We saw yesterday that the Holy Spirit wants to help us study the Bible. Today we’ll take a look at your part in the process of understanding Scripture.
You need to work hard to master God’s Word.
You can have wonderful teachers in school, but they don’t do your homework for you. Likewise, the Spirit’s wants to help you understand God’s Word, but you still need to study diligently. Here’s what the Bible says about it:
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2Ti 2:15)
“These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” (Act 17:11)
Part of being a hard working student of God’s Word is structuring your life to make room for Bible study. Here are a couple examples from the life of Christ where He got up early, got alone, and spent time with the Father:
“And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.” (Mar 1:35)
“And when he had sent them away, he departed into a mountain to pray.” (Mar 6:46)
Here are some simple suggestions for making more time for God in each day:
Use the time you have during the day.
Carry a pocket Bible with you at all times so you can seize those spare moments during the day that you normally waste.
Get up earlier, which may mean going to bed earlier. (It ain’t rocket science.)
Set realistic goals and move forward in small increments.
Trying getting up a little earlier each day, instead of getting up two hours early tomorrow. If you try to make a big change like that all at once, you’ll probably go back to your old habits next week. Besides, you’ll probably be so cranky that the people around you will wish you would stop seeking God and get some sleep.
Set an alarm and move it out of reach.
I’ll tell you what I do. (Don’t laugh.) I’m not a morning person, so I set the alarm and put the clock far enough away from my bed that I can’t turn it off without getting up. I also put an Andes mint on the tap alarm bar. That way, when I go to shut the alarm off, I get a tasty treat. The mint freshens my breath, wakes up my mouth, raises my blood sugar a little, and makes getting up a sweet experience. Hey, whatever it takes, right?
Enlist the help of an early rising friend.
Ask some early riser you know to call you each morning. I’ve done this for a number of people over the years and it works. The first couple of mornings they answer with sleep heavy on their voice. Pretty soon, though, they are answering on the first ring bright and chipper.
If you watch TV, determine that you will spend at least as much time each day reading the Bible and praying as you do watching TV.
You’ve got to develop the skills to read effectively.
Some Christians don’t enjoy the Bible because they don’t enjoy reading in general. Do you dislike reading because you can’t read well, or do you not read well because you dislike reading? It’s hard to tell which is the chicken and which is the egg here, but God commands you to study His Word either way. Here are a couple of tips for improving your reading:
Read often – you’ll improve with practice.
Read aloud, or listen to the Bible on tape or CD.
Look up words you don’t understand and note the meaning in the margin of your Bible.
You should be ready to do what God says
Remember, this is God’s Word. It is the word of a King, and is to be obeyed. It’s meant to be done, and you will not understand it if you are unwilling to do it.
“If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.” (Joh 7:17)
“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.” (Jam 1:22-25)
Bible study that doesn’t lead to right living or revise wrong living is self-deception.
Points to Ponder
- Are you working hard at studying God’s Word?
- What practical changes do you need to make in you schedule and activities in order to spend more time studying the Bible? Will you make these changes?
- Do you come to God’s Word ready to obey whatever you find there, or do you decide after you read it whether or not you will obey?
Read More About It
Today, take a look at Psalm 119:129-152 and make note of the blessings of God’s Word that you find in the passage.