Thrive Studies

Dig In – Leader's Guide

Thrive Studies

Dig In

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Reading the Bible isn’t difficult to do and will bring big benefits to our lives.

Our lack of knowledge of how to read the Bible causes us to be intimidated by the Bible and to not read it.

As we become more comfortable with reading God’s word, we learn to love it and become transformed by its author.

To dig for treasure you need a map and a shovel, and you need to take the time to dig deep. Reading the Bible can be like that. If you have the right tools, and are willing to take the time to use them correctly, you can find treasures you never knew were in there.

Great growth can come from reading the word of God and considering how it applies to our lives. Yet so few of us are doing that. Many students don’t get any input from the Bible each week and those who do are often content just getting it from a speaker at church. We want to teach our students to go directly to the word of God, read it, pull out relevant truth, and apply that truth to their lives. We don’t want them to miss out on the life transformation that happens as we interact directly with God’s word. We encourage you, leader, to be studying God’s word for yourself on a regular basis, and begin challenging your students, on a regular basis, to put the simple suggestions from this lesson into daily practice in their own lives.


What I want the group to know and understand: 
Studying the Bible isn’t difficult to do and will bring big benefits to our lives.

What I want the group to experience: The satisfaction of knowing how to study the Bible personally, and the joy of having God reveal truth to us through his word.

How I want the group to respond: By studying the Bible with confidence and expectation.


One evening the Mabrey family – Dad, Mom, and three older children – were hanging out in their den. Suddenly two men broke in and tied everyone up. The dad worked in a bank and they wanted money from the safe which automatically opened at 7:00 AM. All night they waited, fearing for their lives. Not sure they would live to see the next day, their thoughts wandered to what they wished they could say to their friends and family members left behind.

In today’s passage Paul, the writer of this book in the Bible, found himself in a situation similar to the family above. He was chained up in a dungeon waiting to be killed. He wrote a letter to a younger friend whom he loved and left instructions for living a godly life.


1. Read 2 Timothy 3:14-17. What seems to be the thing Paul most wants Timothy to do (verse 14)?
Paul wants Timothy to remain faithful to the things he has been taught.

2. Where do you see the Bible mentioned in this passage?

v. 15 - “the Holy Scriptures” or “sacred writings”(ESV) v. 16 - “All Scripture”

3. According to this passage, what are three or four things the Bible can do in your life?

It can give you wisdom, help you receive salvation (15), teach you what is true, show you what is wrong in your life (16), correct you and train you to do good works (17).

4. Read Hebrews 4:12. What does it mean that the Word of God is alive and powerful? How is that different than any other book?
God is a real person who is speaking to us through the Bible as we read it. It has power like no other book because the author is using it to speak directly to our hearts as we are reading it. It is also different from any other book because it was written by the One who created us, so it can answer our deepest needs like no other book.


5. The Bible has helped people for hundreds of years. How could reading the Bible help you personally?
Allow the group to discuss. After the students have had a chance to share (try to draw some things out of them if they are not talking), please take some time to share how reading the Bible has helped you personally.

6. Does reading the Bible seem hard, scary or boring to you? Why? What keeps you from reading it more often?
Allow the group to discuss. Attempt to bring out any real reasons that might keep them from reading the Bible. Please be prepared to also share what makes it challenging for you to study the Bible. Let them see that you struggle with it too, but then point them to why it is worth it for you to study the Bible. Why is it worth the time and energy to you to spend time in the Bible?

Reading the Bible can be hard, but it is worth it. All day long we are being bombarded by false messages about what life is really all about. The world tells us that life is about personal fulfillment, success, pleasure, friends, money, and being happy, but that is not what life is about at all. To find out what life is really about, we need to regularly listen to messages from the One who created us. God made us and knows our purpose and what will truly bring us lasting satisfaction. The Bible is God’s main way of communicating those truths to us. It is where we can find real truth about life, not just the fluff that the world offers.

7. Often, we don’t read the Bible because we don’t know where to start and we don’t really know how to study it. Today we are going to talk about one simple way to read the Bible called “3 Symbol Bible Reading”.

3 Symbol Bible Reading

1.  Pray for God to speak to you through His Word.

2.  Read the next chapter in your Bible. The book of John is a good place to start. If the whole chapter is too long for you, just read a part of the chapter.

3.  Stop reading when something stands out to you. Pay attention to the word or thought that pops out to you and how you feel about it.

4.  Mark it up! It’s ok to write in the Bible, in fact, it’s really helpful!

  • Draw a light bulb beside whatever stands out to you as important. Write your thoughts about it in the margin of your Bible.
  • Write a question mark (?) by anything you don’t understand or have a question about. Write the question in the margins of your Bible.
  • Write an arrow beside anything that you should apply personally to your life.
  • If you are using your phone and can’t mark it up, use your notes app to write down your thoughts and any questions that you have.

5.  Talk about it – When you’re done reading, talk to God through prayer or write in a journal to God about what pops out to you on the page and the questions you had. Ask God to give you the power to do what the passage says. If you’re in a group, talk with each other about what God taught you as you read.

If you weren’t able to find answers to your question marks, text a leader, pastor, or a Christian friend that might know a little more than you. Talking about our questions helps us all grow and learn more about God’s word together.

8. Let’s try this right now with a passage of the Bible. Open your Bible to Matthew 6:25-34 and study it with the Stop and Pop method. Take them through the Stop and Pop method. Give them time to go through the passage silently by themselves, then come together and discuss their discoveries and questions. Be sure to go through the passage and mark “pops” and questions yourself, and tell them what you learned and discovered after you have them tell you what they found.

9. How can you see "Stop and Pop" making a difference in your life as you do it regularly?
Allow the group to discuss.

30-DAY CHALLENGE: Take the 30-day challenge and read the Bible every day for 30 days. Start in the book of John and see how a month in God’s word can impact your life!

To learn more ideas on how to read the Bible, check out the book “One to One Bible Reading” by David Helm

Find more resources and ideas for teaching this study online at or

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