Although Christians may read their Bible, I don’t think very many study it. It may sit from a Sunday to Sunday on a bookshelf or it may be opened every day with a little devotional from The Daily Bread. Some of us may use it to proof-texts some sermons and others may not even know where our Bibles are. But as Christians we’re still constantly told to study it—why?
They keep harping on it whenever a sermon in regards to Christian Living gets really heated up. We uncomfortably sit in our seats hoping the preacher doesn’t see us trying to hide the embarrassment. Please don’t let them find out about my firm belief in Bible Osmosis—the idea of placing your Bible on your night-table in the hopes of getting some Scriptural gleanings!
Thing is the teachers, elders, preachers know why it is we don’t study our Bibles. They are people who often have jobs and families and chores and wives and guests and cooking and a million and one things that come up on any given day. They know about the boss demanding we work late or the bus not coming on time and the days when we’re so downright tired that we get home and pass out on the sofa. They know because They, just like us, have been there.
In all honesty the reasons we DON’T study shouldn’t even be touched on because if there’s two billion methods found that distract there will be another thing added in a few seconds. The thing is we have to look at the importance of studying. Why do it at all? Why not leave it to the teachers and preachers and elders? Why not just go to church sit and learn from someone better?
Because it is a letter from God (Heb 1:1). We call ourselves Christians and God-lovers and yet we refuse to study what God has said? It doesn’t make sense. I mean, before dating my wife we would write each other letters. I wouldn’t just read those pages—I would study them: poring over every turn of the phrase hoping (praying!) that she felt the same about me as I did about her. Oh the thrill of it!
And yet, when it comes to the Bible we feel content to read and forget. Doesn’t vibe, does it? Especially when we know that God also gave His Word so as to affect our lives. Here it is, able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart (Heb 4:12) and we, professing to walk in the Light don’t want to get exposed to the light to purge any semblance of darkness (1 John 2)!
And since the Word of God is able to expose our hearts and weakness it is able to expose the methods of attack. It’s no wonder that Paul lists it as an invaluable part of the armor of God (Eph 6:15) which we’re supposed to take with us! These attacks can come in countless forms and times and thus Peter admonishes us to always be prepared to give a defense to whoever asks for an account in all gentleness and reverence (1 Pet 3:15).
The fact is that none of us can do our day-to-day living work without a steady exposure of understanding God’s Word. The questions will come from outside and inside the church so we must always be prepared. The day will come when people won’t want to hear sound doctrine (2 Tim 4:3) and the preaching of the Word works against that. Paul would tell us to preach the Word in correction, in rebuking, in exhortation and with great patience and instruction: we NEED to know God’s Word to work correctly!
Definitely not lastly, Paul tells Timothy to be diligent in presenting himself approved to God—not to men. It’s not about how smart we are before other men it’s about the work being done before God. We’re already approved before Him, like the Thessalonians (1 Thes 2:4) but that doesn’t mean we forego the accurate handling of the word of truth.
So we can’t just sit in the pew and listen; we have to be actively pursuing a deeper understanding of God that exposes our hearts and actions (and those of others) in such a way that we wind up becoming useful instruments in the hands of God—not of our own steam, but by His power, God be praised.
So let’s understand that the excuses, which everyone can have, derails studying and the reasons to study are so overwhelmingly important that we should just go and do it.