Jul 22

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What could be simpler? Studying the word of God? Can you remember your first efforts at studying the Bible? Please note, the words are, “your first efforts at studying the Bible,” not just reading it. It is true, that reading is part of studying but just reading is not studying! I can remember my first efforts to “read” the New Testament, as I was in the Army, stationed in Wilmington, OH. Folks, I understood nothing! Why was it that my first efforts, just to read, the New Testament brought no understanding? Maybe you had the same results! Why was this?
Here is a little information about my first efforts at just reading the New Testament. Do you know why I was reading the New Testament? More than likely, few have the same reason as I had, but I was reading the New Testament every night, because I thought my dear and beloved aunt, Aileen, wanted me to do so! She had given me a very small copy of the New Testament before I left home. I still have this New Testament! Any wonder I did not understand anything I read? No! However, I was very faithful in my efforts!
We are aware of what Paul wrote to Timothy: “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15). However, the first word study, “study,” has been questioned and rightfully so! The American Standard Version, reads: “Give diligence to present thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, handling aright the word of truth.” Allow me to point out, if we are to shew or present ourselves unto God, “study” of the word of God is required! In other words, in giving “diligence to present” ourselves to God, we must study, as in there is no other way, to present ourselves “approved unto God!” If there is no reading and studying the word of God; there is no “diligence” in our efforts to shew ourselves approved to God! Therefore, “study” is in the word “diligence,” and “diligence” is in the word “study!”
Now, I also remember my first efforts to “study” the word of God. Do you remember your first efforts to “study” the Bible? “Study,” requires effort, to read, to study, and to have some plan in doing so! Picking up a Bible, reading just here and there, is no plan! More importantly is the fact, you will never understand the word of God. A little here and a little there, bringeth no understanding! Nevertheless, reading, even reading more than once is required, if we are really studying! Some folks appear to have the idea, of just reading, and suddenly, they understand the Bible! It just does not work this way! Sorry, to “burst your bubble!” The Bible unlike any other book, is “the Book,” the one book which answers our questions: 1) Where did we come from? 2) Why are we here? 3) Where are we going? and 4) Can we change where we are going? Do you not desire to have the answers to these four questions? The word of God, the Bible, is the only book on earth that, can, in truth, answers these four questions! However, to get these answers, study of the One Book is required!
Here is an interesting thought! How much time and effort are you willing to give to a true study of the word of God? The way you answer, depends on how much value you put on the salvation of your eternal soul/spirit! Therefore, the subject before us, is eternally important to us! We are not dealing with just a question, but one of the most important questions, we will ever come “face to face” with! The simple words, in what Paul wrote to Timothy, reads: “approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed,” stand before us as an objective! Do you desire to be “approved unto God?” Do you hope of being “a workman that needeth not to be ashamed” before God?
Friends, it starts with reading and advances to a study of the word of God! As we stand before God, on judgment day (2 Cor. 5:10), it will not do for any of us to say, “I never had the time, I am a slow reader, or it is just too hard for me to understand.

Frank R. Williams

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