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Spiritual Disciplines

Lesson 1: Study

Lessons in this series: 1 2 3 Overview
Lesson Index

Lesson Workbook (PDF) Click here


1. To introduce students to the spiritual discipline of studying Scripture
2. To practice with students the process of studying a passage of Scripture
3. To inspire students to begin studying Scripture more regularly


Discipline, Quiet Time, Word of God

Scripture Memorization

Psalm 119:15-16

OPENING PRAYER (5 to 10 minutes)


I’m going to give you a minute each. In that minute, I want you to complete as many push-ups as you can. You can take breaks, you can rest, but you only have a minute to see how many push-ups you can do. After each of you have your minute, we'll see who could do the most push-ups.

General Discussion
• What do you think it would take to do more push-ups in a minute?
• Was it hard? Was it fun? Why/why not?

GETTING STARTED (10 minutes)

In the next few weeks, we will talk about Spiritual Disciplines. When you think of discipline, chances are, you’re not thinking about something fun. The word “discipline” kind of carries a negative connotation.

But discipline is important. Without it, our spiritual lives will flounder. Some of you are taking short cuts, and you experience no satisfaction. Right now, during your teen years, is the time to start learning what it means to live out your faith, to exercise your spiritual muscles.

In our lesson today, we start by talking about study (that is, the study of the Bible).
• Who here enjoys studying?
• What’s your favorite subject in school? Least favorite?
• How might studying be like our push up contest?
• What’s the goal to studying?

DIGGING IN (25 minutes)

The goal for studying is NOT to to learn—it’s to change.

1. What does Romans 12:1-2 say is the goal of studying God's Word? (The renewing of your minds.)
2. According to Psalm 119:11, what other purpose is there for studying God's Word?  (In order to avoid sin.)

What does it mean to really study. First, there has to be an availability of information, and it has to be available often.

1. What does Deuteronomy 11:18-20 say about studying God's Word? (It must be habitual.)

Studying must be habitual. You need to do it regularly. If you are not studying the Bible regularly, you are setting yourself up for trouble.

2. Read Luke 5:16. How should we study God's Word?  (Without distractions.)

You need to be able to concentrate on what you are studying. Studying must be done with focus. You need to eliminate distraction. If you try to study the Bible with 4-5 other things going on, you’re not studying. You are used to multi-tasking, but you need to reduce stimuli while studying God's Word.

3. Read Acts 8:30-31. To what extent should we study God's Word? (Until we have understanding.)

There has to be understanding of what is being studied, an “Aha” moment. Studying must reach the point of insight. You have to understand. Understanding can happen in a number of ways:
  • Personal Experience  
  • Reading Books
  • Conversation
  • Asking/Answering Questions

4. Read James 1:22. What must happen once we understand the Scriptures? (There has to be application.)

Studying must be done with reflection and consideration for your own life. You need to make it personal. If you study and don’t change, you’ve wasted your time.

  Three questions to guide your study

  • What is being said? (assumes habit, takes focus)
  • What does it mean? (leads to insight)
  • What should be done as a result? (causes reflection, leads to change)

1. What is Being Said?

Asking this question assumes habit and lets you take focus. Ask yourself what the author of the Scripture you are reading must have meant when he first wrote it. This might require reading some of the Scriptures around it. Who is the author writing to? What events happened recently in that person’s life? What do you think the author wanted the original listener/reader to hear?

2. What Does it Mean?
Asking this question seeks insight and application. Instead of reflecting on something concrete (Jesus heals a paralyzed person) you realize that the fact that Jesus healed a paralyzed person means something (Jesus can heal you).

3. What Should Be Done Because of it?
Asking this question causes you to reflect and leads to change. If the Scripture says that Jesus can heal a paralyzed person, and can therefore heal you, what should be done as a result? Perhaps in this example, the realization is that you should always trust Jesus.

  Three actions to expand your study

  • Pray about it (Ask God to give you insight.)
  • Think about it (Ask yourself what's being said—ask questions.)
  • Talk about it (Ask others what they think.)


MAKING IT REAL (15 minutes)

Now we’re going to try this out on our own. We’re going to take a look at a Scripture and try to walk through these steps together. We will be reading Luke 8:40-56.

First, what do we know about Luke already, who was he, etc? (When you come to a passage of Scripture, it’s important to know the big picture)

Now, I want everyone to read Luke 8:40-56 silently to yourselves. And as you read, I want you to do two things:
1. Note things that peak your interest
2. Note things that you don’t understand


 Interesting  Questions
 The number 12
"Daughter" language

 What was Peter’s tone?
 How did that power thing with Jesus work?
 Why only a few in the room?
 What are the parallel passages to this one?
 Why does Jesus tell everyone to keep it a secret?

Read Luke 8:40-56
Great, now let’s read the passage again. This time I’ll read it out loud. Sometimes doing that helps you to get a better feel of the flow. We should always read and listen carefully.

Discussion Questions:
1. What do you find interesting about this passage?  
2. What questions do you have about this passage?
3. Where might you go for answers to those questions? (Scripture, pastors, parents, teachers, friends)
4. What are the parallel passages, if any? (Matthew 9:18-26, Mark 5:21-43)
5. What are some application points that can be made here?
6. Now what do we know about Luke 8:40-56?

Do you think this is possible with other passages? Do you see how it’s a valuable discipline?

I challenge all of you to give it a shot. If you’re not already, read your Bible 5 times this week, for 20 or 30 minutes each time. Pray, Read, Think, repeat. Pick a passage, read an entire book, etc. Just study and see what happens.

CLOSING PRAYER (2 minutes)

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