Imagine a sponge. You toss it into a bucket of water and as you lift it back out, you notice every pore of the sponge has been completely saturated with the water. What if our lives were like that with the Word of God? Enter Saturation Bible Study.
There are many ways to get into Scripture: reading, memorization, inductive Bible study, exegesis … and we will get into those in the near future. But no matter how you want to study, you can always saturate. While Saturation Bible Study uses aspects of all those mentioned above, you can actually do Saturation Bible Study even if your excuse thus far has been: “I don’t have any time!”
The premise of Saturation Bible Study is much like a sponge in water. What if we could plunge ourselves in the Word of God where every pore of our being was saturated with His Word, truth, and life? We are not talking about doing your “daily devotions” or your fifteen minute study time in the morning or the mindset of “a chapter a day keeps the devil away.” We are talking about a lifestyle that is permeated with the Word of God.
Over the last few years I have found it funny that when I ask someone what they have been studying or what God has been revealing to them through the Word, they often have to pause and think through what it is they have read lately. For whatever reason, by lunchtime most of us will forget what it is we read this morning.
Saturation Bible Study is the idea of soaking in the Word all throughout the day. Rather than just spend fifteen minutes in the morning, why not take your reading with you throughout the day to ponder and pray over it. What if you took a 3×5 card and wrote out whatever you are studying and then pull it out while you wait in line or sit at a red light (be careful!) or when you have those few pockets of time throughout the day? Could you not think about the passage and ask Jesus to reveal to you what it means while you are driving or at work?
The reality is, we will think about something. Our days are full of thinking, pondering, and contemplating. So why not turn our minds from the (often) pointless thinking we do and shift it to the Word of God? Let Jesus become the focus of your day, allow your mind to be consumed with Him, make Him the focal point of all you do.
Step Into Saturation
Okay, you want to start saturating but where to begin? Let me give you a couple ideas.
Option One: Book or Passage Study
Let’s suppose you want to study a book of the Bible. So you decide to get into 1 John. It’s a short book with five chapters so you read through it in one sitting. What if you decided that you’d read through that book every day for a week? You could assume that by the week’s end, you would know far more about the book than with a single reading. What if you decided to read 1 John everyday for a whole month … or what about a year? That may seem overwhelming to you, but even after a couple weeks, you would begin to see how chapter one ties into chapter three and how that spills into chapter five. You would begin to see parallels between passages and would know the tone and voice of John.
As you read through the book everyday, what if you would take a card and write out the first four verses (the introduction to the book)? Every chance you got throughout the day, you read those four verses and pray over them. You asked Jesus (the Author) what it means. You began to do a word study on a few words you want to know more about. As you continued to turn your mind upon the Word throughout the day, you became permeated with it. Within a few days you would, without even intending to, have those first four verses memorized because you read and thought about them so often. Then what if, as you asked yourself the three questions for Bible study and the Holy Spirit revealed truth to you through the passage, you moved on to the next paragraph in the text?
Would it take some time to get through the book? Yes. But what’s the hurry?
Option Two: Topic Study
What if you want to study a topic rather than an entire book? You do the same thing, just tweak it:
- begin your study
- write out the verses that pertain to the topic on a card
- carry it around with you pondering and praying over it as mentioned in option one.
Note: if you are doing topical studies, it is critical that you don’t prooftext and lift a verse out on its own. It is important in all Bible study to see each passage in light of its context!
Whatever kind of study you engage in, you can always saturate. Don’t let your Bible study be confined to a certain part of your day, allow it to become the flow and tone of the day. Remember, the purpose of Bible study is to get to know and become more intimate with Jesus … not to fulfill some requirement. So allow Him and His Word to be what saturates your heart and mind, no matter what you are doing.
Question: What are you currently studying and how can you saturate upon it throughout your day? Comment in the section below.