The FRC Little Booklet of Bible Study Techniques

Reading and meditating on Scripture is essential to our continued Sanctification. Just blazing through as many verses as our daily devotional time allows is not very productive. Reading, then spending time with the passage you’ve read in a deliberate, purposeful search for the Holy Spirit’s message is much more meaningful and valuable as we seek to grow in our Christ-likeness day by day. With that as our purpose, the Adult Education Team has put together a booklet of suggestions for improving your understanding, appreciation, and application of God’s Word. On January 6, you received your personal copy of The FRC Little Booklet of Bible Study Techniques. It’s my prayer that you’ve already taken some time to read through the ten different techniques offered there.

The meditation methods vary from memorization to simply emphasizing each word in a text. The methods are varied enough that there should be at least a couple that appeals to your learning style. So I’m hoping that, if you haven’t already, you’ll select one that looks like fun and kind of excites you. Then you’ll give it a try. The idea here is to give you different approaches to Bible reading and meditation on the Word so that you’ll love your “personal devotions” time--and as a result grow in your intimacy with the Lord. Our Lord wants us to know Him intimately, and the way to do that is to dig into and meditate on His Word.

As you use these methods and God opens His Word to you in new and powerful ways, I’d love to have you share your experiences through this blog. Please share testimonials of what and how God revealed Himself to you through your reading and meditation methods. I’ll keep you anonymous if you wish. My email is jdehorn@frchudsonville.org.

Anything we share will be Soli Deo Gloria.

Written by Jim De Horn

Gethsemane

One more posting about our trip to Israel--I promise this is the last one.

A few weeks back when we shared some pictures and observations from our Holy Land Trip, I showed a panoramic view of the Old City of Jerusalem taken from the Mount of Olives. We talked about how the pastor who was leading our group did a marvelous job pointing out that from our perspective, we could see where Herod’s palace was located, where Pilate would most likely have been staying, where the Garden of Gethsemane was, and where most experts say the hill of Golgotha was located.

We talked about how obvious the approach of the torch-bearing regiment of Roman soldiers and Sanhedrin guards would have been to Jesus and the apostles as they made their way through the dark streets of Jerusalem toward Gethsemane on the night they arrested Jesus. The point being, Jesus was not ambushed and caught off guard by those who came to arrest Him that night. He was in complete control. And unbeknownst to them, His captors were only instruments being used to carry out what Jesus was born to do. It was a powerful illustration of God’s sovereignty and a touching demonstration of His commitment to the Father’s plan to redeem us all.

But in setting up the explanation of this event, we also shared information about the Garden of Gethsemane. Gethsamane, at the time of Christ, was not really a “garden” in today’s terms. It was actually a rather disgusting place during Passover. During Passover, thousands upon thousands of devout Jews would make their way to Jerusalem to celebrate and offer sacrifices. Most common Jews traveling from distant villages would not be able to bring their own animal to sacrifice, so they would buy one from the priests when they arrived in Jerusalem. Our pastor/guide informed us that over the Passover weekend as many as 20,000 animals would be sacrificed. And the “Garden” of Gethsemane was where the sacrificial animals were kept until they were purchased.

So let’s consider what we’ve just revealed. The Garden of Gethsemane was where the lambs that were to be sacrificed for the sins of men were kept until they were taken to fulfill their redeeming purpose. And Jesus the Lamb of God remained in Gethsemane until He was taken away to fulfill the purpose He was born to accomplish—the redemption of God’s elect once and for all. What an ironically appropriate situation; Jesus, our Sacrificial Lamb, was taken from Gethsemane (where the no-longer-needed, old covenant symbols of sacrifice had been kept) to die for our sins.

Isn’t it emotionally inspiring when we discover the intricacies of God’s amazing plan for our salvation?

Written by Jim De Horn

It’s Been Such a Blessing

New City Catechism Week Fifty-Two Q&A: What hope does everlasting life hold for us? That we will live with and enjoy God forever in the new heaven and the new earth, where we will be forever freed from all sin in a renewed, restored creation.


…And with that awesome truth, we conclude our year-long study of the New City Catechism. What an absolute blessing it has been sharing the foundational truths of our faith with family and friends. Each Question and Answer has helped us better understand God’s amazing master plan for His creation. And each week we’ve grown in our appreciation of the value of an organized catechism to help us gain a more complete picture of our historical reformed theology. We’ve been able to do so using catchy, foot-tapping tunes that helped us with memorization. And through enlightening commentaries written by historical theologians such as Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Bunyan, Jonathan Edwards, Oswald Chambers, Charles Spurgeon; or contemporary writers including Kevin De Young, D.A. Carson, Ligon Duncan, John Piper, Tim Keller, R.C. Sproul, and Collin Hansen.

It’s been a wonderful part of all of our sanctification journeys. So, if your family took advantage of the New City Catechism this year as a way to grow stronger in your faith, the Adult Education Team would love to reward you with Certificates of Participation. Contact me this week. My phone is 669 1213; my email is jdehorn@frchudsonville.org, you can slip something into my mailbox, or just grab me after church. I’ll see to it that you get a memento of your achievement.

Even though we’ve finished the material, why not review it week by week throughout 2019. And, by all means, continue to share the App. with others whenever you have the chance.

You know, it just dawned on me that if you’ve been reading this blog all year, you’ve been working your way through the catechism with us each time you read the header for that week’s posting, so you should get a certificate. Contact me.

Written by Jim De Horn