Sunday, February 21, 2010
How to Study God's Word
1 My son, if you accept my words
and store up my commands within you,
2 turning your ear to wisdom
and applying your heart to understanding,
3 and if you call out for insight
and cry aloud for understanding,
4 and if you look for it as for silver
and search for it as for hidden treasure,
5 then you will understand the fear of the LORD
and find the knowledge of God.
6 For the LORD gives wisdom,
and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
Proverbs 2:1-6 (NIV)
Much attention has been given to becoming a life long learner. Education is a process that begins when we're born and continues to the day we die. None of us can ever know everything. Constant learning helps us to keep up with the latest knowledge and find out about things we didn't previously know. Like the body needs exercise, the brain needs stimulation to maintain good mental health.
Studying the Bible should start when we are young and continue throughout our lives. Each reading of a passage can bring new insights. We will see things in God's Word from different perspectives at different times of our lives. The most important things we ever need to know are in the Bible.
Be sure to dig deep for the treasure within. Read the Bible with a prayerful attitude. Ask God for help when you need clarification. The Holy Spirit is with you to bring you understanding and assist in applying biblical principles to your daily life--just ask.
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV)
Why do we need to waste our time reading such an old out-dated book? There are plenty of good self-help books and books about religion, you may say.
The Bible is timeless. Biblical princples provide everything we need for living a fulfilled life. What do you think the authors of the newer books used as their sources? In many cases these books are rooted in the Bible. If they are not, then they are rooted in the thoughts of men. The Bible is divinely authored by God and God's ways are higher than the ways of men. It's okay to read the other books, but study and reread the Bible and become firmly rooted in the Bible so you can make wise judgments about those other books.
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.
2 Timothy 2:15 (NIV)
Make Bible reading and study serious work. Some of us go to college and take the reading we do there very seriously. We are concerned about the grades we make on our tests and papers. Or we may go to work and intensely learn our jobs and become experts. We want to excel in the eyes of our peers and our superiors in order to gain esteem and advancement. Studying God's Word should become our life's work and applying the truths of that Word should be our test in the eyes of those around us. We should become shining examples of what God expects of us. We should strive to be pleasing to God.
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual[a] act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Romans 12:1-2 (NIV)
We are in this world and so long as we are not offensive to God and we are doing his will, we should do what we need to do to get by. Excellence by the world's standard is okay. But excellence by God's standards is pleasing to God and is our act of worship. It may not always be easy. In fact, it may be downright difficult. Many have suffered and even died doing God's work. Allowing your mind to become transformed by God's will and the power of God's Word will help you through life's most difficult trials. The way to transform your mind to understand what God wants from you is to read His instruction manual--the Holy Bible.
33 Teach me, O LORD, to follow your decrees;
then I will keep them to the end.
34 Give me understanding, and I will keep your law
and obey it with all my heart.
35 Direct me in the path of your commands,
for there I find delight.
36 Turn my heart toward your statutes
and not toward selfish gain.
37 Turn my eyes away from worthless things;
preserve my life according to your word.
Psalm 119:33-37 (NIV)
In school we have textbooks to help us to learn in the different courses we take. If we buy a new computer, it comes with an instruction manual to help us learn to operate it. When we need to get a driver's license, the state has a manual that we must study in order to learn about the traffic laws. There are law books and instruction manuals and books to help us learn about things that we may need to in this world. The Holy Bible-- the Word of God-- is the most important book we can ever read and study and reread and share with others. This is the book that we should take more seriously than any other book that we ever read. This is the book that will bring us our greatest rewards and our greatest delight. The Bible can make your life, shape your life, and ultimately save your life.
5 I remember the days of long ago;
I meditate on all your works
and consider what your hands have done.
6 I spread out my hands to you;
my soul thirsts for you like a parched land.
Psalm 143:5-6 (NIV)
Posted by Arlee Bird at 2:00 AM