Studying Scripture

A question to ourselves, how often do we actually take time out to study Scripture? If we’re being honest to ourselves it’s probably less than we should be. For me personally I’m a ‘night owl’ and like most people my ‘to do’ list at night can be lengthy, it’s got to a point that I’ve started to put it in my calendar times during the week where I plan to sit down in a quiet area of the house and study Scripture.

For some people they will need to discover / decide what Scripture means to them, for instance is it just a book of good ideas, book of laws or is it God’s Word? For me personally I believe that the Bible is ‘inerrant’ and that it is God’s word. I’ll give you a few reasons why I believe this: –

  1. In the Old Testament it says 3800 times the word is ‘God breathed’.
  2. If we discount the Creation story at what point do we start believing the Bible is true? Before or after the flood, or after Jesus fed the 5000+ people with five loaves and two fish?
  3. Jesus and the Apostles quoted the Old Testament on a number of occasions, so how can we discount the Old Testament?
  4. In the Old Testament there are numerous prophecies of Jesus’ birth, death and resurrection.

In Joshua 1:8 the Lord says “This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth; you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to act in accordance with all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall be successful.” [NRSV] We are being told that we should be constantly meditating on His Word, and the only way we can do this is by reading Scripture on a daily basis. It’s when I meditate (ponder) on the verses I’ve read that questions will come to mind, which means I will go to my commentaries, general theology books to try and find an answer to my question.

Romans 15:4 “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, so that by steadfastness and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope.” [NRSV] In the second part of this verse Paul is telling us it is through Scripture that we gain hope, when we are going through life’s curveballs knowing Scripture within our heart will not only remind us of God’s love and mercy for us but will help us to stay strong in Him and provide us with encouragement.

We need to remember a number of the ‘books’ in the New Testament were letters, with chapters 5 & 6 in Deuteronomy being one sermon by Moses. When we receive a lengthy letter or email we don’t just read the first few lines and think I’ll read some more another day, we will read it all at once and in some cases re-read it. So why don’t we treat Scripture the same?

This coming week try and make a ‘Scripture night’ similar to a date night only your ‘date’ is going to be your Bible (and God).

All Bible verse quotes and links were taken from http://www.biblegateway.com

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