Archive | Studying God’s Word RSS feed for this section

Maybe I Need Bible Homework

28 Jan

I read about a school’s homework policy. Sounds funny, but maybe it’s true!

Students should not spend more than 90 minutes per night.

This time should be budgeted in the homeworkpolicy_lolwithgod_patriceaudet_pixabayfollowing manner:

  • 15 minutes looking for assignment.
  • 11 minutes calling a friend for the assignment.
  • 23 minutes explaining why the teacher is mean and just does not like children.
  • 8 minutes in the bathroom.
  • 10 minutes getting a snack.
  • 7 minutes checking the TV Guide.
  • 6 minutes telling parents that the teacher never explained the assignment.
  • 10 minutes sitting at the kitchen table waiting for Mom or Dad to do the assignment. *

Sounds about right.

For some people. Not for me. I remember how much I got done as a student. I actually liked to study in school. I’d shut out distractions and shut myself away with my books until I grasped what was important.

And because I had homework, I learned a lot more than if I had left my education to chance.

At one point, I thought, “Maybe I need Bible homework.”

Paul told Timothy,

“Study and do your best to present yourself to God approved, a workman [tested by trial] who has no reason to be ashamed, accurately handling and skillfully teaching the word of truth” (1 Timothy 2:15, Amplified).

It’s not that I wasn’t “in my Bible.” I’m in it all the time for my job, for blogs I write, and for general reading (and lately, memorizing).

But studying to learn… studying for God’s approval… studying to be a better teacher?

Not so much.

Because of my job and other responsibilities, I can’t go to the official women’s Bible studies at church. But that’s just a reason for my lack of study, not an excuse.

I can educate myself in biblical truth at home. I’ve got oodles of books and commentaries and several Bible translations on my shelves. And I have the Holy Spirit within me, the best teacher of all (1 John 2:27).

So I’ve started giving myself homework.

  • I assign a passage and answer questions about the text.
  • I write little essays.
  • I apply what I learn – I figure out practical ways to use what I learn.
  • And the Lord sees to it that I am “tested” on the things I say I believe!

Why should I study scripture?

I am accountable to the Lord for what I learn about His Word … or fail to learn.

Learning just takes a plan and the desire to execute that plan.

It takes seeking and responding to the Holy Spirit’s guidance, and not carrying out the desires of our distracting flesh (Galatians 5:16).

I need to shut off the TV, switch off Facebook, get out of the kitchen, and get busy studying.

I’ve got homework!

Do you need Bible homework too? When are you going to get started?

 ~ Dawn

 * “Homework Policy,” Cybersalt News, January 28, 2015, CybersaltDigest

Graphic adapted, courtesy of Pixabay

Be Careful What You Assume

16 Apr

During a stay at an expensive hotel in New York City, a man woke up in the Assumptions_LOLwithGod_Graphic-morguefilemiddle of the night with an upset stomach. He called room service and ordered some soda crackers.

Later, when the man looked at the charge slip, he was furious. He called room service and raged, “I know I’m in a luxury hotel, but $11.50 for six crackers is ridiculous!”

“The crackers are complimentary,” the voice at the other end coolly explained. “I believe you are complaining about your room number.” *

LOL!

The man’s assumption was absurd, and refuted.

Christians often make assumptions that are just as silly, and the Word of God refutes them.

Here are just four examples:

(1) The news or my friends will tell me all I need to know about life.

God’s Word tells us people are destroyed for lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6).  Wise counselors can help us, but we need to be careful not to walk in the “counsel of the ungodly” (Psalm 1:1).

It’s always wise to compare what’s going on in your world (and the world) with the wisdom of scripture.

(2) If I’m godly enough, I won’t have any struggles.

A study of the life of Job should be enough to refute that.

But Jesus said we would have trials in this world (John 16:33). Our struggles are meant to develop character and make us more like Jesus (Romans 5:3-5), and to draw us closer to God, our only true hope and security (Psalm 62:5; John 10:28-29; Philippians 1:6).

(3) If I know and love the Lord, I won’t need people.

God didn’t create us to live outside a community.

People are God’s gift to us, to encourage us and help us grow, to bring comfort, to add wisdom, and to help us heal. He means for us to “bear one another’s burdens….” (Galatians 6:2).

Think about it. If we were meant to live a solitary existence, why did He give us all the “one another” scriptures?

(4) If I just make all the right choices, I’ll be a strong Christian.

This was one of my basic life assumptions. I mean, my whole ministry (Heart Choices Today) is about making wise, godly choices. And one of my blogs (Upgrade with Dawn) encourages wise choices too.

But God has been teaching me this important distinction: making choices is more than mere human will power. Will power can fall short because we are totally human. Instead, we need to surrender our whole self–mind, heart, will–to the Lord. We must have His power in our lives.

Sometimes, in ourselves, we just don’t want to do right. We have other loves or idols that keep us from making godly choices (Romans 7:22-24; Galatians 5:17)

We need the transforming power of Christ (Romans 8:1-4; Galatians 5:16-18) and the desire for holiness that comes from Him alone (Philippians 2:12-13).

Making right choices is the result of growth in Christ—not the other way around (Galatians 3:3).

There are many other assumptions we make that are based on lies the enemy of our soul feeds us daily. And if we keep on believing them, we may experience great regret.

That’s why it’s crucial to study the Word of God.

Know and apply scripture so you won’t be embarrassed with silly assumptions. 

Some questions to contemplate:

  • Do I know what I believe?
  • Where am I getting my information about life?
  • Do my assumptions square with and hold up under the scrutiny of scripture?
  • Have I redefined God’s Word to fit in with my assumptions or preconceived notions?

Paul gave instruction to Timothy that would be good advice for all of us:

“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15, NKJV).

Knowing the truth will help you become holy (John 17:17) and wise (Psalm 19:7b).

Have you ever made an assumption and later found out it was false? How can the Word of God help that not to happen again?

 – *Humor: Cybersalt Digest, Issue #3945, 4-6-13; Graphic of crackers, courtesy of xandert, Morguefile

 – Dawn

%d bloggers like this: