Two-fold challenge: Increase knowledge and understanding of the Bible
1. Pick up your own Bible every morning and read it for 15 to 30 minutes.
2. Get into a small group Bible study with others.
Starting Monday evening, I will be teaching a class on how to study the Bible. I’ve taught this class before, but it never gets old to me. I find it to be one of the most interesting and exhilarating studies I ever do. Why? Because studying the Bible is one of the most life-changing adventures in the world.
I have to make note of one thing: There is an appalling ignorance of the Bible in our world today, even in the church. Examples of that truth are many.
One reporter, following then-President Bush’s speech after the Sept. 11, 2011, attacks, was heard to ask another, “What was he talking about when he said that ‘we should not walk on the other side of the Jericho Road to avoid someone in need?’”
The obvious reference was to Jesus’ story of the Good Samaritan found in Luke 10. This well-educated man had no frame of reference on this well-known biblical story.
But it happens in the church, too. I well remember a person asking me, “Where in the Bible does it say ‘cleanliness is next to godliness?’”
Others have confidently stated, “The Bible says, ‘God helps those who help themselves.’”
No, it really doesn’t. And I have also heard quotes from Shakespeare, Ben Franklin and Abraham Lincoln all attributed to the Bible.
The Bible remains the all-time best seller, and yet it remains unread and misunderstood by so many. Why is that the case? I can only come to one conclusion: Most people simply are not convinced that reading and studying the Bible can make a real difference in their lives. Many are convinced that its words are true, but they are not so sure what difference that makes.
I have become more and more convinced through the years that the Bible has the power to change lives. When the Bible is honestly and carefully studied and read, it can lead the believer to grow closer to the Lord and to live morally pure lives. And it can lead those with no faith to exercise faith in the one who can give them eternal life.
I want to offer a two-fold challenge to you to increase your knowledge and understanding of the Bible. First, pick up your own Bible every morning and read it for 15 to 30 minutes. Find a plan that will help you make your way through the entire book. Get a modern translation you can follow and read.
Second, get into a small group Bible study with others. Most churches offer times and places with trained leaders and teachers who can help you better understand what God is saying. God has promised to bless his word as it is read, studied, taught and preached. His word can change your life.
Do you need a resolution for the new year? Read the Bible. It will rock your world.