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Most of us recognize the need for regular Bible study. Our spiritual health requires regular nourishment from God's word. But in our private lives we often do not study as regularly as we should. This week, let's remind ourselves that we should study the Bible every day.
It is easy to overestimate how well we know the Bible. Many of us have heard the Bible preached and taught all our lives. Certain phrases, passages, and stories are so familiar they are second nature to us. But the familiarity with which we recognize certain things as being from the Bible is not the same thing as an actual working knowledge of the Bible itself. No matter how familiar the sound of certain things is to us, if we are not able to use the Bible daily in the ways God wants us to use it, then we need to study it more.
Paul spoke about "rightly dividing the word of truth" (2 Tim. 2:15 NKJV). "Rightly dividing" means more than correctly distinguishing the Old Testament from the New. It means being able to use the Scriptures accurately and skillfully to meet the needs of real life. The Bible is not a museum relic to be put on a shelf and admired. It is a working utensil meant to be used every day. Time spent each day developing our working knowledge of God's truth is time very well spent.
High-quality study of the Bible is as pleasurable as it is profitable. Just as a hungry person relishes good food, the person who deeply feels his need for God -- that is, the person who hungers and thirsts for righteousness (Mt. 5:6) -- finds meditation on the word of God deeply satisfying. To the one who loves God deeply, the precepts of God are more to be desired than "gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb" (Psa. 19:10). The Scriptures are not only for "reviving the soul" (Psa. 19:7), but they are for "rejoicing the heart" (Psa. 19:8).
Life is rough. The negative pressures on our spiritual lives are heavy almost beyond our ability to bear. We need the Bible -- and we need to see our need for the Bible! In our families, there is no greater work than helping our children form strong habits of daily Bible study. They will not be likely to develop those habits, however, if they do not see their fathers and mothers engaged in the work of digesting the Scriptures. This week, let's make it our aim to study the Bible more, recognizing not only the importance but the blessing of doing so. Bible study is good for us.
Monday: Hebrews 5:11-14
Key Idea: If we do not study and grow in the faith, we will not be able to teach others.
Questions for Family Growth: Why does it take time to become a teacher of God's word? What did the Hebrew writer say his readers had not done? What is the difference between "milk" and "solid food" in God's word?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 19:3.
Tuesday: 2 Timothy 3:14-17
Key Idea: God's word is what equips us to do good works.
Questions for Family Growth: What does it mean to "continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed"? In this passage, what different things are the Scriptures said to be "profitable" for? What does it mean to be "equipped for every good work"?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 19:4.
Wednesday: Psalm 119:9-16
Key Idea: God's word helps young people live godly lives.
Questions for Family Growth: What does it mean for a young person to "keep his way pure" (v.9)? What does the writer mean when he says, "With my whole heart I seek you" (v.10)? How do we "delight" (vv.14,16) in God's word? Why is this especially important for young people?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 19:5.
Thursday: Psalm 19:1-14
Key Idea: God's word is more valuable than gold.
Questions for Family Growth: What comparison does David make between God's word and things like gold and honey? According to vv.7-9, what can God's word do for us? What should be true of our words and the meditations of our hearts?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 19:6,7.
Friday: 1 Timothy 4:15,16
Key Idea: To make progress in our spiritual lives we need to study God's word diligently.
Questions for Family Growth: How do we "meditate" (v.15 NKJV) on something? Why is meditation on God's word important? What does Paul mean when he says "give yourself entirely to them" (v.15 NKJV)? How do we "take heed" (v.16 NKJV) to ourselves?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 19:8.