I’ve been preparing to study the book of Psalms. Yes, you heard that right. Preparing…to Study. I only point that out because as Christians, we need to remember that there is a big difference between reading and studying. I read my Bible daily. No doubt. And I love reading my Bible. I hope you do too. But I believe we must go deeper than just reading the Bible. We must push deeper into studying God’s word. We have to get past just reading it to “get inspired”. And don’t get me wrong, God’s word is inspiring and God can and will certainly speak to you through His word directly into your situation. But I believe we must put forth effort in our spiritual maturity as Christians. Reading the Word is good but so is studying the Word. For me personally, I grow closer to God through study. I receive the clearest revelation about who He is through study and reading together. Maybe a better way to put it is this: Reading helps me know about God, Studying helps me know God in relationship. One is not better than the other, they compliment. I fear too many Christians stop at just reading. In fact, my biggest concern is that Christians don’t even open up their Bible. Or know where it is. Or even know where to start.
Bottom line, spiritual maturity is a process. Step by step. Deeper and Deeper. You don’t go from Timothy to Paul in the snap of a finger. It is a process. But you have to start. That’s on you. In regards to Bible reading, you must decide to start reading you Bible regularly. Even if you start at 5 minutes a day. No shame in that. Pick it up and dig in. Don’t know where to start? I’d suggestion the Gospel of John and the book of James. Don’t start in Genesis and try to read front to back. Trust me.
Maybe you do read the Bible on a “regular” basis. That’s great. At some point you need to start studying your Bible. I’d suggest picking a book. One you are familiar with. There are plenty of resources online and at book stores to help you go deeper. What do I mean by deeper? The best way I can explain that is imagine going behind the scenes. Like that old VH1 “Behind the Music” show. Did you watch that? I did. LOVED IT. The reason so many people loved that show is because it opened your eyes to things you couldn’t see on the surface. This is what studying vs. just reading does with the Bible. When you study, you will learn about the culture, the author, the audience, the political situations at hand and the context of what’s being said. The background information provides a new avenue for you to connect to your Creator.
There’s much more to say on this topic. But for now, let’s stop and get started. Let’s stop the nonsense of proclaiming to be a Christian and no cracking open our Bible’s. Let’s stop just going to church so I can consume my pastors revelation about God and neglecting the opportunity I have to connect to God and get a direct word from God. Let’s start going to church to fellowship, serve, and hear from God in corporate worship and simultaneously spend our week digging deeper into God’s word and expect BIG things! Spiritual growth, new revelation on who God is, and His purpose for my life, just to name a few things worth expecting! The operative word is “GO”. That’s your decision.