Friday, October 24, 2014

Digging Deep: Homiletic Method {Part IV - Application}

This is the second half of the step-by-step overview of the homiletic method. You can see the first half in yesterday's post.

Yesterday I walked you through the first three steps of the homiletic method, which included a verse by verse list of the passage facts, dividing the passage into three main points, and writing a one-sentence summary of the passage. These were the observation steps that are focused entirely on the text. Today we are going to talk about the last three steps of the homiletic method, which are the application steps of this process.

We are working through John 16:5-15 and our summary of the passage was: The Spirit speaks truth to convict us of sin and righteousness for Christ's glory. Today we are going to apply the truth of Scripture to our daily lives and ask how the presence of the Holy Spirit should impact us as believers.

The first step in the application process is to write a Content Principle. This is an overall piece of truth that we can glean from the passage.

 *Believers should eagerly rely on the powerful Holy Spirit.

Next you will write your Content Applications, which are best when written in the form of thought-provoking questions {not yes/no} that ask you to examine your own life and heart. Here are some examples from John 16:

   1. How am I intimate with the Spirit? How could I actively invite him into areas of my life?
   2. In what areas is the Spirit convicting me of sin and/or righteousness?
   3. In what areas of my life is the Spirit guiding me to action in order to bring Christ greater glory?

The final step is one I made up on my own, because my heart needed time to process through my answers to the application questions. We'll call the last step Application Meditation. Basically this is a time to reflect on the truth of the passage and its application to your own life. I usually do this through writing out a prayer or journaling, but you could also do it through songwriting, singing, art, poetry, etc. If you follow me on Instagram, most of my #flowersfade posts come from this meditation time as the Lord reveals truths to me that I think will encourage other women. In my writing I reaffirm the truth of the passage and ask God to transform my life in light of this specific Scripture. Here is an example...

The Lord has given us a Helper who is strong, always-present, and all-knowing. He convicts the world of sin and righteousness and draws the hearts of men toward God. He reveals the very words of Jesus to those who believe and He is always at work to bring great glory to God on this earth. Lord, I know I have the Spirit. Thank you for that gift. May I not neglect His presence but eagerly invite Him into my life. I throw up my hands and say "invade my life." Invade the dark places and bring my sin into the light of Christ. Illuminate my laziness and apathy and show me how I can live and serve and love wholeheartedly for the glory of God. Reveal to me righteousness in my own life and in the lives of others, so I can praise God for the way He can use broken people for His good purposes. Teach me and lead me, Spirit. May my mind receive your truth with thanksgiving and may my heart always be responsive to your promptings.

And that's it. This is how I study Scripture deeply without using some type of published guide. It's not as time-consuming as an Inductive Bible Study {which are excellent by the way, but not a perfect fit for my current season of life}, and it's easy to spread the steps out over many days. On Monday I will give a review of the whole method and share a few more tips about how I adapt it for my daily life. 

Read the rest of the Digging Deep series here...

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