading from your day planner. It is about getting you into a habit of studying God's Word. When Scripture becomes alive before you then it means so much more. Therefore, slow down and see the big picture.