How do you approach Bible study and/or reading God’s Word?
- Is it a total delight to you and something you look forward to every day?
- Is it just another task on your To-Do list that you feel like you should do because you are a Christian?
- Is it something that you always feel guilty about because you’ve been told it’s something you should do, but you’re just not quite sure how?
- Do you think it’s a good idea, but you just haven’t figured out how to make time for it, with your busy schedule?
- Are you gung-ho to start a new Bible study with a small group, then wimp out about half-way through and never finish it?
- Is it a combination of all the above or maybe somewhere in between?
If reading or studying the Bible for you feels more like a chore than a delight, maybe you are making this common Bible study mistake…
Have you ever heard the saying that the Bible stands for:
- B – Basic
- I – Instructions
- B – Before
- L – Leaving
- E – Earth
Or maybe you’ve been told that The Bible is God’s Rulebook for Life. Or that it is God’s Love Letter to you. While these cute sayings may contain some truth, they are lacking one essential element.
What do you believe about God’s Word and about the Bible?
- Do you believe The Bible is the innerant, infallible Word of God?
- Do you believe reading the Bible will help you get to heaven?
- Do you believe it’s a great historical document by which we can learn a lot about the Israelites?
- Do you view it as a way to elevate yourself above others who don’t know what The Bible says?
The religious leaders in Jesus’ time believed all these things. Yet they missed the true purpose of the Scriptures. Perhaps you have too…
To illustrate my point, let me share this enlightening word picture, as written by Kevin Halloran in a blog post at UnlockingtheBible.org :
Imagine you are very highly respected in your field. People often come to you for insights and leadership and have for a very long time. You believe you are honoring God and truly helping people know and follow Him.
Then one day, a new guy shows up on the scene and tells you to your face that everything you’ve been trying to do is completely wrong.
That is essentially what Jesus does to the Jewish leaders in John 5. He tells them that all the work they have done reading and proclaiming the Scriptures have missed the true purpose of the Bible. Jesus says:
You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life. (John 5:39-40)
The Jews studied the Scriptures intensely. They read, memorized, and meditated on the Scriptures frequently and with fervor, hoping their actions would help them book a one-way ticket to heaven. The irony is that in the midst of all of their work searching the Scriptures, they missed the very One the Scriptures point to who Himself is the only ticket to heaven (see John 14:6)!
The Bible is the written Word of God, but Jesus is the Living Word of God. The person (Jesus) that the written word talks about is more important than the book.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.- John 1:1-2; 14
He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. – Revelation 19:13
Years ago, during a women’s Bible study, was the first time I got the revelation that Jesus IS the Word! I remember it like it was yesterday. This one truth forever changed the way I look at Scripture. The Bible is not just a “rulebook for life” or God’s love letter to me, but it is Jesus Himself! So, the more I know The Word, the more I know Jesus. Which, of course, makes me want to keep digging into God’s Word more and more.
I believe it is so important that everything we do with Scripture (the written Word of God) is actually fostering a deeper relationship with Jesus (the living Word of God.) Studying the Bible and memorizing Scripture just to gain knowledge or to help you appear “smart,” will not satisfy your soul or give you LIFE or set you free. Only a relationship with the One who wrote and breathes life into those words can.
That’s why I am creating a Scripture Coloring Book/Journal, titled, “Delight in The Word of God – a Coloring Book/Journal for Adults.” The emphasis will be not just learning Scripture or hiding God’s Word in your heart, but on actually delighting in The Word of God (which is Jesus!)
Here’s a SNEAK PEEK!
UPDATE: My Coloring Book/Journal is now available in both a printable version and a paperback version! Click HERE for ordering info.
—>>> For more in-depth teaching on some different Bible study methods, I recommend Arabah Joy’s Bible Study Methods, 7 Ways in 7 Days.
Bible study doesn’t have to take an hour of uninterrupted time. (Arabah Joy will show you several methods you can do in just ten minutes and you can even do these with your kids too!) And anyone can do it! If you’re a Christian, you have the same indwelling Spirit as any Bible teacher. You have access to the same Scriptures. You have everything you need to study and understand the Word of God! All it takes is a little know how and some practice.
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