A Bible Study help:
Read slowly and ask yourself, who is speaking, and to whom are they speaking.
I find reading Holy Scriptures fun and exciting, especially if you allot time on Sunday–the Day of Rest–for such a mind-expanding activity. I found this out quite by accident–well, maybe it was more by design, arranged for me by a Sunday School teacher that I had met–or, again, she “arranged” to meet me–several years ago. She showed me how to study Scripture, not just read it, which has, in the past, left me more confused than when I started. Like I say, I now find studying Scripture very thought-provoking, and I’d like to pass this little secret on to you.
The problem is, far too many Pastors and Teachers of all faiths emphasize only reading the scriptures– “have you read your scriptures today?“–while shaking a ‘naughty-naughty’ finger at you, without placing hardly any emphasise on studying–understanding–what you’ve read.
I haven ‘t conducted a formal pole on this topic, but I’m sure, if a study were conducted, it would show that this is the main cause why so many people leave their faith: they just don’t understand the doctrine, or why so-and-so prophet said this-and-that, and why it should also be important to me! A person who truly understands the words and actions of our spiritual leaders have lovingly and passionately given to us, will not do many of the things “plastic” Christians are accused of doing: warmongering, cheating, infidelity, hate mongering, stealing, indifference, etc.
Also, please don’t put too much hate and blame on, what we might call, “False Prophets,” the guys who are in it only for fame and riches, for leading people astray. They’re only filling a human demand: I’m too lazy to think for myself, so I’ll just believe whatever you tell me is right. Also, don’t put too much concern about your feelings that these negative people are getting away without judgement, and here I include both the so-called victim and the false prophet. They’re both in it together, to teach each other some real lessons in life, and they’re both united to their karmic fellowship until they’ve outgrown each other’s need. Forget about them, and concentrate only on the positive: on you, and you moving forward!
“For God will bring every work into judgement, including every secret thing, whether good or evil.” — Ecclesiastes 12:14
Getting back to my initial Sunday School teacher. let’s put theory into practice. Get your scriptures out and turn to 1 Peter, chapter 1 verse 21: “Who by him (Jesus) do believe in God, that raised him (Jesus) up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.”
Beautiful verse, but do you understand what it means? Let’s dig deeper and get more meaning out of this verse. Using my favorite expression, “define so-and-so.” In this case, “define” Who is it that has glorified Jesus? If you look more closely at verse 21, you will see a small “a” superscripted to the left and above the word, “glory.” Now, go to the bottom of the page and in the footnotes find, “21a.” Next to it, you should see: “Acts 3:13 (13-15).” Back to your Scriptures, turn to Acts 3:13, and you will read: “The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son, Jesus:” In other words, God glorified Jesus. Now you know more than you did by just reading the passage.
Let’s continue. Go back to 1 Peter 1:21 and you will see a small “b” superscripted to the left of the word, “faith.” Again go to the footnotes and find, 21b. You should see it just below 21a, where it tells you to see Galatians chapter 5 verse 5 and 6: “for we, through the Spirit, wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.” Ponder that scripture for a moment, then turn back to your Scriptures and do the same thing with many of the other superscript letters that you see next to key words. It won’t take long and you’ll find scripture study very fascinating and an hour–two hours–will fly by in no time, and you’ll look forward to your next personal study session!
Do that for an hour or two each day for a week and you will have found the best Sunday School teacher on earth: your own guiding spirit–the spirit that “never faileth.” As a closing thought, read Luke chapter 2, verses 26 to 32.
“Bible study is like eating peanuts. The more you eat, the more you want to eat.”