Reading the Word

A few years back I was invited by a friend to join a Bible study. This group offered childcare for my littles and the fellowship with other women that I, as a stay at home mom, craved. It also included, as the title would suggest, studying the Bible. While I looked forward to weekly time in the word and the accountability of a group, I was overwhelmed at the homework involved in the study. I went to class many times unable to participate in discussion because I hadn’t been done the work for that week’s lesson. Bible study began to feel like drudgery. It was difficult to fit it into my daily and weekly routine.  

Over the years I’ve read my Bible at various levels, from taking Old Testament and Greek courses in college, or to the point and pick method where you treat your Bible like a magic 8-ball and open it randomly hoping the answer to your life’s question will pop out. The Bible at times has been a textbook for me and other times a mysterious oracle. I think many of us struggle with exactly how to approach this book. Sometimes it feels too overwhelming to understand and other times too simple to be the Holy word of God. 

I remember listening to a sermon by Pastor Matt Chandler years ago, and he was talking about what it takes to fall in love with someone. The analogy was that he could tell you all about his wife, and about his deep love and affection for her, but that wouldn’t make YOU fall in love with her. By that same account, he could tell you about God, and about his own relationship and love for Jesus, but that wouldn’t make you fall in love with Jesus. For you to grow in your relationship, you need to do the work of getting to know God yourself. The best way to do that? Through looking at His Word. 

There is no substitute that will replace personal time reading the Bible. Daily devotions will give you a cursory glance at basic Biblical principles. Sermons will help you understand God’s word with a depth and application of a learned teacher. Personal Bible study, and time spent in God’s word, will help it to dwell in your heart and mind in a way that not only transforms you, but brings you to a closer understanding of the love that God has for you, and allow you to love him in return.

We tackle so many things with love and devotion. What if we tackled Bible study with the same fervor and commitment? What would it look like for “the word of Christ to dwell in you richly” (Colossians 3:16)? How might your life be transformed if you were “thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Tim 3:16-17) through your study of scripture? God’s word is not hidden from us. It is made readily available in multiple platforms (audio, digital, book) and translations. Someone said recently that we make time for the things that are important to us. Will you make time to get to know God?