Using biblegateway.com in your next Bible Study
How searching for key words can help your youth understand God better
Article by Grahame Knox from Insight. Used with permission.
In your next Bible Study, why not give this idea a try. Using an online resource like www.biblegateway.com, do a keyword search. Enter your keyword (see below) and the references you want will be searched. If you wish, you can refine your search further and limit the search to selected books of the bible.
Key words you might like to choose include; grace, prayer, faith, assurance, witness, sacrifice, servant, peace, redeem, fellowship, body. You get the idea. This kind of study is a great way to encourage young people to discover things for themselves. Let them dig into the Bible!
Here's a quick summary of a word study I've used. It's a word search on God. What do we know about him? What is he like? Give out a work sheet containing a list of verses on the attributes of God and ask the young people to discover, who is God? Of course, they will come up with their own descriptions from the verses, but this should prompt an interesting discussion! I've included my own answers in italics to save you some work!
• Deut 6: 4-5 (God is one)
• Genesis 1: 1 (God is creator)
• Psalm 90: 2, Romans 1: 20 (God is eternal, he transcends time)
• Isaiah 40: 21-22 (God is infinite, unlimited by time and space)
• Psalm 139: 7-12 (God is omnipresent, everywhere, at all times)
• 1 John 3: 20, Matthew 6: 8, Psalm 139: 1-6 (Omniscient, knows everything that is happening everywhere)
• John 4: 24 (God is spirit)
• Exodus 3: 5-6, I Peter 1: 15-16 (God is holy)
• Luke 18: 19, Rom 8: 28 (God is good)
• Psalm 115: 3, Luke 1: 37 (Omnipotent)
• Malachi 3: 6, James 1: 17 (God is unchanging in character)
• Matt 5: 48, Duet 32: 4 (God is perfect)
• John 3: 16, Rom 5: 8, 1 John 4: 8-16, Psalm 136 (God is love)
• Psalm 103: 3-6, Exodus 3: 7-8 (God is forgiving and compassionate)
• Rom 3: 25-26 (Just)
• Ephesians 2: 4-5, 2 Peter 3: 9 (Merciful)
Following the search activity, ask each of the young people to choose an attribute (something about God's character) and share what it means personally and practically to them that God is... (Forgiving)
Select a particular attribute. Ask your group to think about why it's good that God is like that. What would we (and the rest of the world) be missing if he wasn't like that?