I’m not perfect. Nowhere near perfect even. I’m willing to bet you’re not either. As followers of Christ, we are called to take up our crosses daily and persevere. (paraphrased from Luke 9:23 and Philippians 3:12) So who makes the standard? Christ of course. How do we find that standard? By making Bible study a daily part of our lives. The first step to that would be reading it.
I am rather ashamed to say that, though I turned my life to God about 8 years ago, actual Bible study has been a much more recent development. I listened to a lot of sermons and would read certain excerpts that I felt were relevant, but sitting down to read the Bible was not happening. Then I got into a Facebook debate and was confronted with how little I knew. An atheist was able to quote more of the Bible than I was. For every verse he threw out there I had to go to Google and look it up before I could refute what he was saying.
*A lot of people like to give you one verse out of an entire chapter. That may take it out of context. That’s why all my links lead to the chapter instead of just to the verse I am referencing. Read your Bible. Know what it says. You think God would have gone to the trouble of having it compiled if He didn’t mean for you to read it? Of course not. So read it.
Reason for Bible Study.
So, after you get done reading the Bible (Yes really, from front to back) you now know a lot more. Did you catch the dragons and dinosaurs in Job? Or the directives like James 1:22 or Romans 12:2. Anyone else kinda wince when they read that?
Luke 10:27 says to “love the Lord with…(some other stuff in here too. Read it) all your mind”. I love my husband and children. I know everything about them. Inside and outside, good and bad. How did I come by this knowledge? By studying them. Something I don’t care about is easily and often ignored. See the parallel there?
Take stock of yourself with no excuses. Last year I almost kicked a man in the face over a parking space. I had a lot of stress in life and my default reaction to stress is anger. During that time period, I would start my day furious. The guy was not parked in a parking space and had me blocked in. He was just sitting in his car scratching off lottery tickets and I asked him to move. He was a jerk and made a derogatory comment. I made one back. He got out of his vehicle, got in my face and thought he was going to intimidate me. It didn’t work out the way he thought it would. See? I can make all the excuses in the world for what I did. Legally, had he pressed charges, I could have made a case for self-defense. That doesn’t change the fact that I was wrong. I was mad when I got to the store. He was just an excuse to vent my anger. So no excuses.
Make a list of your faults. I got a planner and assigned each fault a day. Go to Google and ask “What the Bible says about (fill in the blank)”. Read through and write down the verses in your planner. Then go to your Bible and highlight each verse. There are almost 40 verses about anger alone. Because I had read the entire book I also knew there were many stories in the Bible about anger and the consequences. Now, every time I open my Bible I am reminded of why I don’t want to be angry anymore.
Bible Study to change me.
Now we know why we shouldn’t do the things we do. We know how and why they are wrong. So what about what God does want us to be? Make a list of virtues you want to incorporate into your life. Self-control is one of mine. I can be angry but how do I control it? How do I not sin in my anger? Do the same thing. Assign each one a day of the week and Google it. Read, write, study, and highlight them.
The first step to any study is going to be to read the Book. Take joy in reading your Bible and use it. Apply it to your life.
Comment below some of your favorite Bible Studies. How do you apply it in your life? Follow my Faith board on Pinterest for other posts from around the web.