Appreciate the Importance of Study
I have been a believer in Christ since 1976 and a Minister of Word and Sacrament since 1980. Over the past 30 years or so, I have lived and ministered in different countries and cultures. Christians cross-culturally share many things in common, one of which is the struggle to adhere to regular Bible study.
In this post, I share a study I wrote many years ago for a small group that met each week. These folk were hungry to learn more of the Bible; however, those attending this Bible study comprised 1% of the congregation.
As I talk to my Minister/Clery colleagues, this is a common problem. So the question remains and can not be answered quickly: How do we motivate people to engage in serious, regular Bible study?
I hope this short article may hold a few answers for you.
People must be motivated before they will study a subject. Christians have all the reasons they could possibly need to study the Bible. Consider a few. As you do, note the emphasis on regular, frequent study.
#1: Study so you can obey God and grow in His service.Joshua 1:8 – Success in pleasing God requires obedience. To obey, we must meditate on God’s word day and night. Frequent, regular study is required.
1 Peter 2:2 – Can a baby grow without nourishment? No, and neither can Christians grow without Bible study. Do we long for the word like a baby longs for milk if we neglect to attend assemblies or study at home?(See also 2 Tim. 2:15; Rom. 10:17; Matt. 4:4; John 6:44,45; 2 Peter 1:12-15.)
#2: Study so you can avoid error and false teaching.Hosea 4:6 – God’s people were destroyed for lack of knowledge. Many Christians and congregations have been led astray by error and false teaching. To avoid this we must put teachers to the test (1 John 4:1,6). How do we do this unless we know God’s word (Gal. 1:8,9)?
Acts 17:11 – The Bereans distinguished truth from error because they studied the word. To imitate their example, we must study “daily.”(See also Matt. 22:29; 15:14; Prov. 2:1-20; Rom. 10:1-3.)
#3: Study so you can teach others.Deuteronomy 6:6-9 – Parents should teach their children diligently through the day. This requires us to first have God’s word in our own hearts. How can we teach what we do not know?
Hebrews 5:12 – The time comes when we ought to be teachers, but these had not studied so they needed others to teach them! There is no excuse for Christians who do not study. Teachers know they need to study. If you are not a teacher, you must study to prepare yourself to become a teacher!(See also 2 Tim. 2:2; 1 Tim. 1:7; 1 Peter 3:15; Col. 3:16; Rom. 15:14.) #4: Study to express love for God and His word. Psalm 1:2; 119:47,48,97-99 – One who delights in God’s word will meditate on it day and night. The time we spend thinking about God’s word indicates how much we love Him. Those who truly love Him will not complain about “having to go” to worship services or prepare for Bible classes. (See Psalm 19:7-11.)
John 14:15 – If we love God, we keep His commands (cf. 1 John 5:3). But obedience requires knowledge. So one who loves God must study His word.Look at it this way, suppose a young lady is separated from her boyfriend. He writes every day, so she prominently displays his letters on the coffee table. But they sit there for days before she opens and reads them. Does she really love him? No, we want to hear from those we love. The Bible is your only way to hear from God. How much do you love Him? If we studied all subjects as negligently as some people study the Bible, we would surely be ignorant people. On the other hand, if we would study the Bible as diligently as some people study sports, hobbies, etc., we would all be excellent Bible students. How much more important is it to understand the Bible than to understand secular subjects?
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
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Paula Rose Parish💕