Great craftsmen have long promoted the benefits of do-it-yourself projects. You design them to your own taste. You do them in your own time, as your resources allow, and as your expertise grows. With good instructions and a willingness to learn, you're on your way to crafting a personal masterpiece.

When you engage in a do-it-yourself Bible study, you study the Masterpiece of all time---at your own pace, as your time allows, and in a way that satisfies your personal needs. By far the best benefit of studying the Bible on your own is growing closer to the Master Craftsman as you understand His unique design for your life.

We asked Chuck, "How have you designed your personal Bible study?" Simply stated, he starts with three key words and questions:

Look at what the text says (observation). Look at specific words, pull out the dictionary, and trace their meanings. Compare that word with a similar word found another place in Scripture.

Ask yourself, "What does this mean?" (Interpretation). Finding answers to your questions will sometimes require meditating on the passage as well as referencing good study Bibles and books.

Live it out (application). What does the passage mean for you personally? What attitude, perspective, or actions should you adopt?

"I carry a yellow tablet with me wherever I go," Chuck says. "At home, at the office---I've even carried on in the car. I am forever working through these steps as they related to a Bible passage. I've used these questions for four decades when I'm digging into the Scriptures."

From Insights Newsletter, Vol. 10, No. 8, August 2000.

Insight for Living's Bible teacher, Chuck Swindoll, has devoted his life to the clear, practical, application of God's Word and the communication of God’s grace. A pastor at heart, Chuck has served as senior pastor to congregations in Texas, Massachusetts, and California and most recently to the newly formed Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas. But Chuck's listening audience extends far beyond a local church body. As a leading radio program in Christian broadcasting, Insight for Living now airs in every major Christian radio market, through more than 2,000 outlets worldwide, in 11 languages, and to a growing webcast audience. Chuck's extensive writing ministry has also served the body of Christ worldwide, and his leadership as president and now chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary has helped to prepare and equip a new generation of men and women for ministry. Chuck and Cynthia, his partner in life and ministry, have four grown children and ten grandchildren.