Studying Scripture–what a bore, right?

I don’t know about you, but more than thinking studying the Word of God is boring, I have thought it was impossible. I mean, reading I can do…sometimes. But, getting deep into the meaning of the passage and dissecting the intention behind what is written–how can I be expected to plunge into such religiously intense depths?

It’s not just because I don’t see myself as that kind of person, I also feel that I lack the knack to succeed at it. Of course, I want to know God and understand Him as well as I can, but I just don’t study and I are compatible to that end. Other things do it for me, like prayer, reading Christian living books, listening to sermons, talking to friends who are walking with God. These are all great ways of engaging truth about God, but I sense His Spirit calling me to go deeper. I just wonder, How?

Maybe you find yourself in the same place. You don’t know what to do with yourself when you’re in the place of digging deeper into the Word of God. Maybe you have been in contexts where studying Scripture was one of the assigned activities you had to engage in. Perhaps you sat there with your Bible open, willing to study, if only someone would show you just how you should do that.

Don’t be discouraged if this is you. God knows where you’re starting out when He calls you to investigate the truth of His Word. He knows your obstacles and your insecurities–and He knows just how to help you!

Now, granted, being a great Bible-studying person will not come over night. There is trial and error with this. Lots of it. But, there is the quiet moving of the Holy Spirit behind all of this too. Here is there to strengthen our desire and subsidize our ability. He is eager to lift the deep and unsearchable things of Christ off the page. The only thing He really wants to work on in you is that you would want to receive these things, that you would be willing to work persistently after having them.

He does not want you to feel that the burden is all on you to discover who He is and what He wants to say. Instead, He asks that you acknowledge that He is the only One Who is qualified to teach you all that pertains to His grace and His truth. You discipline yourself, therefore, to put yourself in a place fitting one who waits for God and is ready to receive what He gives. Why don’t you try this the next time you pick up His Word. Disregard your own ability to understand the text and welcome Him to come share the truths with you, to make them relevant to your life and applicable to your heart. Ask Him to give you a heart that receives and obeys His Word and then watch Him give you everything you need to handle His Word the way He wants you too!

A Classic Character with A Climactic Claims

There is something about classic things — they just don’t die. No matter how old they are in our time, they never cease to be alive and authoritative to us. Their value is in their ability to portrey a moving portrait of the longings and behaviors of mankind. They affect how we see ourselves and what we believe to be true of the world around us — whether it is a novel, poetry, history, law or a futurist outline.

Perhaps a little surprising is that the Word of God is all these things. And yet it has a greater claim on our lives than any other classic held up against it. It has been written for one purpose and that is to reveal the Word (Christ) that came into the world to save men from the deceit of their character.

I don’t know about you, but I have a problem with what the Bible says. I can sit there with you and profess that it is a beautiful book that certainly has a perfect right to its particular status, but beneath what I say there is more that I don’t say.

I like the Bible, but I don’t want it to be right so long as it is discussing me. (I will admit that is highly convenient when I find a place where it slams an individual that I deem is worthy of it, but when I am its subject that is not the kind of treatment I want to get.)

I crave honor and exaltation and I believe that the Bible, of all things, ought to give it to me. You can tell me that I am a sinner and that I need saving — yes, even forgiveness — but don’t force me to accept all the features of this reality that I was once too dishonest to see.

I don’t care for the fact that every discussion of sin and wrong-doing that I find in Scripture is in some way a disortation on me and why I need Christ’s righteousness to stand in for my lack thereof. And the more I grow in god-like-ness — the more I reflect the beauty of God’s original design for me — the less I have a legitimate case for boasting in what I have done to make myself good.

Yet, all these problems show one glaring misconception of the text’s overall theme: Those beautiful words that begin Genesis and carry through the entire story of mankind and beyond, “In the beginning God…” In reading this I must ask myself, Where was I? Clearly this story contains me — missing nothing of who I am or what I was meant to be — but does not rely on me or revolve around me.

This is a problem if I live as though those things are the case: I risk never knowing who I truly am because I have missed the point of the tale into which I was so lately born. I must ask another question of myself at this point: “Do I truly love the Word (book) or its object the Word (the Person of Christ) if I live vigorously opposed to everything He speaks, everything He stands for, all that He is?”