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A New Year’s resolution: Bible study (Week 4)

January 17, 2019

The Counseling Corner

By Rev. Judith T. Lester, B.Min. M.Th

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11

There are many suggestions given at this time of the year in order to help you jump start the New Year. Many of those suggestions include setting realistic goals for incorporating exercise in your daily routine, eating heathier, and taking that yoga class you’ve been talking about forever. May I suggest that you also add as a priority to your list of resolutions a greater commitment to Bible study? In the Bible, you will find God’s plans for your life and learn more about God’s amazing love for you. This week we will present a few benefits that come from studying God’s Word.

1. Bible study is a deterrent to sin

Ray Wiley in Josh McDowell’s Youth Ministry Handbook: Making the Connection indicates one of the primary reasons for personal Bible study is to dissuade believers from sinning. Just as the devil tempted Jesus in the wilderness (Mark 1; Matthew 4; Luke 4), the enemy will seek to tempt you to sin. In the wilderness temptation, although the devil misquoted Psalm 91, Satan could not trick Jesus because Jesus knew what the Old Testament said; after all, Jesus was the Word made flesh. (John 1:14). Satan will try to mislead believers today who do not know what God’s Word says. “Biblical truth,” according to Wiley, “is a tremendous deterrent to sin regardless of what form temptation takes.” Once you know the truth, and obey it, Satan cannot trick you with his lies.

2. Bible study provides spiritual knowledge

Hosea says God’s people are destroyed from the lack of knowledge. (Hosea 4:6). Hosea was not suggesting there was a lack or shortage of information available to the Israelites; but that the information was being rejected by God’s people. Even today, believers are not deprived from a lack of information; it is readily available in God’s Word. Many believers, still, have chosen to reject the information by failing to study God’s Word. Spiritual knowledge is found in the Bible, but to know His Word, you must study it.

3. Bible study allows for meditation on God and His Word

Personal Bible study allows for meditation on God and His Word. Paul said, “Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.” (1 Tim. 4:13, 15, KJV). The Greek word for meditate is “meletaō” and carries the basic idea that we are to “care for,” or “attend to carefully.” Paul makes it clear that God wants His people to meditate on the “things” that are profitable for spiritual growth. When you meditate on God, God anoints, speaks, leads, guides, and directs in His Word. Meditating on God’s Word will also lead you to focus more on God, God’s law, God’s works, and the things that are heavenly and elevating to the soul.

For the young people in your life, encourage them to read and study the Bible. Be sure to tell them why they should read the Bible and then lead them in how they should read the Bible. As youth and young adults get engaged with the Bible, they too will develop a personal and growing relationship with God.

A resource available for youth and young adults is my recently published book, A Gospel Generation: Bible Study Lessons for Youth Around the Globe. It is a 30-week interactive bible lesson perfect for small groups or individual study. You can order a copy at: www.sspbnbc.com.

Next week: Conclusion

General Disclaimer: The writer has used her best efforts in preparation of this information. No representations or warranties for its contents, either expressed or implied, are offered. Neither the publisher nor the writer shall be liable in any way for readers’ efforts to apply, rely or utilize the information or recommendations presented herein as they may not be suitable for you or necessarily appropriate for every situation to which they may refer. This information is for educational purposes only. If you would like to contact Rev. Lester, write to her c/o P.O. Box 121, Brookfield, WI. 53008.