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Many of us have been raised in homes where the Bible was a familiar thing. And since there is nothing particularly new or unusual to us about the Bible, we may be guilty of taking it for granted. We may handle it too casually. The Bible, however, is nothing less than the word of the Eternal God, our Creator. Accurate knowledge of the Bible and diligent obedience to it are necessary for our salvation. We need to be very careful in learning from God's word. It would be eternally disastrous to do otherwise.
Consider what Peter said about the writings of Paul: "as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures"(2 Pet. 3:16). Some parts of the Bible are "hard to understand." Those who are "ignorant and unstable" tend to "twist" these passages, misusing them and making them teach what they do not actually teach. Peter's words ought to make us more careful about studying the Bible. If we "twist" the Scriptures, we do so to our own "destruction."
It ought to be our goal to "rightly divide" (NKJV) God's word -- that is, to handle it accurately. Being able to do so requires hard work. Paul exhorted Timothy: "Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth" (2 Tim. 2:15). Workers who do not need to be ashamed are those who know how to handle their tools. As God's workers, our tool is the Bible!
As with other tools, it takes experience to handle the Bible skillfully. We get better at understanding the Bible by studying it over and over, developing our powers of understanding and discernment by using them repeatedly and learning from our mistakes along the way.
This week, let's strive for a more sober attitude about the Scriptures. Rather than haphazardly tossing around opinions about the Bible, let's think about the fact that our souls, and very likely the souls of others, depend on how carefully we study God's word.
Monday: 2 Timothy 3:14-17
Key Idea: If we study the Bible properly, it will show us how to be saved.
Questions for Family Growth: For what can the Scriptures make us "wise"? What does it mean when we say that the Bible is "inspired"? What is the Bible "profitable" for? What kind of works does it "equip" us for? What does Psa. 19:7-11 say about the value of God's word?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 24:7.
Tuesday: 2 Peter 3:14-18
Key Idea: If we do not study the Bible properly, it may cause us to be lost.
Questions for Family Growth: What would it mean to "wrest" (KJV) the Scriptures? What are some ways we might do that? Is everything about the Bible easy to understand? What kinds of passages should we be most careful about in our Bible study?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 24:8,9.
Wednesday: Matthew 15:1-9
Key Idea: We should never let the traditions of men take the place of God's word.
Questions for Family Growth: How would you define the word "tradition"? Are traditions always bad? If not, when would they be bad? Why would anyone ever teach and do the "commandments of men" rather than God's commands?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 24:10.
Thursday: Acts 17:10-12
Key Idea: We have to "search the Scriptures" to decide if the teachings we hear are true.
Questions for Family Growth: What does it mean to "search" (NKJV) the Scriptures? What other translations of this word can you find? Why did the Bereans search the Scriptures? What does it mean that they were "noble"? What steps should we take if we want to be like these people?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 24:11,12.
Friday: 2 Timothy 2:14,15
Key Idea: We must try to use God's word as He intended it to be used.
Questions for Family Growth: How do we "rightly divide" (NKJV) the word of God? What will happen if we do not do that? Does God's word simply mean anything we want it to mean? How can we be sure what it does mean?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 24:13,14.