“Study to shew thyself approved”
There is nothing I look forward to more each morning then studying the scriptures. However, it didn’t start out that way. I have to admit, at one time I rarely read or spent much time meditating on the scriptures. Shamefully, it was at that time I thought I knew the most about what the Bible had to say. Such ignorance and pride. I realize now, the more I know, the less I truly know. In fact, it wasn’t until after doing a 30-day devotional several years ago that I really acquired a great hunger and thirst for the scriptures. I’m now to the point where just reading the English is not enough, I’m now reading much of it in Hebrew. My life and relationship with God was changed forever when I finally made His word and the study of it a priority in my life.
“Mine eyes prevent the night watches, that I might meditate in thy word.” Psalm 119:148 KJV
The Psalmist here is making the point that he is awake all through the night pondering and meditating on the word of God. What a passion for the things of God! I wonder, is that our posture today? I’m inclined to believe, based on experience and observation in today’s modern Christian society, we rarely take the time to meditate on the word, much less stay up all night thinking about it.
I wonder, if that is true, then how could this be? Especially at a point in history and within a country where access to the word of God is so readily available? No other culture in the history of humanity has had such great access to the scriptures.
Yet in many cases around the world, even today, the word of God is not only hard to obtain it’s flat out dangerous! Why don’t we take more advantage of this great blessing? Maybe we simply don’t understand what we’ve been given. Why are we so easily distracted by things that add zero value to our lives, but areso quick to ignore something that is of the utmost importance to our lives and our eternity. The words of our Creator!
Could it simply be many have not prioritized it in their lives and have completely handed over the responsibility of their own knowledge and learning to someone else?
I believe somewhere along the line we have made it the responsibility of a church organization or the job of pastors to ensure our knowledge and understanding of the scriptures. While we certainly benefit and are in need of great Bible teachers and preachers, I’m not sure it’s fair, or even Biblical for that matter, for that responsibility to completely fall into their lap.
Looking to scripture as our example, in Acts 17:10-11 we find a group of believers known as the Bereans. Not only did they receive the word with a readiness of mind as it was preached in the synagogue by Paul and Silas, but it says they searched the scriptures daily to see whether those things were so!
I also believe as followers of Christ, the scriptures are our God-given instructions.
Paul, in his letter to Timothy, says “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17 KJV
At times, I believe there is a lack of holiness and righteous found within the westernized Church. We might be quick to attribute the cause to the lack of preaching against sin across many churches. However, it might also be linked to Christians again not searching out the scriptures for themselves and making God’s word a priority in their lives.
For me, Bible study is worship. For others worship may be singing or praying. I just want everyone to understand the life changing power and experience the closeness to God that can be found by making His word a daily priority in your life.
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15 KJV
Write this way: Try and find fifteen minutes every morning or evening to spend time reading the Scriptures. Find a quiet space without distractions and do this for thirty days. This practice may completely change your view of the Bible and greatly deepen your relationship with God.
About the Author
Shawn Ozbun is a data specialist for Ball State University, an independent podcaster and writer of many biblical topics, but most notably eschatology. He is also a lover and student of the scriptures, ancient writings and biblical Hebrew language. Born and raised in neighboring Randolph County, Shawn enjoys competing in endurance sporting events all over the state. He resides in Muncie with his wife and son.