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Studying The Word

Posted 21st April 2012 at 11:55 PM by mymondaymap
"A Person who won't read has no advantage over one who can't read."
Mark Twain

"For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart."
Hebrew 4:12

It is important to make the Word of God active, operative, energizing, and effective in our lives. The Word is like a sword, and the sword penetrates our soul and cuts out all sin. Our thoughts and the purposes of our hearts are the most important part of who we are, so God's Word exposes, sifts, and analyzes and judges our heart and minds.

This is why studying the Word of God is so important to who we are and who we become in life. When we just read a few scriptures from time to time, it doesn't mature us spiritually. For us to fully become who God created us to be, we must habitually study God's Word.

Until we decide to study to show ourselves approved, we will stay stale and complacent in our life. The Word is our guide, so without the guide we wonder aimlessly through life. The fulfillment of our purpose is dependent on how much we study the Word.
"But he who keeps (treasures) His Word [who bears in mind His precepts, who observes His message in its entirety], truly in him has the love of and for God been perfected (completed, reached maturity). By this we may perceive (know, recognize, and be sure) that we are in Himů"
I John 2:5
What does it mean to treasure God's Word? Let's think about how we treasure our valuables. There are many books and movies about adventures scouring the earth for treasure. This is the way God wants us to pursue Him. We do this through understanding His Word.

What happens to those who treasure God's Word? What happens to those who find treasure? People who find treasure become rich. They acquire wealth beyond their wildest imagination. It also creates a confidence, which propels them into the next treasure hunt. An adventurer that finds one treasure doesn't stop. Every treasure they find becomes more exciting. My favorite treasure movies always have sequels, so I can watch my heroes get the gold and the girl over and over, again.

"Life is either a great adventure or nothing."
Helen Keller
Studying God's Word should be like a treasure hunt. Many of us view God's Word and Christianity as boring, but even the characters throughout the Bible didn't live boring lives. Every story in the Bible is an adventure, and, of course, Jesus' story had more adventure than all of the other characters combined.
We never need to think of studying God's Word as drab. It is an amazing experience when we study God's Word like a treasure map. The more we study, the more secrets are revealed. As God's secrets are revealed to us our lives are changed.

How do we know when we have found God's treasure? The scriptures have two purposes. First, as I said before, it is a map that leads us to treasure. Second, it is full of clues to where we can find the treasure and how to live our lives. This also includes instructions on what we must do to discover the treasure, which are God's secrets. These secrets provide understanding of God's heart. He wants us to know His secrets, but He wants us to seek and find them. The ones who desperately seek God's treasure will find it and live a rich, prosperous life.

Every time we study God's Word, we uncover a little piece of the treasure. To say it another way, we find more and more clues. These clues connect together to form our understanding of God. When we get lost, which we all do from time to time, we have a map to get us back on course. The more we understand god's Word, the quicker we get back on our designated course and back on our adventure of finding treasure.

"But He said, Blessed (happy and to be envied) rather are those who hear the Word of God and obey and practice it!"
Luke 11:28

When we read, listen to, or practice the Word, we become blessed. Everyone wants a blessing, so it is necessary for us to study the Word. Many times when we think of blessings, we think of financial blessings. There are more blessings than just financial.

As a young child, I remember two things more vividly than anything else. First, I remember playing in the front yard trees, and, second, I remember my mom praying and studying the Word. At that time, we had some real problems in our home and needed some changes.

We went from a frustrating and abusive environment to a more peaceful environment. God brought us out of our bad situation, because my mom knew His Word and put it into practice. My mom received the blessing of change and security.

Joy can be a blessing that is given to those who study God's Word. When I go through depression, reading the Word can help bring me out of the pit. Suddenly, joy creeps in and I feel good, again. This is a blessing that may not come right away, but the more I read the Word, during the times of depression and the times of relief, the more joy I experience.
"Study and be eager and do your utmost to present yourself to God approved (tested by trial), a workman who has no cause to be ashamed, correctly analyzing and accurately dividing [rightly handling and skillfully teaching] the Word of Truth."
II Timothy 2:15
The Bible tells us to Study to show ourselves approved. We need to understand God and the world He created, so it is important for us to study God's Word. It may seem like we never have time to study, because we are busy and never have enough time. Studying God's Word should be just as much a priority as praying.
Although our lives get busy, there are ways for us to study that will help get the Word in our hearts. These ways are similar to studying for school. Find a scripture that we want to learn. Write the scripture down and analyze each part. It is best to write down whole scriptures like books, chapters or multiple verses, so we can get the scripture in a bigger context.
If there are words that we do not know, it is best to look them up in a dictionary. When there are names within the scripture, it would be beneficial to look them up, so we can learn more about the people throughout the Bible. The most knowledgeable people I know study the Word this way.

It is also vital that we get together with others and discuss the scriptures. This will help us learn from someone else's perspective. Brenton and I discuss scripture and other books that we read, and I have learned more from these discussions than just studying on my own.
In addition to the above, I also create forms that I use for studying. These forms I use to write down all the information, which is very helpful for studying the Word and studying for school. Some of the forms I created were designed to help my daughter, Snow, through science and social studies. Now, I use them to collect all the information I need to know, so I can go back and review or use the information as a reference for other studies.
"Let the Word [spoken by] Christ (the Messiah) have its home [in your hearts and minds and dwell in you in [all its] richness, as you teach and admonish and train one another in all insight and intelligence and wisdom [in spiritual things, and as you sing] psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, making melody to God with [His] grace in your hearts."
Colossians 3:16

The next step to really studying the Word of God is to teach others. When we learn a scripture, we can teach someone else about our findings. What this does is twofold. First, it helps us learn more about the scripture. It is proven that when we teach others, we learn more. In schools, the students that learn and then teach will comprehend more information than those who do not teach others. This I have actually seen for myself as I homeschool my children. If I have them teach each other and me what they learn, they are more likely to retain the information long after they take the test.
Second, teaching actually is discussed throughout the Bible. The scripture above is an example of God telling us we need to teach others what we learn. For example, the disciples were taught by Jesus. After Jesus left the Earth and ascended into Heaven, they went everywhere they could to teach the gospel to others. If they needed to teach others, we do need to follow their example.
Our challenge this week is to study the Word and other informational books and articles. After we have studied everything we can, we need to teach others what we learn. Think of all this as an adventure and not just boring material that we have to learn. When we view God's Word as one exciting adventure after another, we are more likely to read and study it more than just an old book that has no relevance. Instead of reading our romance and spy novels, we need to read the Bible. The Bible is full of fighting, journeys to foreign lands, and, of course, romance.
"An investment in knowledge pays the best interest."
Benjamin Franklin

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