Tag Archives: Bible study

Spiritual Disciplines – Bible Study

Acts 17:11 Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.

While it is true that pastors receive a word from the Lord and speak it to the people, it is equally true that they are human and therefore capable of error.  The best way to grow spiritually after hearing a message is to check it against the scriptures. Though man is errant, God’s Word is not.

Each follower of Christ must, absolutely must, spend time reading and studying the Bible individually. Church services, Sunday school, and Bible study are all great to attend, but they are intended as a corporate experience among the believers.  Private study of God’s Word coupled with prayer will yield personal results.

It is not enough to say that you believe everything the Bible says if you do not know what it says.  We must learn the context of the original writing to fully understand how a verse speaks to us today.  Many misinformed or uninformed Christians wander about with no foundational knowledge of the Bible’s principles.  False doctrines come about when well-meaning Christians interpret scriptures to support an agenda.

Personal time with the Lord, reading His Word is an essential part of a Christ disciple’s life.  God’s Word ought always to be on our hearts and on our tongues.  The Bible is a disciple’s playbook and we must learn from it in order to live according to God’s wonderful plan.  How amazing that our heavenly Father speaks to us though this text!  How can we  not study it everyday?

Study and do God’s Word

lightstock_15481_small_user_3963721Psalm 1:1-3 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.

How are you doing at Bible study? Does that question make you nervous? I’ll be honest, I hate being asked questions like that because it implies that there’s this level to be achieved, like those who are doing really well are experts, and that makes me feel like a rookie. Maybe I’m the slacker in the room, but I’m willing to assume that many of you can relate.

There are lots of Bible study tools online and it’s not my intention to point you to all of them today, but my emphasis is this: context. To really study the Bible, it’s not about what other books or other people say about it. It’s about what the Bible says about itself. Did that make sense? If I’m studying a subject in Scripture and I have a question about what it means, it’s best to find other places where God inspired someone to write on the same subject within Scripture. We could all save ourselves a lot of trouble and false doctrine in our lives if we’d stick to this basic rule.

It’s also important that we follow the instructions of James in being “doers of the word, and not hearers only” (James 1:22). It’s not enough to just study God’s Word. It’s not enough to just read and consume. It’s good to do so, but if we don’t put the Word into action, we’re missing the point. That’s precisely why so many Christians are unhealthy spiritually. They’re consuming and consuming without getting any spiritual exercise (we’ll talk more about that in a future devotion), becoming lethargic and spiritually flabby.

Study the Word and DO it!

Meditation on the Word

Philippians 4:8  Finally, brothers, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

 

It’s not enough to just hear the Word.  Showing up to listen to a sermon each Sunday is only the beginning of Bible study because you can never get everything you need from a one hour (or less) message.

 

So while you listen, take notes.  Write down the things that strike you, the passages that grab your attention.  Throughout the week, take another look at what was taught.  Take the time to actually think about the Scripture and the application you can make into your own life.  How can you live out this message?

 

This is so important because merely hearing something does not mean it’s going to stick.  Understanding begins with hearing, but it’s got to be meaningful beyond the moment you hear it.  God’s Word is so powerful it’s for all times.  In any and every circumstance you face, it’s good to think about what God has to say.  Move beyond hearing and begin thinking, pondering.  Take the time to meditate on all God has revealed of himself.

 

 

 Look for this and other devotions like it in Matt’s newest Devotions for Disciples book, available soon!

Where Is Your Bible Hiding

If it really is God’s word then why don’t we use it more?

2 Peter 2:1-3, 13-15  But there were also false prophets in Israel, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will cleverly teach destructive heresies and even deny the Master who bought them. In this way, they will bring sudden destruction on themselves.

2  Many will follow their evil teaching and shameful immorality. And because of these teachers, the way of truth will be slandered. 3  In their greed they will make up clever lies to get hold of your money. But God condemned them long ago, and their destruction will not be delayed.

13  Their destruction is their reward for the harm they have done. They love to indulge in evil pleasures in broad daylight. They are a disgrace and a stain among you. They delight in deception even as they eat with you in your fellowship meals. 14  They commit adultery with their eyes, and their desire for sin is never satisfied. They lure unstable people into sin, and they are well trained in greed. They live under God’s curse. 15  They have wandered off the right road and followed the footsteps of Balaam son of Beor, who loved to earn money by doing wrong.

2 Peter 3:3-4  Most importantly, I want to remind you that in the last days scoffers will come, mocking the truth and following their own desires. 4  They will say, “What happened to the promise that Jesus is coming again? From before the times of our ancestors, everything has remained the same since the world was first created.”

Do you see your Bible as a valuable asset? It is a very useful tool that will help you to avoid many dangers as you navigate life. Chapters two and three of Second Peter give us two good reasons to be in God’s word everyday:

So that you won’t be deceived by the false prophets and teachers.

Peter warns us all about false prophets and how you can easily spot them, he spells out exactly how they behave, he also gives us plenty of warning to steer clear of this group so that we won’t share in the judgment that is waiting for them.

So that you won’t deceive yourself and become a scoffer or a mocker.

What a danger to become one that ridicules the things of God, this may be a person that is led astray on their own or it could be somebody that fell for the lies of the false teachers. The best way to know God and be wise about the things that are important to him is to study his word every day. He has revealed as much about him as we need to know, for now, through what is revealed of himself in scripture.

It is amazing that our creator gave us an instruction book for life, a book that has proved it’s worth, and yet we don’t rush to it so that we can benefit from the instruction that God gave us.

I will stay in God’s word everyday so that I will be pleasing to him.

Thank you Lord for showing us how to be pleasing to you and warning us of the destruction of following after false teachings and ideas that we dream up about you.