Ok, so today I'm studying my youth lesson for Sunday. (Well refreshing what I worked on earlier this week.) You know... I have never really liked to study the Bible. I know the "gist" of so much of what's in it, but have never found a passion or fire for it until recently.
The Bible is more than just a relic, and old book of stories, its message, written by men under the inspiration of God, is alive and RELEVANT TODAY. That word keeps popping up in so much I study these days. RELEVANT!
Today we have everything at our fingers to read, the internet has given us just about everything we could (or don't) want. But did you know that still the Bible is the best selling book? Wow... Can you imagine what our world would be like if all those people buying it, LIVED it!
The Bible is the "breath of God". Inspired in the original language of the NT refers to the idea of "taking in breath" and the Bible calls itself "God Breathed". The inspiration of Scripture carries with it the authority of the word of God Himself. The important idea is known as "revelation". We need help knowing what is true and what is not, and God reveals this truth to us in the Bible. The Bible is also "infallible" .
These very attributes make this book sacred. It's depths can be explored for a lifetime. The trouble is that we are often content to either stay in the "shallow" depth of learning or to just treat study of the Bible as "academic".
Even Jesus knew the Word of God. In Matthew 4:1-11 we can read His discussion with the devil as He is being tempted. Jesus couldn't carry the scrolls in the desert with Him, He had to have it memorized. It was part of Him!
But through this struggle, we can see some important truths about the Bible.
1. Jesus focused on following God's direction for His life and lived out the truth of Scripture.
Jesus said His power for living came from "seeing what the Father is doing" and then doing it Himself. We also know he had to have some time to Himself to stay focused on God and His mission. He had to have some time away from the crowds that followed Him. If Jesus needed time, how much more do we? Jesus also focused by fasting. He abstained from food in order to empty Himself and focus completely on hearing from God. Maybe we need a fast from more than just food.....
2. Jesus understood the importance of the Bible, and He had prepared Himself for the sert challenge before it even arrived.
The Holy Scriptures were with Jesus before He ever went into the desert. He knew His Father's words. They were in His head and heart, from a lifetime of study. The Bible says that Jesus grew in wisdom and stature. Studying God's word was important for His development. We need to get the Bible into us NOW. Especially children and teens, it can change Your life. Psalm 119:9 says, "How can a young mand keep his way pure?", "By keeping Your word." Let's not overlook the fact that Jesus did not use His words to overcome Satan, He used the words of Scripture. The Bible carries authority!
3. Jesus knew that the enemies of God know the Bible and distort it for their own ends.
Satan tried to use scripture against Jesus, don't you think he might try and use it against us today? We however, just like Jesus, can see through the enemies schemes by "powerfully" reciting Scripture and clinging to it's truth!
On that note, how can we know that someone is using the Bible accurately? Here are three keys to help you. (a) Develop a working knowledge of what the Bbile says. (b) Discover whether the Scripture is being used consistently witht he meaning it had in its original and total context. (c) Make a habit of asking "Is Scripture being used to lift up God and point people toward Him, or is it being used selfishly to control or even avoid God?"
So what can we do: Train ourselves to make Bible study a habit. What do you/I need to change to make stying the Bible a priority? Commit to studying the Bible with other Christ-followers. What stesp can you /I take to build or find a Bible study group? Memorize portions fo the Bible to get God's truth into your life. Can you recite a favorite passage? Memorize those you read that touch your heart.
I know finding time in my world is so hard. I'm not a morning person, which if you are reading my blog you will know. My time in study, and deep prayer is always late night, when my many children are tucked in bed asleep. That is when I can focus on Him. I'm so thankful for the drawing that God is giving me, to know Him more, and to know Him and His Son through the Word.