Below you will find five exercises that will help in undrestanding and practicing the Discipline of Study. These were orginally posted for Midwest City Community Church for their "D" Word series in 2014.
-Determine that you will study a complete book of the bible at some point this week. Remember the 4 elements of study: Repetition- Read the passage over several times to let it soak in; Concentration- Centering the mind on the subject matter; Comprehension- Understanding what is being said; and Reflection- understanding the significance of what is being said. A good place to start might be reading the gospel of John all the way through. Here is a great audio resource for the Gospel of John. It is read by Roger Hahn who is an Nazarene Theological Seminary professor.
Studying Christian Literature
There are a number of classic books that have helped Christians experience God in a new way throughout the years. Pick up one of the following books and read through it: The Confessions of Saint Augustine; The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis; Mere Christianity by CS Lewis, The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence, or The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoffer.
Studying Artwork or Music
Artwork and music are powerful ways that we express ourselves as humans. Take some time to visit an art museum or engage in some new music. Use the four elements of study: Repetition, Concentration, Comprehension, and Reflection as you look at the artwork or listen to the music. What does it say about God and his world?
Study Your Own Life
Spend some of the week being aware of your own actions and motives. It is uncanny how often we tend to feel the need to justify our actions or command attention. As you interact with people, examine your motives and your conversations. It can also be helpful to ask a close friend to answer questions like, “How am I responding in this situation?” (But only if you want to hear truth!) It is important that we have a realistic understanding of ourselves as we seek to follow Christ.
Combine the Disciplines
Spend some time alone meditating on scripture and the things you have been studying this week. Or take some time to study nature and the interactions of all the different animals and creatures. Study your own emotions and behavior as you fast. Remember that the disciplines are meant to work together!