My son, preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight; they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck.Proverbs 3:21
Today’s world moves quickly from one thing to the next. Life is fast paced with many things accessible from our mere finger tips. Shopping experiences are promoted as easy in and easy out. Curbside is everywhere. Church services are relegated to what messages can literally be spoken within a matter of 30-45 minutes so everyone can move back into their daily lives.
To be resolved in something is to be “determined in purpose.” American Dictionary of the English Language, Noah Webster 1828, Foundation for American Christian Education, reprinted in 2009. Interestingly, it also means “to separate the parts of a complicated idea; to reduce to simple parts; to analyze.” Id. “To separate the parts of a complicated question; to unravel; to disentangle of perplexities; to remove obscurity by analysis.” Id. “To free from doubt…” Id.
To be in God’s Word regularly will require determination to accomplish that purpose. It will require the willingness to give your attention and time to Scripture with the pursuit of asking questions, separating perplexities, removing doubt and allowing further analysis. Expecting a thorough understanding to arise by merely sitting down, opening a Bible and putting in an order for God to grant you wisdom, as if you were ordering food at a McDonald’s drive thru, will garner you little but frustration.
Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or swerve from them. Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. Wisdom is supreme; therefore, get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding. Esteem her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you.Proverbs 4:5-8
Resolve to approach his word with the willingness, time and the reflection it will take to search for his precious wisdom.
Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasures for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.1 Timothy 6:18-19
Build an approach
Being in God’s Word requires consistency and time. Build a foundation for how you approach it, and your resolve will grow with wisdom, perseverance and understanding.
the bible in its Entirety:
This approach begins at Genesis and ends in Revelation. Some advocate this approach yearly, with each day devoting specific time to chronologically going through God’s Word.
Gospels, books and topics
These stances advocate reading through the Gospels or entire books as a means of studying. Still others prefer to study God’s Word through topics of interest.
What God has to say today
Some approach His Word with a willingness to explore whatever Scripture comes before them when they open it. This study method can change topics daily, or allow for more time spent in deeper consideration as needed.
knowing his word
All of the above approaches facilitate getting to know God’s Word better. We truly need a complete picture of His Word for a fuller understanding, and we also must make more in-depth analyses of topics and the books of the Bible. Some of the most revealing and deeply moving moments, may arise from just opening His Word and watching it speak to your very life in the here and now. All of these approaches should be considered and explored, trusting that the best path will work itself out as your primary foundation of study.
Just remember that it will be important to familiarize yourself with all of God’s Word, both Old Testament and New Testament. The New Testament is built upon the promises and experiences held in the Old Testament, which makes that older text fundamental as context to the Gospels and letters written by the disciples. Their faith was built upon the entirety of His Word and not just what they, themselves, witnessed. Upon Jesus’ death and resurrection, the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies built and equipped them to share the Gospel with passion, truth and conviction. This knowledge is no less important for us.
So, do not short yourself the beauty and wisdom that lies in the Old Testament, as some would advocate. We cannot just hold faith in some of God’s Word. Rather, we must believe there is a purpose for all of it, even the toughest of Scripture to read. Choose to trust Him that understanding will come when you need it, rather than dismissing the words that you struggle with.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding…Proverbs 3:5
There are so many books written on when to approach God, but if we go to God’s Word, we will find that those closest to Him sought Him out frequently, in good, bad and mundane times. In fact, those that drifted from Him and His ways quickly headed towards trouble. His Word teaches us that His grace and mercy are available at all times of day for those who seek Him out with all of their hearts: in the early morning hours, in the late watches of the night when sleep escapes the hands of those who long for it, in hours of peril, and in moments where all seems lost. Moreover, we see our Savior carving out time with the Father in the wee hours before dawn and after long days of caring for many. Their Oneness did not cease, and yet, He continued to seek time alone with the Father even if it meant giving more of His quiet time.
Train yourself to be with Him on a regular basis, but never lose sight of the idea that He is available whenever you need Him. Keep His Word close for quick moments of refreshment where you can let His Words wash over you for strength to handle what lies ahead. You will find that when you seek Him out, He will not forsake you. Short or long. Night or day. Morning or midnight. He is there for those who search Him out.
Remember, it is not about when to spend the time, so much as the quality of the time you are willing to give.
On to Exploring.
Session One’s Assignment
- Read Exploring and Observing
- Consider Matthew 12:1-8
- Explore biblical references and make note of what speaks to you
- Begin taking notes on relevant Scripture before moving onto Session Two, which will be available next week