Us mums are always busy right? Right! There is always something else to do, someone else wanting some of our time, or someone needing our help. The list of things we have to do can seem endless right? Right! And when our days are like this, which for me is most days, studying our bible can seem like an impossibility, Right? Right! That was until I learnt about an inductive bible study method called FOCUSed 15.
This bible study method has revolutionised my life, enabling me to dig deeper into God’s word in just 15 minutes or less each day. Yes, 15 minutes, I tell you no lie. Amazing or what?! Let me show you how…..
FOCUS is an acronym for:
and the 15 is for how long the study should take you each day – 15 minutes
Here is how it works.
You study the same passage of scripture over 5 days, say from Monday – Friday, working on one word from F.O.C.U.S each day.
Let’s use 1 Thess 5:18 as an example.
‘Give thanks in all circumstances for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you’
I will attempt to show you how we will study 1 Thess 5:18 over 5 days
Day 1. Foundation – Enjoy each word
- Read 1 Thess 5 : 18
- Write the passage of scripture out OR
- Read in different versions OR do both if you have time.
You can use the Bible Hub app for parallel reading – reading the same scripture in different versions.
- Click on PAR for parallel as shown below
- Change the scripture at the top to your chosen passage
- And your chosen scripture will come up in different versions
Day 2. Observations – Look at the details
- Here we ask good questions about the passage; what truths, promises and commands does this passage give me?
- What is true about God? What do I learn about God?
- God wants me to give thanks to Him in all circumstances
- God has a will for me
- God deserves/requires my thanks
- What is true about me because of Christ?
- I am in God through Christ Jesus
- What promises/truths can I hold on to?
- God has a will for my life
- Are there any things I need to stop or start doing?
- Are there any attitudes or actions to adopt or avoid?
- Adopt giving thanks to God in all circumstances
- There’s no reason to not give thanks
- Avoid being ungrateful or unthankful
Write these truths, promises and or commands down and meditate/pray about them throughout your day.
Day 3. Clarification – Uncover the Original Meaning.
Here we find the original Greek or Hebrew of the word. I use the BlueLetterBible App for this which is free and absolutely fantastic.
To clarify, we need to do 3 things: Decide, discover and define.
Decide – What word to study from the passage (verbs are good words to choose)
Discover – The word as it was originally written.
Define – The word; it’s part of speech (noun, verb, etc), translation notes, how many times it is used in the bible and its Strongs concordance number.
Use the 3 D’s:
Decide: Lets choose ‘Give Thanks’
Discover – This part may seem a bit tricky at first, but once you know the buttons to press to open up the right pages, you’ll be flying.
- Find your passage of scripture in the App and click on the verse
- ↓ This screen shows up :
- Tap on Interlinear. The Interliner takes every word from the verse and gives you the Greek or Hebrew word for the English word
- Scroll down to find the word/s you decided on and click on the original Greek (or Hebrew) word
- The words ‘give thanks’ originally written in Greek is ‘Eucharisteo’
- When you click on ‘Eucharisteo’ it opens up another page of information that helps us define the word.
- Eucharisteo is a verb.
- Its Strongs number is G2168.
- Outline of Biblical Usage: ‘To be grateful, feel thankful, give thanks’
- Translation notes: Give thanks, thank, be thankful
- It is used 39x throughout the KJV bible
- Continue scrolling down to see more information such as the lexicon, which is like a dictionary
and the concordance. Here it lists the 39 places in the bible where the word/s is used with the same meaning. Brilliant.
Day 4. Utilisation – Discover the connections
Making the connections with other parts of scripture, is called cross referencing.
I like to use the ESV bible app for cross referencing. It is free, quick and easy to use.
- Find your chosen verse and click on it
- It opens up with the verse by itself with cross referenced scriptures below
- In this instance – 1 Thess 5:18 is cross referenced with Eph 5:20.
- Tap on the scripture reference and it opens up the verse for you
Other verses may have more than one scripture cross referenced.
Throughout the day, meditate on your chosen scripture as well as those cross referenced with it.
Day 5. Summation – Respond to God’s word
We respond to Gods word by using 3 points: Identify, Modify and Glorify.
- Identify – Here we state what we think the passage means from our previous 4 days of study, and check it using bible commentaries.
- Modify – Here we check our beliefs in light of the main idea of the passage and conform our mind to the truth learnt in scripture
- Glorify – This is where we align our life to reflect the truth of God’s Word.
I find this to be the most important part of the study. Here is where we get to apply Gods Word to our lives, repent if necessary and align our lives with what God says.
Identify : As a believer in the Lord Jesus I am to give thanks and be grateful in every situation I face, whether it seems good or bad. In Christ, all things work together for good, therefore I should be thankful, even when my circumstances don’t feel good, as this is God’s will for my life.
For a commentary, I like to use the MacArthur Bible Commentary by John MacArthur which I have on my phone as as app. The app is called Grace to You Study Bible and looks like this:
I cant remember how much the app costs but it is definitely worth the price. It has the bible in 3 versions – ESV, KJV and NASB, John MacArthur’s full bible commentary , devotionals and other study resources, along with access to his preachings and teachings which he has numerous amounts of on every chapter of every book in the bible. A brilliant resource.
From the MacArthur commentary I see that thanklessness is a trait of unbelievers. Wow! I never looked at it like that. Being unthankful is what unbelievers are/do, so when I am unthankful I am acting like an unbeliever. Ouch!
Modify – I do not doubt for one moment that I am to be thankful in all circumstances, not necessarily for the madness that may be taking place in my home or the crazy behaviour of my children, but for the opportunity to become more like Christ, yield to His Spirit and let the fruit of the Spirit be worked out in me in those moments. But the reality is, I do not always see past the drama unfolding in front of me to give thanks. This is something I need to change. I need to be thankful to God more, not just when things are going well but when I have what feels like World War III taking place in my living room. If I don’t do this, I am acting no better than an unbeliever.
Glorify – Here I like to write out a little prayer to the Lord, repent where necessary and ask for His grace to align my life to reflect His truth.
And there we have the FOCUSe15 bible study method.
You don’t have to limit yourself to 15 minutes if you have more time, but sometimes 15 minutes is all we have before the children wake up, (Im sure my children have an internal radar for when I wake up) or are asking for another snack or not arguing or squabbling.
What are your thoughts on this method? Do you currently use it? Have you heard of it before? What bible study method do you use?
I heard of FOCUSed15 from a lady named Katie Orr who has various study books available that uses this method of study. I have not purchased any of her books yet but have found this method great when choosing my own passage of scripture to study.
I do hope my directions have been helpful and comprehendible. If there is any part of this bible study method that you do not understand, please message me at:
firstname.lastname@example.org OR @gospelcenteredmum on Instagram.
Do you have another preferred method of bible study that fits into your busy schedule of mum life? I would love to hear about it if you do. Please feel free to share details in the comments.
Until next time mummies.
Yours in Christ