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Many people find it interesting to study the Bible. However, we do not study the Bible just because it is interesting. We study it as God's word in order to find eternal life in God. Jesus said to the Jews, "You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me" (Jn. 5:39). Those to whom Jesus spoke did not find the life they were looking for because their hearts were hardened by a disobedient, irreverent attitude. Nevertheless, they were correct in their assumption that the way to life could be found in God's word. It is in the words of God's truth that we find the path that leads to God.
In praying to God, Jesus said, "Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent" (Jn. 17:1-3). Eternal life consists of knowing God -- personal knowledge of the eternal Father who created us.
The knowledge of God comes through the truth about Himself that God has revealed in the Scriptures. There is no knowing God, and hence no eternal life, without taking into our hearts the words of the Scriptures. To know God, we must learn what the Scriptures say about Him.
So if we wish to have a stronger faith in God, it is important to strengthen our faith in the Scriptures themselves. Questions about the inspiration, authority, and historical accuracy of the biblical documents are exceedingly important. Confidence in the reliability of the Scriptures leads us to have faith in God Himself. Whatever increases our trust in the Bible helps us in that it strengthens our resolve to seek God through the words found in the Bible.
Throughout the coming week, it will be good for us to go back and strengthen the foundations of our faith in the reliability of the Scriptures. The words of Scripture are "breathed out by God" and they are "profitable." Through them we may become "complete, equipped for every good work" (2 Tim. 3:16,17). Let's study and think and meditate like those who really believe that.
Monday: John 17:1-3
Key Idea: We cannot enjoy eternal life without coming to know God.
Questions for Family Growth: What did Jesus mean by the expression "eternal life"? What are some things that might be involved in "knowing" God? Is there a difference between knowing God and knowing about God?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 16:10-15.
Tuesday: 2 Timothy 3:14,15
Key Idea: It is through the Scriptures that we come to have a saving knowledge of God.
Questions for Family Growth: What did Paul say Timothy should "continue" in? From whom had Timothy learned the Scriptures? See 2 Tim. 1:5. What does it mean that the Scriptures are able to make us "wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus"?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 16:16.
Wednesday: John 20:30,31
Key Idea: The truth contained in the Scriptures is the foundation of our faith in God.
Questions for Family Growth: Why, according to John, were the "signs" of Jesus written down? How can the words of a written document cause us to have faith in a living Person? Do we have any other way of gaining information about Jesus?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 16:17.
Thursday: Romans 15:4-6
Key Idea: The truth contained in the Scriptures gives us patience, comfort, and hope in God.
Questions for Family Growth: Why were the things "written in former days" recorded for us? If they were written for our benefit, should we not study them diligently? What is the difference between patience, comfort, and hope?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 16:18,19.
Friday: 2 Timothy 3:16,17
Key Idea: It is through the Scriptures that we learn how God wants us to live.
Questions for Family Growth: What is meant by the word "inspiration" (NKJV)? Consider the ESV translation "breathed out by God." What does it mean that the Scriptures are "profitable"? For what things are the they profitable? What is the end result of our learning from the Scriptures?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 16:20.