The Beauty of God's Word
I spent my childhood Sundays perched on a pew next to my parents. When the chaplain opened his Bible to preach, I became bored and ignored him. I often found myself opening the bible on my lap and reading. I started with Genesis because you read a book from cover to cover, right? Imagine 9-year-old me, reading about how Lot’s daughters slept with him to have babies and sitting their utterly confused and bewildered by this thing called the Word of God.
Maybe you’ve felt or feel the same way-confused and bewildered by this ancient book inspired by God. You’re not alone. It feels intimidating to read. It’s huge. It’s history and poetry and literary genres we never learn in school. It contains things that are hard to read- war, rape, questions, deep theology. What if I get it wrong? What if I don’t understand? What if I am bored? Why should I study it for myself when I have podcasts and devotionals and sermons at my fingertips?
Devotionals and podcasts and certainly sermons are useful and good. However, there is a special, indescribable beauty that comes when we study the Word of God for ourselves-when we hear the Spirit speak to us and feel God’s truth move our hearts.
I know it’s intimidating. Sometimes it is mundane. Sometimes it confounds and confuses us. But when it moves us, it is an experience like none other.
We are privileged to live in a time when the Bible has never been more available to us. Thousands of years ago, only certain people could read. Society depended solely on others to teach them God’s Word. Men like William Tyndale died because he believed all people-poor and rich, intelligent and ignorant, ordained and common should be able to study the Word of God.
Now, we live in a literate society. The Bible is translated in over 3,000 languages. We can find it for free on the internet. God has made it readily available to us.
The Bible is a beautiful binding of literature, truth, and Jesus. It is THE TRUTH. It is one of only three things that endure forever (God, the souls of people, and God’s Word) (1 Peter 1:25). It is living and active and it penetrates the soul (Hebrews 4:12). It is breathed out by God (1 Timothy 3:16)-the very word of God that points us to the living Jesus, our salvation.
"The law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul; The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.”
The Bible isn’t just a book-it is food for our soul. Just as our physical bodies cannot survive without food, our souls cannot survive without God’s Word (Matthew 4:4). Because God is good, the Bible also tastes sweet to our souls like honey (Psalm 119:103) or chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream, or whatever is your favorite dessert-the Bible is sweeter than that.
If we are not careful, studying the Word can become academic- a pursuit for knowledge for our own arrogance. We must guard against this. We must never lean on our own knowledge, but trust the Holy Spirit to guide and direct our understanding (Luke 24:45). There is no point in studying the Bible if it does not lead us to a deeper understanding of Jesus and there is no point if we gain knowledge and never use it in obedience.
I am passionate about helping people study the Word of God because of all of the above and because we’ve been given a great gift. We hold the Word of God-the very truth-in our hands. We have an opportunity to hear directly from God through his Word. Let’s not waste this opportunity!
I have fallen in love with God’s Word, but it is not always so. Sometimes it is hard to be disciplined and spend time studying the Word. Sometimes I don’t feel like it. Sometimes I am wrestling with hard questions and opening this book feels daunting. Thanks be to God that the movement of God’s word is not dependent on our feelings, but on the Spirit.
All of those feelings about the Bible are normal, but I NEVER want anyone to say they don’t study the Word of God because they don’t know how. Over the next few weeks, I am going to focus on helping you learn to study the Word-or brush up on what you already know. There are many methods and I’ve probably tried them all!
First, I will discuss legalism vs. discipline, offer you a prayer, and then teach you different methods of studying the Bible. In the end, I will offer you my own structure that is a mix of many methods and is adjustable for the individual. The purpose is to share what I’ve learned so that I can help you view the Bible as less daunting-to more readily study the Bible on your own and allow it to change your life. Let’s do this!
Learn how to meditate prayerfully on scripture and find rest for your soul. Sign Up to receive my free guide, "5 Ways to Slow Down and Experience God in the Everyday. It includes five suggestions for walking with God in the daily and grace-filled challenges to help you develop the habit. All of my free printables are included when you sign up.
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