Saturday, April 2, 2011

Why Study the Word?

The following is the first post for our Fight Club for Women group at Trailhead Church. It will be posted on the City for Trailhead Church later today. But I would love feedback if you have any.

Let me start off with two quotes from Wayne Grudem: "Theology changes life and conduct." "What you believe in your heart changes how you live your life." We must believe this. We must know that what we believe about the Word of God - and what we believe from the Word of God - changes our thoughts, relationships, life, and actions. And God has called us to study His Word. Wendy Alsup writes: "Wise, practical daily living is preceded by a knowledge of God that leads to fear, awe, and reverence of him, his power, and his purposes. Theology is the root, foundation, and framework for practical living that reflects wisdom and understanding."

Hosea 4:6 "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being a priest to me. And since you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children." This verse should strike fear in our hearts! It definitely does mine. But does it motivate you to dig into the Word? We are called to be watchful for wrong thinking, wrong doctrine all throughout Scripture. But the only way to be aware of incorrect teaching is to know the Truth!! We cannot be equipped if we do not study. So many times we sit and wait to be taught. But God's Word is a gift to each one of us, and we are called to study it for ourselves. Paul admonishes Timothy to study for himself. 2 Timothy 2:15 "Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth." Again to quote Wendy Alsop: "The Bible is sufficient. It is enough. Remember what Paul said: 'All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man (or woman!) of God may be competent, equipped for every good work' (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Wow! It's amazing to think that believers can be completely equipped for everything to which God has called them through Scripture alone."

We see the need for right living. We know right living comes from right understanding of Scripture. John speaks of Jesus as the Word (see John 1:1-18). We want to be women who know the Word. We want to be women who value the Word. But if we don't open our Bibles, we won't know either the God the Father, His Son or His Scriptures.

How well do you know the Word? How well can you articulate what you believe about God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit? Let's start here:

Spend time reading and discussing the following verses:

Proverbs 2:1-5 "My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God."

Deuteronomy 29:29 "the secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law."

John 20:30-31 "Now Jesus did many other sign in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name."

Psalm 1:1-3 "Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper." (NKJV)

Psalm 119:9-16 "How can a young man (woman!) cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word. With my whole heart I have sought You; Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments! Your word have I hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against you. Blessed are You, O Lord! Teach me Your statutes. With my lips I have declared all the judgments of Your mouth. I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies, as much as in all riches. I will meditate on Your precepts, and contemplate Your ways. I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget your word." (NKJV) [Actually, if you have time, read the entire Psalm 119!]

Consider memorizing some portion of Psalm 119:9-16. Maybe just as simple as verse 11: "Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You." Or, verse 16: I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget your word."

Spend time this week praying that God would give you a love for the Scripture. Ask for a desire to know the Word - He surely desires to be known by you. So you will be asking Him to bless you with something you already know He wants to give!!
Ephesians 1:16-20 "I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the god of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places." (NKJV)

QUESTIONS FOR MEDITATION OR DISCUSSION: [FYI - We will repeat these two questions at the end of each post. They will help you to process what you are learning in your group or alone as you study for your fight club.]

  • How does understanding this truth (God's call to know the Word) affect my view of God or Jesus?
  • How does understanding this truth affect my life (relationships, beliefs, philosophies, behavior)?
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