How I Use the “Making it Simple” Series
I do think that the title is self explanatory. Making it Simple. This is a study that was begun about 7 years ago. I was in a bible study with a woman who was new to the gospel of Christ. She understood her need of a Savior and was baptized into Christ (1 John 4:14; Acts 2:38; Rom.6:3; Gal.3:27). She asked to have a bible study to help her to better understand what her life now needed to be. The original plan was to do a Survey of the Bible so she could see the promises kept by God from the beginning in Creation. We ran into a snag though – she had none of the knowledge of the Old Testament people and stories that the survey assumed the student would. This was the first time I met someone who didn’t know the story of Adam and Eve, Noah, or Abraham. If she’d heard the names, she didn’t know the stories. What an eye opener for me! I take for granted the teaching I’ve had all of my life. I suppose I thought most people were aware of Jesus’ story through the Bible but they chose to ignore it. In my naivete’ it never occurred to me that someone simply hadn’t heard about it! So, on to Plan B. Before she could truly understand some of the references in the New Testament, like Peter’s sermon in Acts 2, she needed to learn about the Old Testament. The result was the Making it Simple series.
I wanted to start in the beginning, “it’s a very nice place to start” as the song says, and wanted to make it easy to follow. This woman wasn’t confident about her education and reading long scriptures was intimidating. I took the Bible, broke into chapter sections, and paraphrased the events. I also included pictures from color pages, word searches, crossword puzzles, mazes, or whatever I could find that went with the particular story. She had not had the benefit of Bible story books being read to her as a child. She had not ever been taught to learn memory verses. So we started as I would with a 1st or 2nd grade level Bible class.
A lesson went like this:
Read the “outline”.
Find the story in the Bible. Spend a few minutes showing how the scriptures matched what was said in the outline. I was careful that she wouldn’t take the outlines as a substitute for the good book itself.
Talk about the story.
Sometimes we’d look at the pictures from the coloring book and talk about what scene they showed. This helped to give her a reference beyond the words to remember the story.
Learn the books of the Bible.
Work on the first memory verse, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Gen. 1:1 Because everything else is based on this concept. Jesus is only that Savior if God created all things in the beginning.
As we progressed, we would talk about the scriptures that I included in the “In Your Bible” section. I gave her these for study later. As she got more curious or more confident in using her own Bible she had other verses that connected the lesson we were on with other teachings in the Bible. We would look them up, to give her more practice in knowing her Bible, the physical book in her hands. We would read them to give her more knowledge about how God has always kept His promises. This was done to build her faith that began with her belief in Jesus, was confirmed in her obedience to that faith in baptism, and now continued in her desire to seek more knowledge and understanding (2 Peter 1:5-11; 1 Peter 3:21; 1 Cor. 1:6; Titus 2:11-14).
So even though the “lesson” itself may look dry, it’s not intended to stay that way. It is a foundation. It is a tool.
It can be used with very young children as a lesson outline they never see. It is taught to them and then activities added that reinforce the lesson.
It can be used with adults as an in-depth reminder of things we often think we already know but may have forgotten the details.
It can be used as a private study, a group study, or one on one.
I know I haven’t reinvented the wheel here. Others have done similar things. But there are always stories left out of structured Bible lesson series; obviously in an attempt to keep the material within a format that fits the quarters of the “year”. I hope to eventually cover the whole Bible, yes even Leviticus and Numbers, so that there is a ready made lesson out there for others to use. Color pages are hard to come by for quite a few stories, and I hope to engage my oldest daughters to fill that void when the time comes. My prayer and my hope is that it will be nothing but beneficial. Use the whole series or pick and choose the ones that are missing from your other material. However it works for you. After all, it’s all God’s word and it has been given to us all to use and learn! (Jude 1:3; 2 Tim. 3:16; 1 Cor. 10:11; Eph. 5;17)