Why Study the Bible when you can just read it?
I could give you 1,439 reasons why I think it is important to STUDY and not just read the Word of God, but I won’t use this post to do that. I’m actually just going to give you one reason why and it’s kind of a good one.
We should study the Bible because …
… Jesus explicitly instructs us to do it.
Jesus actually states that THIS is the single most important Commandment.
Here, I’ll show you:
In Matthew 22, the Pharisees have gathered to interrogate Jesus and a lawyer speaks up, we’ll pick up in verse 35...
“ One of them, a lawyer, asked Him, testing Him, ‘Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?’ And He said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ “
Three separate ways that we are called to love God, woven together in an inseparable manner in this one command.
Let’s do a little word study together. (Oooh. How exciting! Our first word study together! eek!)
Let’s remind ourselves of what Jesus said in Matthew 22:37, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” The examples discussed below are not all inclusive, this is just to name a few examples of how we are called to love God.
Loving God with all your heart is a minute by minute choice to turn your desires towards Him and His way. As you love God with all your heart, you become passionate for what He is passionate for. Your affections are turned towards Him and in all your endeavors, you pursue Him and the glorification of His kingdom.
Loving God with all your soul is the decision that you make to surrender your life to Him and His way.
Loving God with all your mind is to pursue growing in your understanding of Him. This is where the call to STUDY comes in because to know God’s Word is to know Him. When you read the Bible, you are only able to comprehend it on the surface level. When you take the time to study the Bible, you peel back layers of cultural gaps, language barriers, and find that there is so much more to be gained from God’s Word.
“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.” John 14:26
With the Holy Spirit living in you as your guide when you study God’s Word, there is no limit to the ways that you will encounter God.
You will come to know God’s character on a deep personal level and that will strengthen your ability to trust in Him. You will see that while the characters of the Old Testament lived in a time and culture that is far different from yours, the heart problems are the same and you will relate to them more often than you ever thought possible. When you keep a record of the promises that God made throughout scripture and kept, you will come to know that He is faithful. This is what it means to “taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:8)!
One of my favorite bible teachers, Jen Wilkin has said, ”We study God’s Word because your heart can not love that which your mind does not know.” The first time that I ever read that quote, I was convicted and I repented for not being faithful to know God with all of my mind. Then I was changed. I began to pray for God to turn my desires towards Him and knowing Him deeper through the study of His Word. He has been so faithful to answer that prayer for me and I know He will for you as well.
This is the fourth blog of a mini-series covering foundational truths that we must understand in order to rightly steward the Word of God. You can find the other blogs in the mini-series here:
1.The Bible isn't About You. Wait...What?
2. What is the Bible? According to the Bible.
3. What is the Bible? - Part two