Many of us want to read the Bible and grow deeper in faith, but struggle with how to read and understand the Scriptures. Today I’d like to share a simple method I use: the APPLE Bible study method.
BTW, I came up with this acronym because I needed something easy to remember, lol!
I teach this method in my course Bible Study Methods: 7 Ways in 7 Days, as one of 7 great ways to get more from the Bible. The APPLE acronym will help you dissect your Bible reading, understand God’s character and apply scripture to your life. Plus, it’s simple enough that even Bible study novices can feel successful and confident during their quiet time.
The APPLE Bible study method
This practical Bible study method is based on the acronym APPLE. As you read a passage or chapter of Scripture, use the each letter to help you understand and dig deeper into the verses.
APPLE stands for…
Follow along as we put the APPLE Bible study method into practice with Psalm 103: 1-5. First, read the entire passage of Scripture you wish to study.
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all that is within me,
bless his holy name!
2 Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits,
3 who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
5 who satisfies you with good
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
A- Attribute(s) of God
After reading the passage one time through, go back and look for the attributes of God found in the verses you just read. It’s a joy to discover the magnitude and depths of God’s character revealed in Scripture!
In our example, Psalm 103: 1-5, it’s revealed that God is holy, forgives, heals, redeems, satisfies and is merciful. How beautiful to see His perfection unfold in this sweet Psalm!
P- Promises from God
Once again, skim the passage to discover the promises God has made to His children.
The Psalm above reminds us that God has lovingly promised to forgive our sins, heal, redeem our brokenness, lavish us with love and mercy, satisfy the depths of our souls, and renew our weariness. As we mature in faith and mediate on His Word, these promises alter our lives and change us to the core. It’s in understanding His promises where we learn to faithfully trust Him in all situations. Thank you, Lord for the gift of your promises!
P- Principles for Life
As you begin this next step, look back at the passage and search for life principles hidden in these verses.
Revisiting Psalm 103:1-5, we see that God calls us to praise Him whether we’re rejoicing in His blessings or praying for healing. No matter what comes our way, our job is proclaim the name of the Lord as Holy. Also, we’re charged with remembering His promises and clinging to them in all situations.
L- Lessons Learned or Sin to Avoid
Reviewing the passage yet another time, look for lessons you can learn from the verses. You may even wish to ask:
Is God trying to get my attention about a particular area in my life?
What situation(s) do I need to give over to God as a result of reading this passage?
What is God trying to teach my through this text?
Rereading Psalm 103:1-5, I personally learn that we are to remember and mediate on God’s promises. When I focus on Him and not the size of my problems, I lay aside fear and peacefully trust Him no matter the outcome.
E- Example to Follow
Looking over your text one final time, ask yourself how you can follow any example found in this Scripture. We want to be doers of the word, not merely hearers. Consider the following questions:
What is an example of godliness in this passage? Ungodly?
Is there an area in which I need to take action as prompted through this passage?
What practical way can I implement the theme of these verses into my life?
The practical message I gain from Psalm 103:1-5 is one of trust and praise. God IS faithful, and in those moments when I’m overwhelmed and paralyzed by fear, I can praise His holy name. Worshiping through prayer and reflecting on His faithfulness are two practical strategies I can use throughout the day to combat fear and stress.
Starter passages for the APPLE Bible study method
Now that you’ve seen how simple it is to dissect a passage this way, it’s time for you to give it a try! Use the passages bellow to start your journey toward a deeper understanding of the heart of God through the APPLE Bible study method.
Psalm 16: 7-11
Psalm 46: 1-3
Isaiah 40: 28-31
Matthew 11: 28-30
1 Peter 1: 3-6
So grab your Bible and dig in, as you search for a deeper understanding of the heart of God. I can’t wait to hear how the Lord grows your faith as you embark on this new study method. Enjoy!
The APPLE Bible study method is one of the 7 methods I teach in my new course Bible Study Methods: 7 Ways in 7 Days. This course will give you the tools for diving into God’s word on your own! Click here for all the methods covered in Bible Study Methods: 7 Ways in 7 Days.