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How to use the Seed Method to study the Bible developed by Priscilla Shrirer
The Bible is a rich and fascinating book with the power to change your life. Unfortunately many people read the Bible but do not understand what it is saying, failing to unlock that power in their lives. Inductive Bible study can help us see what the Scriptures have to say and apply it to ourselves. This is how our lives change. Inductive Bible Study methods are simply sets of questions we ask or steps we take when we read Bible verses to help us understand the message God wants us to know. One of these methods, called Seed, was developed by Pricilla Shirer. It consists of 5 simple steps to follow while looking at a verse or series of verses in the Bible. Each step begins with a “P” to make them easier to remember; Position, Pour, Pull, Pose and Plan. From Ms. Shirer we learn to Position ourselves to hear God’s words, Pour over the passage and paraphrase the content, Pull out the spiritual meaning, Pose the questions to apply it to our lives, and Plan a path for our obedience. In this way we will grow closer to God as we learn to hear the words he has for us.
To begin, we want to POSITION ourselves to hear God’s word. Spend some time in prayer, talking to God and asking him to help you see what he wants you to know from his word. Think over the blessings in your life and thank him for them. Praise him for the wonderful things he has done. Reflect over your life and ask forgiveness for the things you have done that hurt others, the sins you have committed. In this way we come into his presence and prepare our hearts to hear from him.
When we talk to God, we should also pause and take the time to listen to him. The Holy Spirit does communicate with us. God speaks in many ways. It could be a still small voice speaking to your heart, or through the words you read in the Bible. Maybe you will remember a sermon you once heard, or the advice a friend gave. However he speaks to you, just remember that nothing he says will ever go against anything he has already said in the Bible. But if we listen with an ear that's willing to obey, you can hear his voice.
Next we want to POUR over the passage. Take your time and read it more than once. Think about what it is saying and put it in your own words. Look at the context, what is happening? Who are the main characters? Where and when are the events occurring? Maybe there is something that jumps out at you and you need to spend your time on that one thing. Write down your paraphrase and the main point or points that you want to focus on.
Now we want to PULL out the spiritual meanings. Look at your main points and paraphrases. What is God saying? Is there a promise he wants us to know, or a command he wants us to follow? Maybe he is telling us something about himself, or about ourselves. Take the time to listen to what the Holy Spirit is whispering in your heart.
Then we need to POSE the questions that apply these principles to our lives. This can be a scary step as we ask ourselves if we are living by what God is saying. If not, we must be willing to ask God what it would take to obey his message. Here is where many people want to walk away or apply the principles to someone else. But this is between you and God; will you search your heart and listen to him?
Finally we must PLAN to obey God. This is where our lives will change. Without a plan, good intentions tend to get lost in our busy lives. It may be helpful to write it down to make it easier to remember. Your plan should be as specific as possible and attainable. You might want to enlist the help of a friend to keep you accountable. Our obedience is valuable to God. “to obey is better than sacrifice” -1 Samuel 15:22. It shows God that we love him. “Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” John 14:23. Too many Christians walk away from their faith, never really submitting their lives to God’s will. They don’t want to obey him when it goes against their own desires. When they don’t get what they wanted from God, they rejected him. They believe they have “tried” God and it didn’t work for them. This is not what being a Christian is about. It is our obedience that makes us a part of God’s family. “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” – Matthew 7:21.
Pricilla Shirer’s Seed method of Bible study can be a very useful tool in helping us understand what the Bible has for us. It can help unlock the power to change our lives. It can be used on any passage of scripture that you would like to study. Please consider giving it a try!
For a demonstration of this method, please read #38 a Bible Study of John 4: 31 - 38