We can be passionate about a lot of things, right? There’s probably some subject that really lights you up when somebody brings it up in conversation. He could be talking about fishing, and make some inaccurate comment fly fishing, and that is all you need! So what happens when someone at church mentions something he learned from a Bible verse this past week – does that excite you?
Our life ought to be marked by a passion and thirst for God’s Word! Just think of it – the mind of God, His very thoughts, right there before us! The Bible is a precious book, it is such a privilege to hold it in our hands, and to have the Holy Spirit ready to open its truths to us as we spend time poring over its pages. We have a lot of things on our mind every day, but the Bible should be primary – demanding our attention, requiring our understanding and expecting us to live its principles.
The Word of the Lord is perfect… it makes the simple wise… it rejoices the heart… more to be desired than gold! The Psalmist finishes these thoughts this way… “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight,O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer!” (Psalm 19:7-11, 14)
We need to be capable men and women of God, prepared to handle and minister God’s Word in our families, church and community. Taking time for concentrated Bible study can be an important part of your being sure that you are growing deep roots and rightly dividing the Word (2 Timothy 2:15).
1. We need to have a passion and thirst for God’s Word.
Spend some time meditating on these passages that express the grandeur and depth of God’s Word…
- Psalm 19:7-11 – The Law of the Lord is perfect …in keeping them there is great reward
- Psalm 119:103 – how sweet are Your words
- Colossians 3:15-17 – let the word of Christ dwell in you richly
- Joshua 1:8 – meditate day & night in the Word, and be careful to do what it says, take it seriously!
- 2 Timothy 2:15 – rightly dividing the word of truth, examining as well as possible, sorting things out and coming to the best conclusion
- Philippians 2:16 – holding forth the Word, proclaiming the Word to a needy world, and ministering it faithfully in our family and church
3. We need to live a life that is accountable to God’s Word
- Psalm 1 is a wonderful expression of the godly believer living a responsible life before God. Note that the delight of his heart is the Word of God, and as a result, he has strong, deep roots, fed from the living water of God.
- 2 Timothy 3:16-17 is a major passage on the doctrine of God’s Word. How did we get it? God breathed His very essence into each word – it is truly the living Word. Why do we have it? Teaching, reproof, correction, and righteousness — all of that should be happening in our life regularly. What is the result? A biblical man of God, walking in Christlikeness and ministering the Word of God in every facet of his life.
4. We need to establish these 4 keys to faithful Bible study.
- Heart – we must have a passion for God’s Word, never satisfied, always thirsting for more!
- Method – we need to have some method to our study, not just wandering in the breeze, making use of tools
- Effort – diligence and discipline must become a natural part of our daily life
- Prayer – we must always be careful to surround our time in Bible study with time on our knees humbly seeking God’s face about what we are learning
5. I suggest that the man or woman of God who is serious about loving and knowing God and His Word should be spending time in the Word regularly in these three ways:
- Through the Bible – Read the Bible cover to cover, from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21 – “In the beginning… even so come quickly!” Try to read some each day, either in Bible or chronological order. You don’t have to finish in a year – but when you do finish, start over!
- Devotions – For a few minutes every day, anchor your life in some “Quiet Time”. Use a devotional guide (from the Christian bookstore, or from a Bible teaching ministry like Insight for Living. Read the Bible passage, think through the devotional thoughts, and then bow in humble prayer to commune with the Lord.
- Bible Study – A few times each week, maybe 2-3 times to start, on some kind of a regular basis, sit down with your Bible, a journal & pen, or your computer, and dig into the Word for 30-60 minutes. Hopefully you have a study Bible – read the notes, look up the related references listed in the margin. Make some notes. Use the basic “O-I-A” method: Observation, Interpretation, Application.
A final thought about our passion for God’s Word…
There is a passion for Christ which it has been given to a very few to possess, but which has set those who have it apart forever from their fellow men. . . . Amid the terrific onrush of the apostasy, amid the swirl of pleasure which is engulfing the majority of those who call themselves Christians, God has His own. . . . They are men and women whose faith and zeal burn brighter as the world’s darkness deepens. They are ready to die at Jerusalem, or anywhere, for their Lord. They are valiant for the truth, and wield the sword lustily on God’s behalf. Nevertheless, few have that passion for Christ which Paul expressed in the words, “To me to live is Christ.” There is reward for the obedient disciples, there is power and authority for the faithful disciples, there is glory of achievement for the zealous disciple . . . but there is the whisper of God’s love, there is the joy of His presence, and the shining of His face for those who love Him for Himself alone. A true heart for God will motivate us to seek Him diligently in His book.
(Quoted from “Quiet Time”, IVP)
Stay in the Word!
- Take out a pen & paper and study through Colossians 3:15-17
- “Let the word of Christ dwell in us richly” (3:16) – so, how does that work in your life?
- A Life of Passion and Thirst for God’s Word – Psalm 19:7-11, 14; Psalm 119:103; 1 Peter 2:2