Precept Upon Precept


I mentioned last week that I would share some of what last weekend entailed. I attended a Precept Upon Precept leader training weekend. It was two days of solid work in God’s Word. I learned a lot about the Precept Upon Precept Bible study method, but I also learned a great deal about Abram!


We spent time in Genesis 11-15. We did some cross referencing to gain some insight into these few chapters of Genesis, but in the end, I walked away with some deeper understanding of the call of Abram, the man himself and how he and God worked together to create the mighty nation of Israel.


If you don’t know about the Precept Bible study method, a Bible student reads through a passage of Scripture and marks key words and phrases with colored pencils. These markings help the student choose a theme for the chapter as well and remember what that chapter was really about…the main focus of the chapter. There’s more to it, but this is a good start.


Now I have to tell you, my biggest fear of the weekend would be that I would get caught up in the technical part of the study. What color should I use? What symbol? Am I doing this right? I was really fearful of the “do things right” attitude that pops up on occasion.


When it was all said and done, I think I did pretty well. I did my best (never finished any of the assignments given), worked through these chapters of Genesis and walked away with a greater sense of being able to study God’s Word using this method.


So I get home, pull together all of my materials: my Inductive Study Bible, my notebook, my colored pencils and pens. I begin with prayer and ask God to direct my time in His Word. I choose the book to study. And I’m ready to go.




I didn’t get very far! Why? I have allowed the technical part of this study method to trip me up. I knew it would eventually. So what’s the problem? I decided to study 1 & 2 Peter, since I’m writing a Bible study on these two books for the spring. My first assignment was to mark all references to Peter in a distinctive color.


Well there you have it. What color? What symbol? This will be a symbol to be used throughout my Bible for Peter. It has to be right. What do I need to do?


Well first of all, I need to get over the whole wrong symbol/color thing. Yes, these markings will be extremely helpful as I continue to study God’s Word until I die. But are they necessary? Are they essential? Are there any wrong markings? No! Are these insightful? Are they useful? Yes! This is where my focus must remain.


I think life can be this way sometimes. We can get caught up in technical things and miss the relationships. Maybe we miss the beauty of God’s creation. Maybe we miss what God wants us to see and feel and experience. Friend, don’t miss out of what God has in store for you by getting freaked out over a tiny marking in your Bible (or your equivalent). Don’t miss the people who cross your path because you’re looking down at the path.


As a reminder, take a look at this verse. “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9 – NIV) I can’t begin to imagine what God has in store for me as I study His Word using the Precept study method, but He does. His plan is bigger and greater and far more thrilling than what I can think up. So I’ll do my part. I’ll study. I’ll be a good student. I’ll wait for His guidance. And then I will see how God will work it out in my life.


Are you anxiously waiting to see what God has in store for you?


Grace and peace be yours in abundance,



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