Enjoying the Journey
It is truly amazing the number of Bible study helps that are now available at our fingertips. The proliferation of tools and the accessibility of technology has changed study forever. As a person who spends a great deal of time on the road I am truly grateful for these conveniences.
However, in every age the greatest helps are simple methods that do not change. They can be utilized if the internet is down or if search engines are not available. The 2 Timothy 2:15 principle is still in effect: “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” No one can do that for you. Nothing substitutes for personal study, seeking God in His Word.
Before you run to someone’s book or a digital library remember these 3 simple helps for Bible study. They will work every day, every where, for every one…
- Pray through the passage verse by verse. This will help you to give attention to every word of the Word. Martin Luther said that to pray well is to study well. As we talk to the Author He opens the passage as no commentator can! Turn your Bible study into a conversation and the Holy Spirit will begin to “turn the light on” in your heart. I am convinced that even those who faithfully read Scripture rarely meditate on it. Combining your time in the Word and prayer will help you to get beneath the surface of the text.
- Compare Scripture with Scripture. This will help you to give attention to what else God’s Word says about what you are reading. The oft repeated maxim that “the best commentary on the Bible is the Bible” is absolutely true. All the parts make the whole of God’s revelation. Run cross references. Look up parallel accounts. Find context. No matter where you are in the Bible it is all connected. Get acquainted with each part of God’s Word – use the whole library that God has written!
- Identify the primary interpretation and the personal application. This will help you give attention to your own heart. It is easy to get lost in a list of names or overwhelmed with information. Keep it simple. When you come to any passage you should be asking: what is the main truth that God is teaching? When you leave any passage you should be asking: how does this affect my life?
None of us have arrived. All of the Lord’s students are learning constantly how little they know. We need the Holy Spirit to teach us. There may be many Bible study helps but there is one Helper. Ask Him today to guide you into all truth and believe that He will do it. Jesus promised that He would…
But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you (John 14:26).
But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceeded from the Father, he shall testify of me (John 15:26).
Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall to speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come (John 16:13).