I have noticed that there are more and more church goers who do not seem to think that personal and corporate Bible study is that important. From a Biblical perspective, daily Bible study is a necessity. God writes to us all through the Scriptures about the importance of the Scriptures in our daily lives. One of my favorite verses in the Bible is II Timothy 2:15.
15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.
15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
I attached two different versions of the same verse because it gives a clearer picture of what the Apostle Paul was trying to convey. We are called, as believers, to be diligent in Bible study. God desires this and encourages us to handle His Word the right way. The flip side of this is, if we are not diligent students of the Word and we do not handle it accurately, we end up ashamed.
According to a recent Lifeway Poll
only 45 percent of those who regularly attend church read the Bible more than once a week. Over 40 percent of the people attending read their Bible occasionally, maybe once or twice a month. Almost 1 in 5 churchgoers say they never read the Bible—essentially the same number who read it every day.
Way back in the book of Joshua, God laid out the secret to success.
“This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success. (Joshua 1:8)
In order for Joshua to be successful as a leader, both civil and spiritual, he had to read/study the Scriptures daily. The Hebrew verb that is translated into English as “meditate” has a three part meaning. It means to study, to ponder, and to discuss. The Scriptures were to influence everything that Joshua did. The Scriptures set Joshua’s worldview. Do you meditate on the Word of God day and night? According to the Lifeway poll, many Protestant church attenders do not meditate on the Word of God at all, much less day and night.
Before the kings of Israel ruled over the people, God had a very specific task for them to accomplish:
18 “Now it shall come about when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, he shall write for himself a copy of this law on a scroll in the presence of the Levitical priests.
19 “It shall be with him and he shall read it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, by carefully observing all the words of this law and these statutes, (Deuteronomy 17)
Each king had to write his own copy of the Law of God, the first 5 books of the Bible. After doing that, each one had to read it every single day so that he would learn to respect God. Daily Bible study is so important because it is a spiritual discipline that teaches us to respect the Lord. What does that say about the many, many Protestant Christians who do not read the Scriptures daily?
Jesus set the same example when He made His 12 ordinary men into disciples.
27 Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.
32 They said to one another, “Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?”
44 Now He said to them, “These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.”
45 Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, (Luke 24:27, 32, 44-45)
Did you notice how much emphasis Jesus placed on the Scriptures? While He was with the disciples, He was doing Bible study with them, teaching them how to understand the Scriptures so that they could apply what they were learning to their daily lives. It changed them forever. He sent His disciples out to do the same thing. As soon as people heard the message of the Gospel and accepted Christ, take a look at what happened immediately after:
They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. (Acts 2:42)
The early followers of Christ made time daily to sit and study the Scriptures. As a result, in a few decades, the known world was turned upside down for good.
What does studying the Bible actually look like? If you were to ask 10 different people, you would receive 11 different answers. Instead of asking people what they think Bible study looks like, let’s go to the source, the Word of God. Paul, one of the greatest Bible students in history, shares his method of studying, as well as teaching others how to study the Scriptures.
1 Now when they had traveled through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews.
2 And according to Paul’s custom, he went to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures,
3 explaining and giving evidence that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus whom I am proclaiming to you is the Christ.” (Acts 17)
I want to draw your attention to a word in verse 2 in the above passage. Paul reasoned with the people from the Scriptures. The idea was that Paul would ask specific questions and help the audience pull the answers from the text. They were not studying about the Bible. They did not do one of those “what do you think this verse means” kind of study. They were studying the text inductively. Inductive study means going into the text to find the answers, to discover the original intent of the author. Have you been taught how to study the Bible so that you are able to study it daily? Are you teaching others how to study the Bible, giving them the tools that they need to discover the Truth for themselves? This is how we can change the Lifeway Poll in the future. Paul was very serious about teaching people how to study the Bible so that they could study daily.
8 And he entered the synagogue and continued speaking out boldly for three months, reasoning and persuading them about the kingdom of God.
9 But when some were becoming hardened and disobedient, speaking evil of the Way before the people, he withdrew from them and took away the disciples, reasoning daily in the school of Tyrannus.
10 This took place for two years, so that all who lived in Asia heard the word of the Lord, both Jews and Greeks. (Acts 19:8-10)
Notice in the above text, Paul did not meet with the believers just once a week. He met with them daily. The church was a school and the people were encouraged to be learners. Is this the idea of the majority of the people who attend your church? Is this your attitude?
May the Lord help us understand the importance of daily Bible study so that we can learn to respect the Lord and prosper in everything that the Lord has called us to accomplish for His kingdom.