September 6: Study

Read 2 Timothy 2:14-19

Yesterday, I was meeting with someone faced with a real life question.  This person was inviting insights from the word of God on how to proceed.  Unfortunately, we discovered that we had come to a standstill.  We both acknowledged that the Scriptures speak to the situation…and we could even find the specific chapter and verse.  Unfortunately, our ability to understand what God meant through those words was limited.  We quickly discovered the need to not only read the passage but also to study it in greater detail.  While Bible reading is an important discipline, we must also move beyond that in seeking to understand the author’s intent for the original audience and the eternal principles that apply to us.

That need for careful study is not new to our generation.  Even in Timothy’s day, there was false teaching and the need for clarity on God’s word.

It is only fitting then that Paul invited readers like Timothy hundreds of years ago and you today to “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.”  Look at these quick observations from this verse:

  • “…present yourself to God as one approved…not ashamed…”  Your study of the Bible will be judged!  Would you pass the test on how you not just read but also seek to understand the Bible?
  • “…present yourself…as…a workman…”  Your study of the Bible is work!  Are you willing to invest time and energy to move from accurate observation (what does it say?) to correct interpretation (what does it mean?) and on to personal application (what do I do?).
  • “…present yourself…as one…who correctly handles…”  Your study of the Bible has its methods!  To say that you can correctly handle the Scriptures also implies that it is possible to incorrectly handle them.

Are you one who not only reads but also carefully considers the meaning and the implications of the word of God for today?

sbk