You’ve often heard me stress the importance of studying, meditating on, memorizing, and obeying the Word of God. It cannot be overstated, and is even more critical as the return of Christ draws near.
Periodically I’m asked how to study. Guidance on where to start, how to cross reference verses, and find the root meaning of a word is important. Every church should have a class offered to its congregation on a regular basis. It is especially important to those new in the faith.
My first church family was small in number, and although I don’t remember the specifics, I’m sure they were instrumental in providing the direction I needed. I had a strong passion for the Word as a new Believer. A passion not of my own doing, but an extension of being born again and becoming a new creation in Christ.
My first was a Thompson Chain Reference Bible with thousands of cross references and “helps.” I also had a Strongs Exhaustive Concordance, Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, and both a Baptist and Pentecostal commentary. (I felt it was wise to hear from both sides) Over the years I added many more resources to my library. Now, much of what I reference is digital and can be accessed on my iPhone, iPad, and MacBook. Although it’s much quicker and comprehensive, there’s something to be said about slowing down the process. In some ways I’m just old school and like the feel of books and the sound of pages turning.
Classes will cover the fundamentals of biblical study and may explain like the difference between expository and topical methods (you need both), but much of the direction provided is more technical than personal.
The Bible is not to be read like the owners manual of a new kitchen appliance. We do not read it merely to gain head knowledge or to “check it off” of out To Do list.
It is more than just words on a page. It is living, powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword. It is the very word of the living God speaking to you!
He will take the written word (logos) and speak (rhema) that word to you. It’s the verses you see highlighted in your Bible, not just because you were asked to do so by the speaker, but because it spoke to you at some point.
It has often been said God doesn’t waste any words. If He included it, there was a reason. What the Holy Spirit may be wanting to speak to you could be hidden in plain sight. Slow down when you read. If you don’t understand a passage, pause and pursue clarity. When you aren’t sure of the why, pause and pursue clarity.
Being curious is a big part of the learning process and will help you be deeply rooted and grounded, and you will create a stronger foundation on which to build. There is much God wants to reveal to you, and how you approach your time with Him will determine the depth of your understanding.