Last week we started our series on service with the idea that before we can effectively serve others we ourselves need to be sure that we have clean hearts before the Lord. We were reminded that God has given us some tools to use to stay close to Him so that we can be what we ought to be. The very first tool we reviewed was prayer and we know that it is the main way we have to communicate with Him. Tonight we are going to look at another tool that is somewhat different but carries the same weight of importance. So let’s jump in with both feet and wade through a discussion of the “Study” of God’s word.
Most of the time I begin a discussion by asking a question and tonight is no different. The question is this; “Why is the continual study of God’s word so important in our walk with Him?” When we answer that question for ourselves we will truly understand why it is such a necessity. And the only real way to arrive at the answer is to begin the journey. We must begin to develop the routine or habit of study of His word on a regular basis. As we do so what we discover is that it is His way of responding back to us. Prayer normally involves us talking to Him. After giving Him thanks for a variety of things the rest of the time is spent petitioning Him. And we don’t usually wait for an answer. Here’s where Bible study comes in. This is where we begin to realize that He speaks to us through His word. As we study, the Holy Spirit begins to reveal to us what God’s wants us to know. This is Him communicating directly with us. This is where we get many answers to our prayers. He talks to us!!
Of course, I am talking about a personal time of study. It is a time that, like prayer, we are one on one with the God of the universe. Our relationship with Him deepens and our understanding increase. This is the continual study I refer to. However, there are additional avenues that we have to enhance the study of His word. It certainly can be done in the setting of listening to someone else who has studied and then prepared a lesson or sermon to share with us. However, the result is not quite the same as personal study because we have not been with God ourselves. Another way is in a group study session in which it is much like an open forum where each one can share with the others what a particular passage of scripture means to them. This is much like what we refer to as a Sunday School class when it is done properly. The leader of the group is more of a facilitator than a teacher. Again, this is where the phrase “iron sharpens iron” becomes a reality. I’m sure there are many other ways that Bible study can take place and bring about positive results. However, I want to emphasize that nothing can take the place of our personal Bible study where we can read God’s word and then meditate on what we’ve read and then let God speak to us in a very personal way.
I sincerely hope that each one of us are on that journey of continual personal study of His word. I’m convinced the more we study and read His word the greater the hunger is for more of what He has to say to us. I hope you have that I hunger and I pray that God gives me a greater hunger for Him. To God be the glory!
May God bless each of you in a special way this coming week.