1 Peter 2:2-3
“Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation— if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.”
There’s a great song by Brandon Heath that goes,
“Give me your eyes for just one second Give me your eyes so I can see Everything that I keep missing Give me your love for humanity Give me your arms for the broken hearted Ones that are far beyond my reach. Give me your heart for the ones forgotten Give me your eyes so I can see.”
Passion makes all the difference when it comes to living love rather than just talking about it. That passion only comes from one place. If we truly long to see the lost come to Christ and see our fellow heirs live love, we have to ask for Jesus eyes.
How does one get Jesus eyes? while there are no Christ Goggles in existence, (although Benny Hinn is working on some….3 easy payments of 77.70)
we can correct our worldly vision; our inward eyesight.
We have the mind of Christ:
1 Corinthians 2:15-16
“The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. ‘For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?’ But we have the mind of Christ.”
I have found that the more I study His word, the more my hunger for Scripture grows and the deeper my passion becomes to see the lost come to know Him personally.
It’s unfortunate that we can ignore spiritual hunger pangs with much more ease than we can physical ones. Were our souls to growl in hunger, at the lack of daily biblical nutrition we give ourselves, I am sure we would have many more biblically learned student and adult Christians today, rather than spiritually anemic. The truth is many Christians are starving. If our daily caloric intake were equal to that of our biblical feasting, I fear many of us would be dead (or are.)
Hopefully, you will be encouraged to crack open your bible today, dust it off if need be, and these three simple guidelines will help you to make the most of your study time.
1. Read the Bible
This seems obvious, but it’s where many people fail. Many believers are content with a second-hand knowledge of Scripture. They read books about the Bible instead of studying the Bible for themselves. Books are good, but extrabiblical reading can never replace the Bible itself.
Reading plans can be useful…”through the bible in a year,” “how to study your bible,” and so on. I recently heard of a method a Pastor uses and I spoke with my wife yesterday about both of us implementing this form of study in our own daily study:
Read one book of the new testament at a time, repetitiously for a month or more.
The hope is that we will be able to retain more of what is in the New Testament and not always have to depend on a concordance to find things.
I suggested we begin with a short book however, such as 1 John, and read it through, in one sitting, every day for 30 days. At the end of that time, I am confident, we will know what’s in that book.
Also, we will write out the major theme of each chapter. By referring to our notes as we do our daily reading, we’ll begin to remember the content of each chapter. In fact, I hope, we’ll develop a visual perception of the book in our minds.
2. Interpret the Bible
One simple question: “What does this mean?” Not, “what does this verse mean TO ME,” but what is the text literally saying and who is it directed toward.
It’s not enough to read the text and jump directly to the application; we must first determine what it means, otherwise the application may be incorrect.
There are however, 4 challenges we must overcome when interpreting:
The Bible was originally written in Aramaic, Greek, and, Hebrew. Understanding the meaning of a word or phrase in the original language can quite often be the key to correctly interpreting a passage of Scripture. There are great books out there that will help you close the language gap by men like, W. E. Vine, Merrill F. Unger and William White, Jr., but any trusty bible dictionary works great.
The one can be difficult. Some people try to use cultural differences to explain away the more difficult or less than desirable biblical commands. We must not fall into that trap, but realize that we have to first view Scripture in the context of the culture in which it was written. Without an understanding of first-century Jewish culture, it is difficult to understand the gospels. Acts and the epistles must be read in light of the Greek and Roman cultures.
I would love to travel to Rome and be able to stand in places Paul stood. Biblical geography makes the Bible come alive. A good Bible atlas is an invaluable reference tool that can help us comprehend the geography of the Holy Land.
Unlike the Scriptures of most other world religions, the Bible contains the records of actual historical persons and events. An understanding of Bible history will help us place the people and events in it in their proper historical perspective. A good Bible dictionary or Bible encyclopedia is useful here, as are basic historical studies including but, not limited to, Alexander the Great, Herod, Xerxes, Julius Caesar, Marcus Aelius Aurelius, and other great records of rulers and their paths they carved in history.
Three principles should guide us as we interpret the Bible: literal, historical, and grammatical. Without these principles, our reading will still be good, but why settle for good when you can have great?
Bible study is not complete until we ask ourselves, “What does it mean for my life and how can I practically apply it?” We must take the knowledge we’ve gained from our reading and interpretation and draw out the practical principles that apply to our personal lives.
If there is a command to be obeyed, obey it. If there is a promise to be embraced, take it. If there is a warning to be followed, heed it.
Out of all these steps and guidelines, the ultimate step is= submit to Scripture and let it transform our lives. If we skip this step, we will never enjoy our Bible study and the Bible will never transform our lives.
Bible study is not optional in the Christian life. It is both the obligation and the privilege of all believers. If you are not involved in regular, systematic Bible study, you are missing one of the primary means God uses to bring us to maturity in faith and in life.
We know Him and His will by knowing His scriptures. If God is love, and is therefore the only way we can truly know how to love others, we must be in the word daily, for “man does not live by bread alone.” (matt. 4:4)