2 Timothy 3:16-17:
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 2:15:
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.
This summer, I’m about to begin a Bible study with my daughter and a few of her friends focused on reading and studying the Bible. As I was purchasing some journals for them at the store last week, the lady checking me out said, “If you don’t mind, may I ask you why you are buying all these journals?” So I told her about the Bible study and that we would be learning to read and study the Bible more. She was very interested and said she would love to know how to do that, too.
It occurs to me that many people aren’t sure how to study their Bibles or where to begin. I’ve even participated in a variety of wonderful Bible studies and classes, through which I’ve grown, but where I’m learning what someone else has studied and learned and is now giving to me. That’s been of great value, but do I also read and study on my own?
I also want to know that my children understand the importance of “reading their Bibles” on their own as they get older, and yet have I equipped them with some practical tools for knowing how to do that? It’s easy to outsource this to church or even school and to think they may be further along in understanding than they are.
Of course, it’s true that anyone can (and hopefully will!) pick up the Bible, God’s Word, and begin reading and benefit from this. This is always to be encouraged! John, Philippians or Romans are wonderful starting points. Devotionals can also be a significant aid in helping us as we read and understand. Our focus this summer though will be on learning some practical tools or Bible study methods to help us grown in our ability to read and study God’s Word.
The goal as we read and study is not that we would simply gain more information, but that our lives would be transformed, that we would become more like Jesus. It starts, begins, and ends with prayer that the Holy Spirit would lead and guide us as we study and help us understand this treasured Word God has given to us. And our focus is on God before it is on us. We will see ourselves best when we see ourselves in light of who God is.
With these things in mind, I see today that IF:Equip is starting a new Bible study called “Rooted in the Word.” If you are wanting to learn how to study your Bible more, this might be a good place to begin. Over the next four weeks, they will explain how to study the Bible and then work through the book of Philippians, posting daily on the website so we can follow along. They also have an app you can download if that makes this study more accessible, and you can purchase their book to go along with this.
Another book that provides excellent and thorough insight into this is Living by the Book by Howard Hendricks and his son William Hendricks. Howard Hendricks was at Dallas Seminary for 60 years, and my husband and countless others were able to sit under his teaching of the very content that is in his book. It is quite thorough, yet easy to engage with and very useful.
I think of this quote by Nancy Guthrie: “Day by day, as I was in the Word, God’s Word did a work in me.” Consistent, daily study of God’s Word will over time produce an effect that we can’t begin to imagine. I can testify to that in my life. We just begin and take it day by day, step by step. Much like eating three meals a day for our physical health, we receive this spiritual food and nourishment to help us grow and develop and mature spiritually, to teach us and equip us and give us truth, wisdom, and discernment.
Would you want to join me in growing in this Word this summer? I am praying for you.