Bible study: Practising the 6 W’s

In my previous post, I shared the 6 questions to ask a passage or verse you’re studying. In this post, I’ll show you an example.

Luke 6:13-35  ‘On the road to Emmaus’

Wikipedia – Le Repas d’Emmaüs

1. Who?

This lists important characters in the passage:

Two disciples of Jesus. One is named Cleopas while the other is unknown. They are sad because Jesus died, thus ending their hopes of freedom from Roman rule.

Jesus. He was crucified, buried and risen from the dead. He is kept from being recognized. He has a new body that can walk through walls.

Other people are “the women and disciples” who appear at the end.

2. What?

We trace the flow of events. In a nutshell, Jesus meets these two depressed disciples going towards Emmaus and explains from the Scriptures that Jesus’s death was all part of the divine plan. They invite Him for dinner as it was getting late. Finally, Jesus breaks bread, reveals himself to them and disappears. The two disciples with hearts pounding rush back to Jerusalem to report to the rest that Jesus was alive.

3. Where?

The two men were leaving Jerusalem and heading towards Emmaus village, 7 miles away. You can check a Bible map for a probable location.

4. When?

“Now that same day” v13 indicates it is the same day that Jesus rose from the dead. Earlier in the day, women who visited Jesus’s tomb were met by angels who said that Jesus had risen. As the two disciples left for Emmaus, Jesus met them on the road and as it was late, they asked him to stay for dinner. Interestingly, after Jesus disappeared, they rushed back in the darkness to Jerusalem. They must have been so excited.

5. Why?

Several questions I asked were:

  • Why did Jesus approach these two disciples first instead of the main disciples in Jerusalem?
  • Why were they kept from recognizing Him or understanding Scripture?
  • Why did Jesus pretend to go further? Where was He headed?
  • Why were they going to Emmaus and later rush back to Jerusalem?
  • Why did Jesus explain the Scriptures so thoroughly to these two men instead of the Pharisees or his own 11 disciples?

I’m sure there are many more questions you could think of. I believe asking the right questions would give you the right answers. From these questions we can start to tackle the ‘So What’ step?

6. So What?

  • Why did Jesus approach these two disciples first instead of the main group in Jerusalem?

These two disciples were virtual unknowns. I think this shows that Jesus knows and cares for everyone, even if you think you’re small and insignificant. He knows your feelings, in this case, they were depressed and Jesus reached out to them quickly with hope.

  • Why were they kept from recognizing Him or understanding Scripture?

I believe there are two kinds of blindness in this passage – Physical and Spiritual. They saw Jesus but didn’t really see Him. They saw the Scriptures but didn’t see Jesus written in it. We are much like those disciples. Without Jesus opening our eyes to see, we cannot understand the Bible and fathom what it means. May He open the eyes of our hearts.

  • Why did Jesus pretend to go further? Where was He headed?

Jesus doesn’t force His will on us and lets us choose whether to invite Him into our lives. He’s a gentle and humble Saviour. If we won’t let Him, He’ll move along. Think about it: If they didn’t invite Him for dinner, they would not have realized it was Jesus.

  • Why were they going to Emmaus?

I think after hearing the news that Jesus’s body was gone, they gave up all hope and left Jerusalem. They expected something great to come out of Jesus’s life. Note that they referred to Jesus as “prophet” instead of Messiah. They were totally depressed at that point. But Jesus came alongside them on the road to encourage them. Isn’t that wonderful? Jesus comes alongside us when we’re down and picks us up. Have you left “Jerusalem” and gone somewhere else due to hardship or discouragement? Jesus is coming to bring things back to perspective for you. He wants you back there. God can use a weak Christian but not a discouraged one.

  • Why did Jesus explain the Scriptures so thoroughly to these two men instead of the Pharisees or His own 11 disciples?

This is without a doubt the greatest Bible study ever. Done by Jesus himself! The Scriptures burned in their hearts as they soaked in every word. They finally understood it. It made sense. And we need Jesus too as we study the Bible. As the Holy Spirit teaches you, I pray that a flame is kindled within your heart and like the disciples, rush out to share the good news with those who desperately need it.

 

A Lesson from Roti Pratas: Use Your Skills

A Lesson from Roti Pratas: Use Your Skills

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In Singapore, roti pratas are a common breakfast or tea break staple. They’re cripsy, hot and dipped in thick curry. It always fascinates me when the prata man whips the dough out like a sheet. Something like a pizza.

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He spreads it out thinly with confidence. When spreading the dough, you can’t spread it too big or there will be holes.

It’s like our God given skills. Some of us want to do everything but that’s not possible. God has given us certain strengths and weaknesses. That’s why we need each other to complement. In trying to do everything, we will have holes like an overstretched prata. You will end up with sleepless nights, depression and burnout!

God wants us to recognise and use our strengths. Malcolm Bane said it well, “If you wait until you can do everything for everybody, instead of something for somebody, you’ll end up not doing anything for anybody.”

Only God can do everything. He built you with specific talents. On the other hand, don’t believe Satan’s lies that you are nobody and have no talent.

You are made in God’s wonderful image!

Use your strengths today.

Learn the strangest secret that will change you life

My outline of this fantastic talk is below. Enjoy!

The Strangest Secret – Earl Nightingale

Albert Schweizer – Man just don’t think

Look at 100 men from age 25 to 65. 1 rich, 4 independent, 5 still working, 54 broke. Only 5 succeed!

Success is the progressive realisation of a worthy ideal. Know where you’re going.

Rollo May (Man’s search for himself) Opposite of courage is not cowardice but conformity. Most think outward situations define them. Why do you work? 19/20 have no idea. “Everyone’s doing it!”

Instead of competing, we have to create.
What is the key to success we can do?

Why do some don’t work hard but have a magic touch, become successful? Why some who work hard don’t succeed? Secret: Goals.

Selling is the highest paid profession. Sky’s the limit.

Human race is fixed. To protect the weakest from failing not to raise the strong.

Why do people with goals succeed?
The strangest secret: We become what we think about.

Norman Vincent Peale – A great law: If you think in positive terms you will achieve positive results. Believe and Succeed.

Comparing mind with farmer has land. He can plant whatever he chooses. Land doesn’t care. He plants corn and nightshade(poison). Mind doesn’t care what we plant, success or failure. What we plant must return to us. The mind is last great unexplored continent on Earth. Plant your goal (seed) in your mind and work for it. See yourself achieving your goal already.

You are a sum total of your thoughts. You are where you are because that is where you want to be.

Massive crane, small driver. You are the driver of a great mind. What are you going to do? Sit back?

That people are basically good. God didn’t build a stairway to nowhere. Jesus – “As you believe, so shall it be done unto you.”

Isaac Newton – Every force has an equal and opposite force.

Your results will be proportionate to your effort you put in. We must be willing to pay the price:

1. Understanding the law of sowing and reaping of your mind
2. Realise that your limitation are self-imposed.
3. Using your courage to set a defined goal and let your mind think of all possibility. That no circumstances can stop you.
4. Save at least 10% of every dollar you earn. Actions.

30 day test:
-Each of us want something and each of us are afraid of something. Write it down specifically and look at it several times a day. You’ll have something to live for starting the day.
-Formation of a habit. Stop thinking of what you fear. Replace it with a worthwhile picture/goal. Take control of your mind.
-Do more than you have to do. Start giving, instead of receiving. Don’t concern how you are going to get your goal. Believe you will get it.
-Sermon on the Mount: Ask, Seek, Knock.
Purpose and faith.

Act as if it were impossible to fail.

Persistence is another word for faith. If you fail for any of the 30 days, start again.

One side write your goal, the other side Sermon of the Mount. Don’t worry. Hold your goal before you, everything will fall in place for you.

Making money is the result of success. Success is from our goal. We got to put the fuel in first then the fire can start.

Law of mutual exchange. Prosperity will come from someone.

Quality and quantity is the measurement of your service and money is the yardstick.
Returns are equal to your service you render.

How to get Success
1. Set yourself a definite goal
2. Quit running yourself down
3. Stop thinking of all the reasons you cannot be successful and start thinking of all the reasons you can
4. Trace all the way in your childhood to find if there’s a reason why you think you can’t be successful
5.Change the image of yourself by writing out a description of the person you’d like to be
6. Act the part of the succesful person you decided to become

Repeat 30-day test again and again till your life is changed.

 

The Two Patients

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Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same hospital room.

One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from his lungs.

His bed was next to the room’s only window.

The other man had to spend all his time flat on his back.

The men talked for hours on end.

They spoke of their wives and families, their homes, their jobs, their involvement in the military service, where they had been on
vacation..

Every afternoon, when the man in the bed by the window could sit up, he would pass the time by describing to his roommate all the things he could see outside the window.

The man in the other bed began to live for those one hour periods where his world would be broadened and enlivened by all the activity and color of the world outside.

The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake. Ducks and swans played on the water while children sailed their model boats. Young lovers walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every color
and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen in the distance.

As the man by the window described all this in exquisite details, the man on the other side of the room would close his eyes and imagine this picturesque scene.

One warm afternoon, the man by the window described a parade passing by.

Although the other man could not hear the band -he could see it in his mind’s eye as the gentleman by the window portrayed it with
descriptive words.

Days, weeks and months passed.One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring water for their baths only to find the lifeless body
of the man by the window, who had died peacefully in his sleep.

She was saddened and called the hospital attendants to take the body away.

As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man asked if he could be moved next to the window.The nurse was happy to make the switch, and after making sure he was comfortable, she left
him alone.

Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one elbow to take his first look at the real world outside. He strained to slowly turn to look out the window besides the bed.

It faced a blank wall.

The man asked the nurse what could have compelled his deceased roommate who had described such wonderful things outside this
window.

The nurse responded that the man was blind and could not even see the wall.

She said, ‘Perhaps he just wanted to encourage you.’

Epilogue:

There is tremendous happiness in making others happy, despite our own situations.Shared grief is half the sorrow, but happiness when shared, is doubled. If you want to feel rich, just count all the things you have that money can’t buy.

‘Today is a gift, that is why it is called The Present .’

 

(This beautiful story was taken from PreventDisease.com)

Living an exceptional life – Jim Rohn

A wonderful talk by motivational guru Jim Rohn.

Jim Rohn (Wikipedia Commons)
Jim Rohn (Wikipedia Commons)

My summarised outline is just after the video if you haven’t got time to watch. I strongly advise you to.

My favourite quote (not from this talk though):

If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.

 

Jim Rohn – Living an exceptional life

It is a time for unprecedented opportunity

Keen competition gives you worldwide opportunities

How to be prepared for them:

a.Have more than one skill

Rohn’s skills: Milking cow, getting customers, finding good people, organising – getting people to work together, promotion and recognition – be so busy giving recognition you don’t need it yourself, Communication – Language words (Use it for Training, Teaching, Inspiring)

b.Learn more than one language
Every language you learn, gets you extra cash
Give it as a gift to your children too. Let them learn more.

c. Learn the simple economic formula for everyone
We get paid for bringing value to the marketplace or people
2 parts of value: The one you bring (product) and the one you become (yourself)
Go to work on yourself harder than you work on your job. Working on your job gives you a living. Working on yourself gives you a fortune.
Success is something you attract by becoming an attractive person

5 simple ideas that increase your value to the marketplace:

Each person’s income is determined by his philosophy not the economy.
Work on yourself to become valuable.

1.Personal Philosophy (What you know)
It’s a guidance system that tells you what to do
The more we learn, the better the guidance. This is based what we learn and know.
Helps us see the dangers and avoid it and see the opportunity on the other side.
The game of life is to minimise danger, maximise opportunity.

How to learn more:
1. Learn from personal experience. Negative experiences can be positive. Wakeup call in your 1st heart attack will make you change your lifestyle to prevent a 2nd one that will kill you.
If you change, everything will change for you.
2. Learn from other’s experience. Learn from their failures.
Always keep a journal. Don’t trust your memory. Write your idea down.
3. Learn from what you see (pay attention), What you hear

Read all the books you need to

 

2. Your attitude (How we feel)

4 things about how we feel:
1. About the past.
Make it useful. Don’t live, carry the past. Use it as your mentor.
2. About the future – Inspiration
Decide what you want(Goal),Write it all down.
3. About everybody
Each of us need all of us, and all of us need each of us.
4. About yourself
Self-esteem

 

3. Your activity (What you do)
Turn ideas into reality
Activity is the work,labor pain as it produces new life.
Labour – 6 days labor and 1 day of rest. If we rest too long, the weeds take the garden.
Activity finishes the miracle.
Imagine the possibilities.
Have faith to believe they are possible for you.
Imagination and faith must result in activity

 

4. Learn to measure progress
How are you doing?
Life expects us to make measureable progress in reasonable time.
Reasonable time: Reflect at the end of the day and end of a week
Success is a numbers game
Children take one year for one grade only. Longer is not good.
Don’t linger more than “one year in one grade” for your career, life.
Face the truth so you can get better.
One of greatest motivation is progress.

 

5. Lifestyle
Learn to live well
Essence of life is learning to live a good life.
Productivity:Produce to the max as you can.
Andrew Carnegie: Spend 1st half of my life accumulating money, spend 2nd half giving it away.
What’s got you turned on?
Have good friends: Best support system. Collect and nourish it. Friends who know you and still like you.
Know your heritage
Your spirituality: Study, practise, teach

 

Conclusions
Take special care of the inner circle.
Take care of the details that make it special.
Make sure the mailbox is not empty.