The Bible.Isn't it amazing how just the title of it brings a response in your own mind and emotions?Peace. Guilt. Anger. Frustration. Joy. Comfort.You might have felt a few of those all in one big wave. A few weeks back we did a small group study on reading the Bible and I weanted to share the notes with everyone out there that might be struggling through the same stuff.The truth is that sometimes we as Christians don't own a Bible, don't like reading it or just are struggling to find time to read or relate to it.Here are just a few of my simple tips that my help jumpstart a rather lackluster part of your spiritual journey.Quit Faking It
Quit Reading it Alone
- We act like are master theologians on scriptures we have never read and we've certainly never cross referenced anything.
- We quote scriptures that we are simply regurgitating from our favorite message like 2 years ago.
- We make excuses for why we don’t make it a priority in our life.
- —> Start reading the scriptures in humility and honest desire.
Quit Being Afraid
- Holy Spirit
- If prayer is not a vital part of your study life. Your study life probably sucks.
- I encourage everyone to Pray before, Pray during, Pray After. Prayer should become like breathing. You shouldn't start and stop it. An awesome prayer to pray before beginning to read is located in Ephesians 1.17-23. Paul is praying this for the church at Ephesus.
- The Holy Spirit leads us into all truth about about Jesus. Jesus is speaking in John 16.12-13 and says...“I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. 13 But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.
- Brothers & Sisters in Christ:—> Start asking questions to yourself, to God and to those mature in the faith.
- Ask questions to those who lead you in the Lord and those that have a stable base to bring wisdom from.
- There is wisdom in counsel. Why struggle all by your lonesome with something you are struggling to comprehend or work through when God has put the body here for this very reason; so you wouldn't be alone.
Finally, I found an awresome resources from John Piper on understanding that the scriptures demand a response.Reading & Study Seeks a Response (Communication is Two Ways)
- Afraid of our own Ignorance: We don't open the Bible ebcause we don't know enough about it. That's like a student saying, "I'm new to this subject, therefore I'm not gonna open the book." Hmmm...Yeah, that doesn't make sense.
- Afraid of correction: Sometimes we don't open the Bible because it convicts us and we know that there are areas of our lives that are not submitted to Christ.
- Afraid of God (based on bad understanding of God’s character): Some of us just have a flat out bad understanding of the compassionate and benevolent God we serve. It is His kindness that leads us to repentance. Don't be afraid to come to the Father.
- --->Start letting the perfect love of God cast out every fear so that you may approach the Scriptures with a proper view of who God is.
- If God indicts us (2 Cor. 7:8–10), we respond to him with sorrow and repentance.
- If he commends us (Ps. 18:19–20), we respond to him with humble gratitude and joy.
- If he commands us to do something (Matt. 28:19–20), we look to him for strength and resolve to obey with his help.
- If he makes a promise (Heb. 13:5–6), we marvel at his grace and trust him to do what he says.
- If he warns us of some danger (Luke 21:34), we take him seriously and watch with a thankful sense of his presence and protection.
- If he describes something about himself (Isa. 46:9–11), his Son (Mark 1:11), or his Holy Spirit (John 16:13–14), we affirm it and admire it and pray for clearer eyes to see and enjoy his greatness and beauty.
I pray these resources help you in your journey to study the beauty of the Word of God.