Why Are You Studying?

7.2.2013For Christians that might sound like a rhetorical question. But I am curious. Why are you studying? I can think of several good reasons to study the Bible. I can think of several poor reasons that we often neglect Bible study. And it is in that neglect that the cracks begin to show in our character.

In the military world, we would expect a dedicated soldier to be willing to suffer while obeying his commanding officer. He wouldn’t desert his post to get involved in the occupied communities where he may find himself. He has orders and has been trained – through excruciating methods and exacting standards – to remain focused on his duties. What if a solider attended his duties the way we attend our Bible Study?

 You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.~2 Timothy 2:1

In the athletic world, we expect an athlete to compete according to the rules. There have been explosive sports scandals in the careers of Tiger Woods, Lance Armstrong, Jose Canseco and many others, for bending the rules in order to win. We drug test Olympic contestants because we want the games to be fair. That is the only way that someone can truly be the winner. They train exhaustively and carefully work within the parameters of their sport to get to the top. Do we study our Bibles with the purity of a committed athlete or do we skip the hard work to just read nice devo books and let them feed our spirit?

In the agricultural world it is the patient farmer who tills the soil, fertilizes, plants, and waits. He works hard to do all within his power to see that the harvest ahead is successful. When it is, he deserves the first portion before everyone else gets to reap the benefits of his hard work. If we neglect our Bible study, we will lose out on so many benefits. Are we reading our Bible with the harvest of righteousness and wisdom in view?

So why are you reading your Bible? Think about it.

Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this. ~2 Timothy 2:7

If you knew you were going to suffer for the sake of the gospel, would you prepare your heart by studying the Scriptures and growing deep in your knowledge, faith, and commitment for the coming storm? Well, friend, the storm is coming.

Whether it be personal loss, discouragement, disappointment, situations that are hard to handle, people that act with hatred toward you, persecution … I don’t know what storm is coming your way. But it is coming.

So study your Bible in the good times, the quiet times … because the time is going to come when you will be called upon to act counter to the flesh, to let the Spirit reign. If you have not built up your soul by feeding on God’s Word you will revert to operating by intuition and selfishness. And that is when it begins to show. The cracks become obvious.

Nobody weathers storms perfectly. Nobody makes their way through conflict and trouble without making some mistakes along the way. But if you are not prepared ahead of time, it is too late to get prepared once the stormy winds begin to blow.

Study your Bible to become convinced in your heart of a trustworthy saying:

If we died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us; if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself. ~ 2 Timothy 2:11-13

Study your Bible now. You will need it then.

Thanks for reading,

John

PS: If you didn’t pick up on it, this entire post comes from contemplating 2 Timothy 2. I invite you to take some time to think through it’s implications for your own heart.

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