Let me share a secret with you! I am so excited about how using the C.O.R.E. method of Bible study can help us draw more from our time in the Word of God. The more I know God, the more I love Him and the more I want to know Him. C.O.R.E. is an easy to remember acronym that will help us get to the “core” of God’s love letter to us and allow it to change the “core” of who we are. As we end this series today, if you have not already, I would encourage you to go back to the beginning and read through the whole series.
Part 1: Understanding Scriptures Through Common Core talks about the why and how I developed the C.O.R.E. method of Bible study.
Part 2: C is for Context walks through the first part of the C.O.R.E. method of Bible study.
Part 3: 3 Ways To Observe Biblical Text takes us through methods of observing text using best teaching practices and visual aids.
Part 4: Let’s Rethink This! helps us engage in the process of looking at the text as a Christ follower. In this step we look for what it is the Holy Spirit is saying to us.
Context. Observe. Rethink. Extend…
When it comes to good teaching, we know that we must take students through multiple levels of thinking. Common core calls those Depths of Knowledge. If we look at the Depths of Knowledge and compare them to the C.O.R.E. Bible study method, we see that in Context and Observation we are staying mostly in level one thinking. We are looking at facts and basic recall of information. When we begin asking questions and Rethinking the text towards the end of application, we are using level two and level three thinking. But now, as we look to Extend learning, we are truly engaging in the highest level of thinking. This level tasks such as analyzing, synthesizing, creating, proving, and applying concepts.
Does the Bible speak of Extending?
There are several definitions for the word extend, but in Phil 3:13 we see it used in Greek in a way that I think most applies to what we are trying to do here. In the Greek, epekteino or extend means “aptly stretching intensely toward.”
I love this picture. As a Christ follower, the ultimate goal is not just to know and understand the scripture. Rather, it’s a living out of the scripture as we “aptly stretch intensely toward” holiness. And this is exactly what we see described here in Phil. 3.
Philippians 3: 7But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ 9and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith ina Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.10I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.12Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
We are Christ followers in training. We must Extend ourselves towards holiness as we are called to be holy because Christ is holy.
Lord, help me to “aptly stretch intensely toward” holiness as I run this race (Phil 3:13). (Click to Tweet)
What are some ways we can Extend what we’ve learned?
1. Ask God. Hopefully we’ve been asking the Holy Spirit to guide our learning all along. He will definitely help us to identify the ways in our lives that we need to extend our learning. It might be through us extending a hand up to someone or extending an arm around them to comfort them through a difficult time. If you are at a loss, just ask Him.
2. After Rethinking and determining what the application is, we employ it in daily life. We find ways to use and engage what it is that God is teaching us. We can do this through setting small goals of using it once a day. As a teacher, I often hear the proverb “Tell me, I forget. Show me, I remember. Involve me, I understand.” I believe God wants us involved. It’s the best method of teaching there is. It’s how His Word transforms us from the inside-out.
3. Be creative. I like acronyms. I even made one out of the word smile. You can read that post here (S.M.I.L.E.), but the point was it was a way for me to remember and engage in loving others. Find ways of creating things or opportunities to use the learning. I also write blog posts about what God is teaching me. If these aren’t up your alley, find what ways you like to express yourself the most and combine them with what you’ve learned.
4. And sometimes we can walk through this whole process and still have questions. Another way to Extend our learning is to find other passages, commentaries, or books that deal with the questions we have. We can engage in further learning and then synthesize or put together all the pieces together into a statement or claim about what we believe it is God is saying.
5. Be part of the solution. Maybe it’s a problem you’re having or maybe it’s just a problem in this world. Extend your learning to being a part of the solution in this world instead of part of the problem. If no one’s already doing it, start it. If someone is, see what God is doing and if you can join Him in it.
What’s the Key?
This is where having some accountability comes in very useful. Many of us know what we should do, but without accountability, we often fail to act on what we know.
The Bible says those who know what to do and do not do it are fools. The wise Extend their learning into their everyday lives.
And, as we talked about in the last week, the goal is to move from knowledge, to understanding, to wisdom.
To this end, I have written this series. Remember, it’s as easy as Context, Observe, Rethink, and Extend. May it help you grow wise in the Lord.
What About You?
This is place of community and conversation. A dialogue is taking place. Here are some ways you can participate:
- Leave a response in the comments below. What do you think? Do you agree or disagree? If you’re still not sure what to say try answering these questions: What other ways to Extend what God is teaching you? If you’ve read the whole series, what are your thoughts? Do you see this as something you can do yourself?
- Did you like what you read? Did you learn anything? Gain any insight? Then share that with others. Let your friends know. Use the share buttons as a way of engaging others in this dialogue.
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