I had lunch the other day with an old preacher. We get together on occasions and it is always a delightful experience for me. My friend has been a preacher for well over fifty years and he is still preaching! He is no longer in what we sometimes call “local work,” but he still preaches. Whenever we meet we always talk about our health, our families, our common friends, and the work of the preacher. I love our time together. He makes me glad I am a preacher and I hope I can grow old(er) like him.
During our conversation today he told me that he had been reading more lately. He said that along with his normal Bible reading he has been listening to “audio books” through i-Tunes.
He said that during his Bible reading he was finding more sermons than he had found in a long time. He gave me a great idea for a sermon from his reading of Exodus. He also mentioned to me that as he thought back through the years that when he was reading the Bible more, everything in his life seemed to go better.
That last statement was very enlightening to me. It is a thought that could really only come from someone who had experienced much of life. So studying the Word of God helps us make sense out of life.
As I was thinking about this post I received an article about Bible study from my good friend, Kevin Langford. “A Father’s Love Letter” is an outstanding article. I would encourage you to read Kevin’s thoughts: http://myglimpsesofglory.com/2012/03/15/a-fathers-love-letter/.
WE LEARN ABOUT THE WORK OF GOD. Often Jesus made it clear that He came to earth to do His Father’s will. In fact one the first recorded statement from Jesus was when his earthly parents thought they had lost Him. They found Him in the temple and questioned Him. He responded by saying, “Did you not know that I must be about My Father's business?" (Luke 2:49)
This statement became the theme of our Savior’s life. “...I do not seek my own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.” (John 5:30) “For I have come down from heaven not to my own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.” (John 6:38) Besides this Jesus connected what He did with the word of God. “...I do nothing on my own initiative, but I speak these things as the Father taught Me.” (John 8:28) “We must work the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day; night is coming when no one can work.” (John 9:4)
On one occasion He made the astounding statement, “...I always do the things that are pleasing to Him.” (John 8:29) Our Savior then tells us what they work was all about. “For the Son of man has come to seek and save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:10) Clearly Jesus understood the work of God because He had received the Word of God.
The work of God has never changed. Our task on this earth involves participating in the work of God. The work of God is to do everything possible to bring men to salvation. (Matthew 28:18-20; Romans 1:16; 2 Peter 3:9)
WE RECEIVE A WEALTH OF KNOWLEDGE ABOUT LIFE. Peter reminds us that God has given us everything that we need “pertaining to life and godliness.” (2 Peter 1:3) The same Apostle tells us that if we are going to grow in this life we are to be like babies and we are to “...long for the pure milk of the Word.” (1 Peter 2:2) Further he tells us that we should, “Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 3:18)
Life is full of questions and uncertainties. For us to navigate this life we need the very best roadmap possible. Thank God He has given us His marvelous Word to guide us. David understood this so well when he wrote, “Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” (Psalm 119:105)
As we read the Words of Jesus and the words about Him we learn the true meaning of life. We receive direction for life. “I am the Way, and the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father but through Me.” (John 14:6)
WE LEARN SOMETHING ABOUT THE WAYS OF GOD. While we cannot fully understand the ways of God (Isaiah 55:8-9), through His Word God has revealed what we need to know about His ways.
Through the revealed Word we learn about the grace of God (John 1:14), we learn about the righteousness of God (Romans 1:17), we learn about the wrath of God (Romans 1:18; Ephesians 5:6), we learn about the mercy of God (Ephesians 2:4; 1 Peter 2:10, and most importantly we learn about the love of God (John 3:16; Romans 5:8).
For these reasons and many others we should never quit studying our Bibles. We live such busy lives in this fast-paced temporary home of ours. There seems to always be more to do than we have time with which to do it. If our life is going to remain somewhat sane, we need to read our Bibles.
Most of us are familiar with the famous quote that has been attributed to Charles Spurgeon and Vance Havner, “A Bible that’s falling apart is usually owned by someone who isn’t!” Regardless of who said it, in our hurried lives we need to remember it.
I am thankful for my old friend for the example he is to me. I am also thankful for the wonderful reminder he gave me about the importance of studying. By the way, what do you learn from reading the Bible?
Dear Father, please help us to make time in our busy lives to study Your Word. Father, we want to know Your Will for our lives and we want to know everything we can about Your ways. Help us, dear God to understand that You have given us a wealth of valuable knowledge about this life in Your Word. Thank You for loving us so much that You have revealed Yourself to us through Your Word. Father, we want to know You better. Please forgive us for failing to know Your Word and help us to do better. In Jesus Name, Amen.